Many people think that they have to be completely unemployed to file for Social security disability. While this is a common misconception, there are stipulations that apply to working while filing for or receiving SSI or social disability.

Work While Receiving Social Security Disability or SSI

You can earn money and work while on social security disability

While you can be employed while filing for social security disability or receiving it, it is important that you know the stipulations involved. You can work and earn money while receiving social security disability. However, you are limited to how much you can earn. This limit is called the SGA or substantial gainful activity. You can work part time while receiving disability benefits. In some cases, you can also work full time.

This is how the limit works. You are only allowed to earn so much while receiving benefits. If you exceed that amount, your claim will be denied. Also if you are already receiving social security disability, your earning will stop. The reason for this is that the Social Security Administration has set a limit to the amount you can earn while receiving benefits. Once you’ve exceeded this amount, it is their determination that if you can earn more than the set amount they have established, you are not in need of social security disability. Visit the SSA website to find out about SGA earnings guidelines.

When can You exceed the SGA limit?

There is always an exception to every rule. The social security administration will allow you to earn more than the SGA limit for up to nine months. After the 10th month of exceeding the limit, you will be cut off from receiving social security disability.

This nine month period is trial work period for returning back to work. This system is in place to allow individuals the opportunity to try to return to work, to see if it is possible. In some cases, an individual may feel motivated to return to work and earn their own income, but after a while their physical limitations and the form of employment take their toll on that individual.

The reason this system is in place is to enable some individuals the opportunity to return to the workforce, and eventually leave the social security disability system. This benefits the system, because economic resources can be directed at those who absolutely need it.

How does the trial period work?

The trial work system by the social security administration requires that you earn up to the SGA limit for a month. Those months do not have to be continual. You can skip months and it can be any number of months with a 36 month period. This 3 year period allows individuals the flexibility to try to return to the work force.

Important things to Note About SGA

It is your responsibility to report any work earnings to your local social security office. Doing this will help you to avoid difficult situations in the future, such as earning too much while receiving benefits. This will result in you having to repay overpaid compensation. The Social Security office will work with you, enabling you to make payment arrangements. There is also an option where you may receive a waiver. This can be achieved by proving that you cannot repay the over-payment or that the over-payment was not a result of an oversight or omission of information on your end. A waiver is solely based on the discretion of your local social security office.

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