Can I Work and Still Collect Benefits?

On Monday we mentioned one woman who collected Social Security disability benefits, but still worked part-time at a non-profit organization. Are people permitted to work while collecting disability benefits? This is a common question among those considering applying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) as well as those who just want to understand the whole system better.

As with many legal situations, the answer is: it depends. According to the SSA, there are particular circumstances in which a person can work without risking losing their benefits. The SSA allows a trial work period, wherein a beneficiary can test his or her ability to work. A person can work for at least nine months while still receiving his or her full benefits amount.

After this period, beneficiaries may continue to work for 36 more months while still receiving benefits, as long as these benefits are not considered “substantial.” In 2012, the SSA defined substantial as $1,010 per month for a non-blind person and $1,690 for a blind person.

A trial work period is an ideal situation for those who only want to collect benefits if they really need them, but are afraid to give up their benefits completely to attempt reentrance to the work force. If you have any questions about returning to work and protecting the benefits upon which you rely, contact a Tulsa, Oklahoma Social Security disability attorney to get the facts. We offer free consultations, and you can call us at (918) 587-0050.

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