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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Can I work without losing my SSD benefits?

Feb 17, 2022 |

Social Security disability benefits can be the financial lifeline a disabled individual needs to make ends meet. However, many in Ohio would agree that holding down a job is a thing to be proud of. Not every disabled individual wants to be out of the workforce forever. For this reason, the Social Security Administration offers way for disabled individuals to test the waters of working again without losing their SSD safety net.

Working while on SSD

You may not know it, but it is possible to work while still receiving full SSD benefits. You just cannot earn more than the Social Security Administration’s calculated level of “substantial gainful activity.” In 2022, that means not earning more than $1,350 a month ($2,260 if you are blind).

Work incentives for those receiving SSD benefits

There are work incentives the SSA has that allow SSD beneficiaries to try out working again. One program available to those receiving SSD benefits is the Ticket to Work program. This program provides individuals with access to employment services for the disabled. If you are participating in the Ticket to Work program you will not lose your SSD benefits and will not be subjected to a continuing disability review that could lead to the end of your benefits.

Another program available to those receiving SSD benefits is expedited reinstatement. If your SSD benefits are cancelled because you were earning more than the SGA limit, but your income dips below the SGA limit within five years, you can pick up where you left off with SSD benefits without having to reapply all over again. Note you must still have the same disability that qualified you for benefits previously to be eligible for expedited reinstatement.

A third program the SSA offers is to give SSD beneficiaries the option to participate in vocational rehabilitation programs. The SSA will not suddenly stop paying SSD benefits to those who are participating in a vocational rehabilitation program even if the beneficiary no longer meets the definition of disabled per SSA rules. Instead, SSD benefits will continue until the program comes to an end.

Many people in Ohio with disabilities do not want to see their careers end. With these and other work incentives in place, if their health allows it they may be able to test the waters of working again without immediately losing the Social Security disability benefits they are entitled to.