Austin, TX asked in Social Security for Texas

Q: On SSDI r/t stroke-2020. If income from p/t work put in 401k entirely (taxable income 0) does it jeopardize my SSDI?

MD would not release me for f/t work. Am RN.

Neuropsychiatrist eval established disability.

58 yo white female.

Offered PART-TIME transcription work (16 hr/wk).

Would be <1260/month.

Can't lose SSDI. Would this jeopardize it?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Elizabeth Fowler Lunn
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  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC

A: Part-time work can be considered substantial gainful employment by the Social Security Administration. It makes no difference that you would be putting the money into a retirement account. SSA rules would still classify this as income and would need to be reported to SSA even if it is not taxable income. SSA also considers the most that you can do, not the least. So SSA will be looking to see what you are capable of earning, and not just what you are earning. So keeping earnings below the presumptive SGA amount so as not to interfere with benefits rarely works.

If you have not already used it up, you do get a 9 month trial work period to attempt to return to work, so if you work but need to stop due to your health, you may earn money during the trial work period and not lose your benefits. However, you would need to be prepared to prove that your health prevented you from continuing the job.

I would advise speaking in person with a local Social Security attorney (and if you had one represent you in your claim before that person would be best) before engaging in any work activity.

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