Yes, you can work while receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, but only within strict limits. Payments will stop if you are engaged in what Social Security calls “substantial gainful activity.” SGA, as it’s known, is defined in 2023 as earning more than$1,470 a month (or $2,460 if you are blind).
If your income exceeds those caps, you cannot collect disability benefits, unless you are taking part in one of Social Security’s "work incentives" — programs and trial periods aimed at helping SSDI recipients transition back into the workforce without sacrificing their benefits. Some work incentives are also available to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is administered by Social Security and also provides benefits to people with disabilities.
The major such program isTicket to Work, which offers people on SSDI and SSI job training, work experiences and other services to help them become self-supporting. As do other work incentives, Ticket to Work temporarily waives the SGA earnings limits, so you continue collecting yourdisability benefits while you engage in trial work with employers who have signed up to participate. If you get a job through the program, you go off disability benefits. The payments will resume if you have to stop working because your medical condition worsens.
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SSDI beneficiaries are also allowed a trial period of up to nine months to test their ability to work. The trial months can be spread out over five years, and during these months you can get your full benefit regardless of your earnings. You’ll find more information on these and other work incentives in the Social Security publication "Working While Disabled— How We Can Help."
Keep in mind
- The SGA limits are adjusted annually based on national changes in average wages.
- Some work incentives are specific either toSSDIorSSI, while others, like Ticket to Work, areavailable to bothtypes of beneficiary.
How much can I earn without losing my disability benefits? ›
During the trial work period, there are no limits on your earnings. During the 36-month extended period of eligibility, you usually can make no more than $1,470 ($2,460 if you are blind) a month in 2023 or your benefits will stop. These amounts are known as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).What is the most hours you can work on disability? ›
Social Security typically allows up to 45 hours of work per month if you're self-employed and on SSDI. That comes out to around 10 hours per week. The SSA will also see whether or not you're the only person working for your business. You must not be earning SGA, along with not working too many hours.Can I lose my disability benefits if I work? ›
Payments will stop if you are engaged in what Social Security calls “substantial gainful activity.” SGA, as it's known, is defined in 2023 as earning more than $1,470 a month (or $2,460 if you are blind).How much can I earn while on Social Security disability in 2022? ›
The SGA amount for persons with disabilities other than blindness is $1,350 per month in 2022. For persons who are blind, the amount of earnings that indicate SGA is $2,260 per month in 2022. Further information is available in the section How We Decide If You Are Disabled.What happens if I don't report earnings to SSDI? ›
Once you are eligible and receiving benefit payments, you must report any income you received, or that you have returned to work. If you don't, it could result in an overpayment, penalties, and a false statement disqualification.How much can I earn while on disability payment? ›
In general, your pension won't change if you work less than 30 hours per week and earn: Up to $180 per fortnight if you are single. Up to $320 per fortnight between you and your partner.How many hours is part-time? ›
Part-time work means a person works a set number of hours each week, which can range from a few to around 30 hours.What are the rules for working while on SSDI? ›
How Much Can You Make While on SSDI? Generally, SSDI recipients can't do what's considered "substantial gainful activity" (SGA) and continue to receive disability benefits. In a nutshell, doing SGA means you're working and making more than $1,470 per month in 2023 (or $2,460 if you're blind).How many days is part-time? ›
The number of hours that an employee works to be considered part-time can vary. However, as a general rule, employees who work between 20 and 29 hours per week are considered part-time employees.What would cause me to lose my disability benefits? ›
Exceeding income or asset limits: By far the most common reason individuals lose their benefits is by having too much income. SSDI beneficiaries may lose their benefits if they experience an increase in income from any source that pushes them over the individual income or asset limit.
What can stop your disability benefits? ›
- If, after completing a 9-month Trial Work Period (TWP), you work at a level we consider substantial. ...
- If we decide that your medical condition has improved and you no longer have a disability.
There is no limit on how many hours you can work on SSI, rather a limit on how much you can make in a month. For an individual in 2022, you need to be making less than $841 of countable income per month and have less than $2,000 in assets to qualify. For a couple, the limit is $3,000.Will disability benefits increase in 2023? ›
The increase will begin with benefits that Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2023. Increased SSI payments will begin on December 30, 2022. We mail COLA notices throughout the entire month of December. However, you may not need to wait for your mailed notice to learn your new benefit amount for 2023.How do I increase my Social Security Disability payments? ›
You can increase Social Security Disability payments by working at least 35 years before retiring, understanding the benefits of working past retirement age, and avoiding Social Security's tax consequences. If you are married, married applicants can maximize their disability payments by claiming their spousal benefits.How much will SSDI checks be in 2023? ›
Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) payments have increased by 8.7% for 2023. Social Security expects the average monthly SSDI benefit to be $1,483 in 2023, but the most anyone can receive is $3,627 per month (there is no minimum amount).Can I earn money while on Social Security disability? ›
You can make up to $1,470 (or $2,460 if you are blind) in 2023 on Social Security Disability or your benefits will stop, which is known as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). During the trial work period, there are no limits on your earnings, but you cannot exceed the SGA amount.Will I lose my SSDI benefits if I'm working over the SGA limit? ›
If adjusted net earnings exceed the applicable SGA amount, Social Security will make a determination of cessation of disability. The SSDI benefit amount will be terminated after the third month from the cessation of disability month.How much can I earn while on Social Security in 2023? ›
If you will reach full retirement age in 2023, the limit on your earnings for the months before full retirement age is $56,520. Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you can get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.