Getting Caught Working on SSDI_ What Can Happen

Individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits may consider re-entering the workforce as their condition improves. This can be a complex decision, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers clear guidelines for working while maintaining benefit eligibility.

Can I work while on Social Security disability in New York?

Yes, you can work while receiving SSDI benefits in New York, but there are important rules and limitations to remember. The Social Security Administration (SSA) encourages SSDI recipients to return to work if they are able and offers several work incentives to help them transition back to the workforce.

However, it’s crucial to understand the concept of substantial gainful activity (SGA). SGA refers to the level of work activity that the SSA considers significant enough to disqualify you from receiving SSDI benefits. In 2024, the SGA limit is $1,550 per month for non-blind individuals and $2,590 for blind individuals.

If you earn above the SGA limit, the SSA may determine that you are no longer disabled and no longer qualify for SSDI benefits. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully track your income and report any changes to the SSA to avoid getting caught working on SSDI and potentially losing your benefits.

Will I lose my SSDI if I try to work?

Not necessarily. The SSA offers a Trial Work Period (TWP) that allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. You can earn any amount during your TWP without affecting your SSDI benefits. The nine months of your TWP do not have to be consecutive and spread out over a 60-month period.

After completing your TWP, you enter an Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) that lasts 36 months. During the EPE, you can still receive SSDI benefits for any month in which your earnings fall below the SGA limit. If your earnings exceed the SGA limit for more than three months during the EPE, your benefits will be terminated.

It’s important to note that if your benefits are terminated due to SGA, you may be able to have them reinstated if your earnings fall below the SGA limit within five years. This is known as Expedited Reinstatement.

How much can you make on SSDI in NY?

The amount you can make on SSDI in New York depends on your specific situation and the work incentives you utilize. As mentioned earlier, the SGA limit for non-blind individuals in 2023 is $1,550 per month. However, there are some additional factors to consider:

  • Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE): If you have expenses related to your disability that enable you to work, such as medication, adaptive equipment, or transportation costs, you can deduct these expenses from your monthly earnings when calculating your income for SGA purposes.
  • Subsidies and Special Conditions: If you receive support from your employer, such as reduced work hours, extra supervision, or special accommodations, the SSA may consider the value of this support a subsidy and not count it as part of your earnings.
  • Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS): If you have a written plan that outlines your goals for becoming self-sufficient, you can set aside income and resources to pay for expenses related to your work goal, such as education, training, or starting a business. The money you set aside under a PASS will not count as income for SSDI purposes.

How much can you make on Social Security disability without being penalized?

Getting Caught Working on SSDI_ What Can Happen As long as your monthly earnings remain below the SGA limit ($1,470 for non-blind individuals in 2023), you can work without being penalized or losing your SSDI benefits. However, reporting any changes in your work activity or income to the SSA is crucial to avoid getting caught working on SSDI.

Contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. today

If you’re considering returning to work or have already started working while on SSDI, it’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable disability attorney who can help you understand the rules and work incentives available to you. The compassionate disability attorneys at Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. have over 40 years of experience helping New Yorkers with disabilities navigate the complex world of SSDI and work.

If you have questions about working while on disability or need assistance with your SSDI claim, contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. today at 516-496-0400 for a free consultation. They can help you understand your rights and explore your options to take full advantage of the work incentives available while minimizing the risk of getting caught working on SSDI. Don’t hesitate to reach out for the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.

Categories: Disability

Last Updated : April 4, 2024
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