Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers: Can You Work While Collecting Benefits?July 5, 2016
If you are currently collecting Social Security Disability benefits, you may wonder if you are allowed to work, especially if your benefits do not fully cover your living costs. Fortunately, you can continue to collect your benefits while working as long as you meet certain criteria set forth by the Social Security Administration.
In order to meet the requirements of the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may only work if you do not earn more than a specified monthly amount. For 2016, your earnings cannot exceed $1,130 per month. If you are blind, you may not earn more than $1,820 per month. These amounts are what the SSA defines as substantial gainful activity (SGA). In addition to limitations on monthly earnings, there are other exceptions, including the following:
- Trial Work Period: When you have suffered a disability, it is difficult to predict exactly when you will be able to return to work. Therefore, the SSA gives you the opportunity to take advantage of a trial work period, at which time you can test your ability to work for a period of nine months. You will continue to receive your benefits in full until you have worked nine months within a 60-month period of time.
- Extended Period of Eligibility: Following your trial work period, you may continue to collect Social Security disability benefits for 36 months for any month your earnings do not exceed the SGA cap. You will also be protected in case you are unable to work on a regular basis as a result of your disability. If your benefits are terminated because your salary exceeds this limit, you have five years to pursue reinstatement.
- Offsetting Your Earnings with Expenses: If your earnings exceed the SGA threshold, the SSA will deduct certain expenses that are related to your disability in order to lower your take-home income. If those expenses reduce your income to $1,130 per month, or $1,820 if you are blind, your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits will remain in tact. The SSA actually has programs that help people who are receiving disability benefits find work, as it can be beneficial to the recipient, not only from a financial standpoint, but physically and emotionally as well.
Baltimore Social Security Disability Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Clients Secure the Maximum Allowable Benefits
If you are collecting Social Security Disability benefits and are unsure if you are allowed to supplement your income by working, the Baltimore Social Security Disability lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can answer any questions you may have and ensure that you are receiving the full benefits that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to assist those who have been denied Social Security benefits throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.