Can My Son Continue Getting Benefits While Working Part-Time?

Sep 10 2019 - 9:03am

My 44 year old son had his first kidney transplant in 2011. Worked well for several years, then he became very sick and rejected the kidney. He was able to do the work he has always done, which is very physical, construction types of work. After first transplant, he went back to work after 2 weeks (did not know he could have collected disability for 12 months). Had second kidney transplant in 2018 and has been on disability for 11 months. He has been working part time but making less than $1,100 per month while collecting his disability.

He wants to go back to work full time, but the two transplants have taken a toll on his body (plus a fungal infection that nearly killed him and was the cause of the first transplant rejection). He is only qualified for work like construction, very physical work, and he just can't do that kind of work now because he has lost so much strength. Would he be eligible for extended benefit program while working part-time? Right now he is getting the 12 months of disability that is allowed with kidney transplant (that he was never made aware of during the first transplant).

He is trying to find full time work but he is not sure that he has the stamina and strength to be able to return to full time work. He does ok with working part time and collecting disability.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Hi,

I'm sorry to hear about your son's health problems. I don't know what you mean when you refer to your son getting 'the 12 months of disability that is allowed with kidney transplant'. A kidney transplant doesn't automatically entitle a person to any type of benefits from Social Security. A person can only receive Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits if they are determined to be unable to do substantial gainful work, and if their impairment will either keep them from working for at least 12 months or end in death before then. If a person does qualify for SSDI benefits their benefits can continue indefinitely as long as they continue to be classified by Social Security as disabled and they don't work and earn too much.

Assuming that your son is drawing SSDI benefits, if he starts earning more than SGA level ($1,220 per month in 2019) then his SSDI benefits could be suspended or terminated due to his work and earnings. A person receiving SSDI is first allowed a 9-month trial work period (TWP) during which they can earn an unlimited amount and still be paid their SSDI. After the TWP is completed, though, earnings exceeding SGA level would normally cause their benefits to be suspended.

If a person's SSDI benefits are suspended due to SGA, there is an extended period of eligibility (EPE) that lasts for at least 3 years after their TWP is completed. During the EPE, the person's SSDI benefits can be reinstated for any months in which their earnings don't exceed SGA level. Such reinstatements can continue indefinitely for as long as the person's earnings remain below SGA level. If, however, the person resumes earning above SGA level more than 3 years after their TWP ended, their SSDI entitlement would terminate and they would have to reapply and be approved for benefits in order to become re-entitled to SSDI (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10095.pdf).

Best, Jerry