Income limits for Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) can be complicated. The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not count all forms of income when approving a claim. Each case is unique. However, some basic numbers can help you know if you qualify.
Is There an Income Limit for SSDI?
There is an income limit on what you earn through work. To qualify for SSDI in 2020, you cannot earn more than $1,260 per month. If you are blind, the income limit is $2,110. The SSA considers blindness to be a unique disability with additional expenses.
If you can earn more money, the SSA will not consider you disabled. If you start working while disabled, you can still receive benefits if you make less than the limit.
Unearned income (such as income from a spouse) and assets do not count towards the limit for SSDI. If you’re also applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), those forms of income will count. To qualify for SSI, you cannot earn more than $735 per month.
Substantial Gainful Activity and SSDI
The income limits for SSDI can fluctuate slightly each year. The SSA will look to see if you are engaging in a substantial gainful activity (SGA). If you earn income above the limits, it’s considered SGA.
Social Security will not approve your claim if they see you are independent enough to earn a living. Even if you have a disabling condition, you might not qualify for benefits if you exceed the income limits.
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Does SSDI Look at All Forms of Income?
No, not all income counts towards SSDI limits. The SSA does not count the following income:
- Spouse’s income
- Under-the-table wages
- Any other assets
Even if you make SGA, you can still apply for SSDI benefits. Every situation is unique. The details of your income and disability might still mean that you qualify. It’s worth it to apply even if you’re not sure.
If you have questions about your eligibility, contact a Social Security Disability lawyer. Your lawyer can help you file a strong application and determine your options. If the SSA has denied your claim, but you think you should qualify, contact a lawyer.
To schedule a FREE consultation with our SSDI lawyers at John Foy & Associates, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Can You Lose SSDI Benefits Based on Income?
Yes. If you begin earning more income, you can lose your SSDI benefits. However, some people can return to work and still get benefits.
If you want to go back to work, the SSA will see if you’re engaging in SGA. Again, SGA means earning more than $1,260 per month in 2020. (If you’re blind, the limit is $2,110 per month). You could be working but not earning more than the SGA limit.
Trial Work Periods for SSDI
If you’re working or want to work while on SSDI, the SSA has work programs and incentives. Work incentives include:
- Medicare or Medicaid while you work
- Cash benefits while you work
- Training, education, and rehabilitation
Through the Ticket to Work program, you can get:
- Free vocational rehabilitation
- Job referrals
- Other support
If you start working, the SSA can enter you into a trial work period. As long as you’re still disabled and report your work, you can keep receiving benefits. A trial work period in 2020 is any month you earn over $910.
If you’re self-employed, the trial work period is during any month you make over $910 after business expenses. It can also be when you work over 80 hours while self-employed.
You can stay in a trial work period until you’ve had nine trial work months within 60 months. Regardless of how much you’re earning, you can still receive benefits until the trial work period is over. If you’re making over SGA after that, the SSA will probably stop your benefits.
If you can’t keep working because of your condition, you can start your SSDI benefits again.
How Can You Avoid Losing SSDI Benefits?
We know that most people on SSDI are desperate for their benefits. Disability benefits provide income for those who cannot make it themselves. It’s natural to worry about losing SSDI.
Here are some things you can do to keep your benefits:
- Keep in touch with the SSA consistently.
- Keep seeing your doctor regularly.
- Let the SSA know about any life changes, such as name changes or address changes.
Your benefits will probably stay the same if you do all of the above. If the SSA reviews your case, they will confirm that you’re still disabled. Just make sure you can provide regular medical evidence of your condition.
If the SSA does revoke your benefits for some reason, you have ten days to appeal it. It’s also smart to contact a Social Security Disability lawyer. Your lawyer can help you know your rights and fight for what you deserve.
Talk to a Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we know how vital SSDI is for individuals and families. We’re here to help if you need assistance with your claim. We do not collect a fee unless we win you money, so there is no risk when working with us.
Contact us today to schedule a FREE, no-risk consultation. We’ll listen to your concerns and answer any questions. To get started for FREE, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.