Yes, you can work while receiving Social Security Administration benefits. However, you must earn less than the monthly gross amount allotted by the SSA. This amount is called the Substantial Gainful Amount (SGA) and changes every year. The amount for 2020 is $1,260 per month for those who are not blind and $2,110 for those who are blind. Keep in mind that these amounts are gross, or before taxes or any other deductions are taken out. This number is important because if you make more than the allotted amount, you may lose your benefits.
While we understand wanting, or even needing, to supplement your monthly income, our office cautions working while you are applying for or receiving SSA benefits.
You may be asking "Why?" Because when you apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, you are informing the government that you are too impaired, ill, or in pain to work. An attempt to supplement this income by working is a contradiction of your disability. If you are receiving benefits, working could put you at risk for a review by the SSA to see if you are, in fact, able to earn a living wage by working. If you are then found to be able to work you will lose your benefits.
That being said, there are instances in which someone on disability for a period of time may wish to return to work. The SSA is willing to work with you. If you believe that you can make a living wage by working, the SSA will place you on a trial work period anywhere from 3 to 6 months. During this time, you will continue to receive benefits while attempting to work full-time. If, at the end of the trial period, you have found that you are able to work full-time, congratulations! You will be taken off of disability and returned to the workforce. If, however, you have found that you are unable to work full-time, no harm, no foul. You must simply let the SSA know that you have quit your job and would like to continue to receive benefits.
Whether you are able or unable to work, the government does not want to punish you for wanting to try. Please click here for more specific information.