Working While You’re on Social Security Disability: Part One

November 17, 2016

Some of us need more help than others, but some of us cannot work, often due to disability and/or illness. Others can work but also need help, and that help often is provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA). One questions our clients ask our Philadelphia Social Security Disability attorneys a lot is: How much money can we make while collecting Social Security Disability (SSD) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits from the SSA?

In this first blog, we’ll cover some of the basics of working while you collect SSD or SSI. We hope you’ll also read Part Two, where we discuss the process of working, and calculating how much money you’re allowed to earn.

How does working affect your SSD or SSI?

In order to know how much money you can make while collecting SSD or SSI, you should know how the SSA calculates what amount of money to pay you; the money amount determines how much money you can make while collecting benefits and vice versa. As of the 2016 calendar year, the SSA will offer you no more than $733 as the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). The SSA determines how much money you will receive each month by subtracting the FBR from your countable income. Your countable income consists of:

  • Your work wages
  • The value of free food and housing you receive
  • Financial assistance you receive from friends and/or relatives (excluding some of your spouse’s income)
  • Support from other third parties, such as Veterans’ Affairs

While the SSA calculates the final amount to give you, you can enter the Trial Work Period (TWP), and you can enter the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) if need be.

Why should you work if you receive SSD or SSI benefits?

It may be easier not to work, but unemployment is not as glamorous as it seems. The SSA even wants people to work a little bit, if they can. Therefore, it offers various forms of encouragement. In fact, it has special programs such as Earned Income Exclusion (EIE), Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE), and Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS).

If you, a relative, or a friend has a disability but is having trouble in getting Social Security Disability benefits in the Philadelphia area, it is not the end of the world. Talk to a Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates. For more information, call 888.PITT.LAW or contact us to schedule an appointment at any of our offices located in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.