Can I Work Without Losing My Disability Benefits?

Sep 12 2017 - 6:40am

I began collecting SSDI when I turned 40. I became a widow at age 49. When I turned 50 I started receiving $1656 on my SSDI benefits and $335 as a disabled widow. I was originally turned down for widow benefits said I did not qualify. I applied and fought for it and was approved and paid back benefits.
I will be 61 this year. Can I work a little without losing my benefits? Do I have to wait till I'm 66 to collect benefits on my husbands? He was only 53 when he passed. I have not remarried.
Will my benefits increase or decrease?
I am struggling and although I cannot work all the time but would like to get a part time job to help me out.

Hi,

You could likely earn up to $1,170 per month without losing your disability benefits. For more detailed information about working while receiving disability benefits, refer to this Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10095.pdf.

I'm not sure what you mean by your question 'Do I have to wait till I'm 66 to collect benefits on my husbands?'. If you receive disabled widow's benefits, you are already receiving benefits on your husband's record. At full retirement age your disability benefits and disabled widow's benefits will automatically convert to regular retirement and widow's benefits. Your combined monthly benefit rate will likely increase by a little over $100 at that point after Social Security adjusts your widow's rate to remove the reduction assessed to your disabled widow's benefits. It sounds like such an adjustment would apply in your case since you were already receiving Social Security disability benefits when you started drawing disabled widow's benefits.

Best, Jerry