Q: Will SSA continue to give me SSDI benefits when I work 35 hours a week but earn $1190 a month which is under SGA?
I'm currently on SSDI benefits for 5 years. I just started a job last May. I wonder if I can continue to have benefits with many hours a week? I'm deaf.
A: Yes, you can do a limited amount of work and still get disability benefits. Social Security encourages work activity and there are special program rules and work incentives that help you try to return to work while still receiving monthly disability payments.
If you try to work but have to stop working because of your disability, SSA generally considers it an unsuccessful work attempt. However, if you are able to do substantial gainful work, you are not disabled. The presumed substantial gainful work earnings amount in 2019 is $1,220 per month ($2,040 if you’re blind). There are specific rules for self-employment. Social Security may deduct from your earned income any impairment related work expenses you pay for certain items, such as equipment and services, that you need in order to work. Social Security may also deduct the value of any subsidy, which is extra support that an employer provides you to do your work.
Two important work incentives under SSDI are:
Trial Work Period (TWP) – During the TWP, you can work and still keep your full monthly SSDI check. The TWP lasts for 9 months in a 60-month timeframe.
Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) – After the TWP, there is an EPE during which you can receive your full SSDI check for any month on which you were not able to earn substantial gainful activity. The EPE lasts for up to a 36-month timeframe.
For more information about these and other work incentives, as well as other work options, see http://www.ssa.gov/redbook and go to https://choosework.ssa.gov.
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