Some people believe that if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits that you are forbidden from working in any capacity. To the contrary, you are more than able to work while receiving the benefits you deserve. It’s just that you have to follow strict rules about this process if you are going to work and receive benefits.
Substantial gainful activity (SGA) is considered earning more than $1,130 in a month. That threshold is $1,820 if you are blind. If you are considered to earn substantial gainful activity, then you can’t receive Social Security disability benefits.
But there are ways around SGA. One of the most common ways is to utilize your trial work period. This is something you can do after your disability affects your ability to work, but you are unsure how greatly the disability will prohibit your working ability. So you can try out working while receiving SSD benefits.
The trial work period lasts for 9 months in a 60-month period. A month qualifies as one of your 9 months of the trial work period if you earn more than $810, or if you are self-employed, it is any month where you work at least 80 hours.
Another way to get past SGA is to expense the Social Security Administration for disability-related expenses, may it relate to work or otherwise. These expenses can be deducted from your income, allowing you to drop below the SGA threshold.
Source: Motley Fool, “Can You Work While Receiving Social Security Disability?,” Maurie Backman, May 16, 2016