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How Many Hours Can You Work If You Are On Disability?

Last updated: April 12, 2023

To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, several conditions must be met. If you work, you can earn just a specific amount and still qualify for assistance. For the majority of persons, the number of hours worked is irrelevant in comparison to the monthly SSDI benefit. Instead, what matters is the work credits you accumulate as well as your monthly earnings.

However, there are a few circumstances where the number of hours you put in at work does matter. You’d be surprised to know that whether you’re self-employed or work for someone matters a lot in deciding how many hours you need to put in. Keep reading to see if these circumstances apply to you. 

When Do Your Work Hours Matter

It is believed that if you earn over $1,350 per month, you are considered to be self-supporting. If you are on Social Security, your hours are not taken into consideration. However, the hours you work might matter if:

  • You are a self-employed individual
  • You are working at a business, such as an LLC or corporation

How Many Hours Can You Work While Self-employed?

Generally, self-employed individuals can work up to 45 hours per month (about 10 hours per week) and still qualify for disability payments if they are not the business's sole employee and do not earn considerable revenue. However, it is considerably more difficult than this. 

The Social Security Administration will conduct specific assessments to evaluate if a business owner is performing work beyond the SGA level, depending on the length of time the individual has been receiving benefits. For example, if you have been receiving disability payments for more than two years, you can earn a sizable income as long as you do not work more than 45 hours per week.

How Many Hours Can You Work For Someone Else?

The number of hours worked is less significant if you are not self-employed. In general, your monthly income is the most important factor in determining your disability eligibility. However, working an excessive number of hours may have an effect on your case.

For instance, suppose you work close to full-time hours although earning less than $1,350 per month. The Social Security Administration may determine that you are capable of working a full-time job and refuse your benefits. If you can work a lot of hours, convincing Social Security that you are disabled will be more difficult.


While the number of hours doesn’t really matter to the SSDI when they assess your application, there are two cases in which it would matter — either yore self-employed or you're working in a managerial position. 

If you feel like you may be eligible to receive disabilities, the next step is looking into how to file for disability benefits. You can also head to Disability Help for more resources on how to calculate the amount of disability payment you’ll receive. 

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Cheri Hermanson
Cheri leads our team of writers in producing the best quality content there is regarding society and disability, most especially those that helps ease the quality of life for our differently-abled loved ones.
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