Monday, November 21, 2005

Can You Work While Claiming SSDI Benefits?

The Social Security definition of “disability” is strict, but you needn’t be totally incapacitated to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Of course benefits aren’t payable to people who work and earn more than a certain amount. The Social Security Administration (SSA) calls this maximum “substantial gainful activity” or “SGA”.

But if a disabled person earns less than the SGA figure, he or she may qualify for SSDI benefits though working. This means he or she may work while applying, or keep receiving benefits if already qualified.

Earnings averaging over $830 monthly in 2005 are SGA. (The figure is $860 a month in 2006.)

Don’t stop reading if you earn more than this amount. Receiving a monthly paycheck of more than $830 may not mean SSA will count all your income as “earnings.”

“Countable” earnings don’t include things like:
o sick leave,
o profit sharing,
o private disability insurance benefits,
o a spouse’s earnings, or
o wages paid you that exceed the actual value of services you perform.

Extra in-kind support you receive (like ongoing help from other workers) may also reduce your countable earnings. SSA calls this extra pay and support, "subsidy."

SSA also deducts “impairment related work expenses” or "IRWE" when figuring countable earnings. IRWE includes impairment-related items and services you must have in order to work.

In short, although your paycheck may be more than $830 a month, your countable earnings may be less and not disqualify you from SSDI benefits. To learn more about the effect of income and expenses on SSDI benefits, see SSA’s 2005 Red Book.

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Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about receiving Medicare while qualifying for SSDI? A friend who is disabled, totally, has just started receiving SSDI, but is told that she cannot get Medicare for two years. She is wondering how she is going to pay her medical bills for two years, and she does not qualify for welfare assistance or medicade.

Anonymous said...

yes you have to wait two years from the date that you are approved. I was in the same boat. when my company ended my medicial leave I was without health insurance. if she can do any kind of work most states have a meidaid programe for workers with disabilites. I have to return to work one day a week to get medicaid, thankfully it will only be a few months till I get medicare

Anonymous said...

My question husband is disabled due to a disease that he has. But some days he feels ok to do things other than sit around. Is he able to work a normal job obviously making little money, and still receive his ssdi checks every month?

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Anonymous said...

Does any one know if you are on disability and getting around $1500.00 a month if you can go out and buy junk cars with your disability check.Strip them down your self and junk them and make 3 times your monthly check is right?Should you turn them in or let it go?There are some out there that need the money that can't get it and people like this is...What you think??

Anonymous said...

At least they arent sitting around claiming welfare,I feel that if they can suppliment thier SSDI then let them alone .and yes there are some out there that need the money but are they willing to go out and strip down cars and sell the parts to get it I doubt it.If you want to blow the whistle on someone try the illegals that are getting SSI ror the hispanics who bring thier parents from mexico,have never worked a day in this country and they get SSI thats the crime.

Anonymous said...

I am on SSDI and now have a chance to watch my daughters kids for her while she works. Do I have to report my earnings to SSI? It only be 200 dollars a month.