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Understanding how working can affect SSD benefits

Missourians who have been approved for and are receiving Social Security disability benefits whether it is for an injury, illness or condition frequently want to go back to work if they are capable. However, they have concerns that their SSD benefits will stop once they start earning money. There are federal regulations tied to those who are on disability and work. It is important to understand how benefits can be affected by working.

The Social Security Administration has work incentives for people who are getting benefits. For those getting Social Security Disability Insurance, there are two Work Incentives. First is the Trial Work Period. When getting SSDI, the amount that can be earned changes annually. In 2017 to continue receiving the same benefits, it is a maximum of $840 per month in gross wages or the person working fewer than 80 hours per week if he or she was self-employed. If it goes beyond the maximum amount or the person works more than 80 hours per week while self-employed, there will be a Trial Work Period service month. This lets the person earn any amount and keep getting the full SSDI. There are nine months that can be used in this way over a 60-month period. They do not have to be consecutive.

Second is the Extended Period of Eligibility. Once the Trial Work Period has concluded, the Extended Period of Eligibility begins. Extending for 36 months, the person will get full benefits for months when the gross income falls below Substantial Gainful Activity. For a person who is receiving SSD due to blindness, the SGA is $1,950. For a person who is not blind, it is $1,170. Deductions to get back to work might allow the person to earn more than that and continue getting benefits.

The rules for Supplemental Security Income are different as this is a program based on need. Earnings might lower what is received, but not end the benefits. For people who are getting back to work, it is imperative to let the SSA know about it. If there is any problem with Ticket to Work, SSDI and SSI, having legal help is essential. A legal professional well-versed in assisting the disabled with their Social Security disability claims can be helpful with any situation.

Source: choosework.net, "What happens to Social Security disability benefits while working?," accessed on July 17, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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