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Can You Get Partial Disability Benefits?

Getting disability benefits while working part-time is possible. Your eligibility depends largely on your income. Financial incentives are not available to people making more than a certain amount of money, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Social Security's program will not allow you to earn more than $1,350 a month gross in 2022, for example. Other factors, such as your age and work history, can determine your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits.

Income Level And Eligibility

Your income and financial assets play a bigger role in determining your eligibility for Social Security Disability compensation benefits than your working hours. The same principle applies to both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI applicants are currently limited to $1,350 a month in gross income as of 2022. It is still possible to qualify for maximum benefits even if your job pays less than this amount.

To qualify for SSI, you must have no more than $2000 in total assets and a monthly income no greater than the SSI benefit. The income you receive from full-time or part-time employment is included here, but there are some exceptions.

Change In Income Over Time

As workers' career progresses, their wages are likely to change. Depending on your employer, you may receive a raise or have your working hours shortened. Disability benefits can be affected by these changes if you are receiving them or applying for them.

In the event that your income exceeds the maximum allowed amount:

  • Benefits can no longer be received
  • The Social Security Administration must be notified of the change
  • You may be asked to repay benefits you have already received if you did not report your income increase in a timely manner and continued receiving benefits you were no longer eligible to receive

You may experience the following consequences if your income decreases:

  • Benefits may be greater than what you currently receive
  • Report the change to the Social Security Administration
  • Your new income status may need to be demonstrated to the SSA

The SSA's income requirements are closely monitored by disability lawyers. According to your income level, they can determine if you are eligible for potential benefits.

Disability Benefits For The Self-Employed

In the case of self-employed individuals, the rules are more complicated. People who generate income in the following ways could be affected:

  • Contracting
  • Freelancing
  • Owning and operating an online business
  • Self-employment income of any kind

Self-employed individuals cannot earn more than the SSA's income limit if they want to apply for cash benefits. Even if your income is below the limit, Social Security may consider the amount of time you spend at work. Thus, proving your income when applying for benefits is a confusing process. You can trust Social Security Disability attorneys to assess the information you need and validate the accuracy and completeness of your application.

Work History Required To Qualify For Benefits

The SSA requires the following information when you apply for permanent disability benefits:

  • When your medical condition caused you to be unable to work (the day of disability)
  • Employment status and history
  • Your primary job duties

When the SSA receives this information, it will assess your work history and the degree of disability to see what skills you learned, what responsibilities the disabled worker had, and how physically demanding your jobs were. Through this evaluation, the SSA is able to determine whether there are any skills or abilities that might be transferrable to other jobs.

Work Credits And SSDI Benefits

Depending on your work history, you must earn enough work credits to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). When you earn a certain amount of income throughout the year and work at a job that pays into Social Security, you earn work credits. The maximum number of credits you can earn per year is four.

Most likely, the disabled worker has enough work credits to meet the Social Security Administration's requirements if they have previously worked at a full-time job and have recently stopped working. Your employment history can be obtained from your insurance company and reviewed by your attorneys to determine the strategy for your eligibility review.

Insufficient Work Credits

A disabled worker may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if they lack enough work credits for SSDI. People who lack enough work credits throughout their employment history can still apply for SSI benefits, even if they have low incomes and few assets. The SSI program may be for you if you do not earn much money and have only worked part-time or irregularly throughout your life.

Aside from counting a number of different types of income toward SSI program limits, it also offers some exemptions and exceptions, such as owning property and living in it as well. The requirements for this program can be determined based on your financial information.

Proving Your Work History

Disabled workers will be required to submit documentary evidence related to the following categories with your application.

  • Employment status and history
  • A comparison of past and current income levels
  • You may rely on other financial resources
  • Current and past medical conditions
  • Status of citizenship

Part-time Job And Disability Benefits

In the event that you are unable to work, temporary disability benefits can provide you with financial resources. Many individuals, however, will be able to work part-time or full-time after their conditions improve.

Ticket To Work Program

It is possible to participate in this program if you are receiving SSDI benefits. As a trial period, the SSA gives you the opportunity to work regularly. This is a "test run" to determine whether you will be able to return to work. 

The benefits you receive during this period of time will remain the same. Continuing to receive benefits after stopping work due to your disability is an option if you are still unable to work full-time. Within a five-year period, you have a maximum nine-month trial work period (TWP). If you want to use that time over several years, you can do that all at once.

Other Work Incentive Programs

There are other work incentive programs available to you if you are not eligible for the Ticket to Work program. Pages 12-15 of the SSA's Red Book list some of these options. It can be helpful to speak with a Disability lawyer if you have questions about these programs or the eligibility requirements for disability benefits to ace the eligibility review.

Importance Of Social Security Disability Lawyers

Many applications are denied at the beginning of the application process by the SSA. Disability benefits are a vital part of your financial stability, which your attorney understands. The following are some of the ways lawyers help their clients:

  • Checking your application for completeness
  • Explaining the process of applying and appealing
  • Timely completion of tasks
  • Assisting you with administrative law proceedings
  • Providing answers to your questions
  • Keeping track of your compensation claims status
  • Providing the Social Security Administration with information about your healthcare.

Lawyers who specialize in disability claims typically review thousands of cases during their careers. The experience they have working with medical evaluators and in the evaluation of applications and determination of the ability of the claimant to work while receiving benefits allows them to determine the strength of your application. The attorney fees are entirely dependent on the outcome of the SSD hearing. If the outcome of the hearing does not result in a financial incentive, there are no attorney fees due.

Applying for Social Security benefits can be an overwhelming process. If you are interested in seeking SSDI benefits, check out our article on North Carolina and Social Security Disability benefits. To learn more, visit DisabilityHelp.org today!

Zoey Appleton
Zoey has worked with Cheri for years and has been creating the best articles not only for Disability Help but for our readers. Her job hits close to home for she has a brother with special needs. She hopes to see science and technology pave the way for a better life, with Disability Help to cover it and share it with those that need it.
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