Ask Larry

Can I Work Part-Time Without Losing My Disability Benefits?

I live in TX. I receive widows benefits at the rate of 72% of what I would have received had my husband retired. He was 57. I also am disabled since 2006 and thus receive a small percentage of mine due to forced medical retirement. As you may have guessed, it is a meager income and Medicare does not cover all the bills.
Is it possible for me to work part time, if my health will allow, without affecting my social security? If so, what is the monetary limit? I'm getting disparate and don't want to lose my home or have to move in with family

Hi Kandi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

You don't mention your age, but I assume that you are under full retirement age and are receiving either Social Security disability benefits on your own record and/or disabled widow's benefits. If so, you could earn up to an average of $1170 per month without losing any benefits. For more information, refer to this Social Security pamphlet:

If you aren't receiving disability benefits and you are instead between ages 60 & 66 and receiving only widow's benefits, you could earn up to $16920 this year without losing benefits ( The Social Security earnings test does not apply to disability benefits or disabled widow's benefits (i.e. widow's benefits paid prior to age 60 based on disability), however, so if that's what you're receiving, refer back to my first paragraph above. On the off chance that you are already age 66 or older, there is no limit on the amount you would be permitted to earn.

Best, Jerry

Jan 30 2017 - 2:15pm
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