Can I Return To Work Without Jeopardizing My Disability Benefits?

Dec 17 2016 - 3:45pm

I am on social disability. I will be turning 65 in January.. I have someone who wants to hire me. I would be able to make my own hours as i feel able to. Will this jeopardize my social security disability. Also would anything change when I reach. 65. Oh and how much can I earn.

Hi,

The answer depends partially on whether or not you've previously worked since starting on disability benefits. If not, all of your 9 month trial work period is still available, and you could start working in January without potentially losing any of your Social Security disability benefits, no matter how much you earn. Social Security disability benefits continue for at least the first 9 months (trial work period) that the disabled person works, plus the 3 month grace period that follows. Therefore, since your disability benefits will convert to retirement benefits when you reach age 66, you could start work in the month you turn 65 with no danger of losing benefits. That is, again, provided that you have not previously used up any of your 9 month trial work period.

Even if you have completed your trial work period, your Social Security disability benefits won't stop as long as you do not earn more than what is considered to be 'substantial gainful earnings' (SGA). The current SGA level is $1130 per month, and will increase to $1170 per month in 2017. So, if you will be earning less than that in gross wages at your prospective job, you should be fine no matter where you stand with regard to your trial work period. For more information, you may want to read this pamphlet: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10095.pdf.

Best, Jerry