If you have a disability or chronic illness, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. But if you plan to work while applying for Social Security Disability benefits, it’s important to understand how the process works and what types of work may affect your eligibility.
Self-employed individuals, including independent contractors, freelancers, and sole proprietors, may be eligible for Social Security benefits, depending on the amount and type of their earnings.
2. Employment with a Non-covered Employer
Some employers, such as state and local governments, do not participate in the Social Security program. If an individual works for such an employer, they may not be eligible for Social Security benefits.
3. Non-Work Income
Income from sources such as investments, pensions, or annuities may affect an individual’s eligibility for Social Security benefits.
4. Military Service
Military service may affect an individual’s eligibility for Social Security benefits, depending on the length and type of service.
5. Part-Time Work
Individuals may be eligible for Social Security benefits if they work part-time and their earnings meet certain requirements.
6. Seasonal Work
Seasonal work, such as farming or fishing, may affect an individual’s eligibility for Social Security benefits, depending on the amount and type of their earnings.
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)
SGA is defined as any work that earns you more than a certain monthly amount. The SSA sets the SGA limit each year based on the average wage index. For 2021, the limit is $1,310 per month for non-blind individuals and $2,190 per month for blind individuals. If you earn more than the SGA limit, you’re not eligible for disability benefits.
Special Rules For Blind Individuals And Non-Blind Individuals
If you’re a blind individual, the SSA has special rules for determining if your work is considered SGA. The SSA considers any work activity that requires special skills or abilities to be SGA and can count it against your eligibility for benefits.
For non-blind individuals, the SSA considers any work activity that requires significant physical or mental effort to be SGA. This includes full-time, part-time, and seasonal work.
How To Calculate Countable Income From Employment
In order to determine if your work is considered SGA, the SSA will look at the amount of money you’re earning from your job. This includes any wages, salary, or other payments you’re receiving.
Countable Earned Income
The SSA considers all income you receive from employment to be countable income. This includes wages, salary, tips, bonuses, commissions, and any other payments you receive for work performed.
Unearned Income And Benefit Payments
In addition to your earned income, the SSA considers any unearned income, such as Social Security benefits, pension payments, or income from investments, as countable income.
Factors That Affect Your Eligibility For Benefits
In addition to the amount of money you’re earning from your job, the SSA will also look at other factors when determining your eligibility for benefits. These factors include the type of work you’re doing, how often you work, and whether you can perform your duties.
The Application Process And Tips For Successful Claimants
Once you’ve determined that you’re eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you must complete the application process. This process can be confusing and complicated, so it’s important to understand the steps you need to take and the documents you need to submit.
Finding A Disability Advocate Or Lawyer
If you need help with the application process, you may want to consider finding a disability advocate or lawyer. An advocate or lawyer can help you navigate the process and ensure your application is complete and accurate.
Filing An Application For Disability Benefits
Once you understand the process and have all the necessary documents, you can file an application for Social Security disability benefits. The SSA will review your application and make a decision on your eligibility. If approved, you will begin receiving benefits.
Working while applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be complicated, but it is possible. It’s important to understand the types of work that can affect your eligibility and how to calculate your countable income.
You may also want to consider finding an advocate or lawyer to help you through the application process. With the right guidance, you can successfully apply for Social Security disability benefits.
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