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Can You Work and Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?


Social Security disability benefits are a huge help to people suffering from disabilities. However, many beneficiaries would like to work. Getting out of the house can provide an immediate lift to anyone’s mood and self-esteem, as well as help supplement your benefits. But recipients are naturally worried that they will lose their Social Security disability benefits if they try to work.

The good news is that the Social Security Administration has created guidelines for helping beneficiaries start working while maintaining eligibility for benefits. Below, our Maryland Social Security disability lawyer provides the highlights.

Guidelines for Working

The Social Security Administration (SSA) realizes that many recipients want to work. Furthermore, getting back into the labor pool at least part-time can help workers transition to full-time employment. SSA has created certain guidelines that empower beneficiaries to at least try to work.

First, you probably qualify for a nine-month Trial Work Period within any 60-month window. During this Trial Work Period, you can make any amount of money and still receive full benefits (provided you remain otherwise eligible). The months can be consecutive or nonconsecutive.

A month will count toward your Trial Work Period if you make above a certain amount, which changes by year. For 2023, the amount is $1,050, and for 2024 the amount is $1,110. If you made at least that much, the month counts toward your nine-month Trial Work Period. If you made less than that, the month does not count.

You will continue to receive your full disability benefits during the Trial Work Period. This is an excellent opportunity for recipients to test the waters and see if they can begin working again.

After your Trial Work Period ends, you will likely have an Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), which is a 36-month period where you can continue to receive Social Security disability benefits so long as you remain disabled and do not make more than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) threshold.

The SGA for 2023 is $1,460, and the 2024 threshold jumps to $1,550. If, during this Extended Period of Eligibility, you earn more than the SGA, you do not receive benefits for that month. But you can continue to receive benefits for the other months during your EPE where you are below the threshold.

After you complete your Extended Period of Eligibility, earning over the SGA for even one month will likely result in the permanent loss of benefits. However, many workers are grateful for the opportunity to try and get back into the work force, and both the Trial Work Period and the Extended Period of Eligibility assist with that.

Call Our Firm with Questions

Social Security Disability Benefits have helped many clients struggling with painful illnesses and injuries. Still, many of our clients are eager to begin testing the waters and see if they can return to employment. Don’t let SSA terminate benefits early. If they do, you might have a chance to appeal. Call the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC, today if you have questions about disability benefits and/or returning to work.


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