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Can I Get A Part-Time Job And Still Receive Disability Benefits?

You receive Social Security disability benefits, but money is tight. Your friend tells you about a job opportunity that you think you could do — despite your disability — to make a little extra cash.

But if you apply and get the job, how will that impact your disability benefits? Is it even OK to take a part-time job while receiving benefits?

Actually, it is. If you earn less than $880 per month on the job, your disability benefits won’t stop. You will need to tell the Social Security Administration about your job: the day it started, what you do there, your monthly earnings and any expenses you incur to do that job – such as taking an Uber to work because you can’t drive.

You still can work and receive your benefits, under certain conditions, if you earn more than $880 and less than $1,220. Social Security wants beneficiaries to go back to work when their health allows, so this part-time job, at these wages, is considered to be a trial work period.

You must continue to be disabled and also report your work income under the trial work period.

Under Social Security rules, the trial period can go on until you have made $880 for any nine months during a five-year period.

When you hit that earnings limit of $880 to $1,220 nine times, Social Security will review your earnings. If your average monthly work earnings were higher than $1,220 in 2019 (or $2,040 if you are blind), you probably no longer will be entitled to benefits. Below that amount, the benefits will likely go on.

If your benefits end because your earnings are too high, they can be reinstated if your health causes you to stop working within the next five years.

Government rules can be complex and confusing. Before you accept that part-time job, it would be worth discussing your situation with an attorney experienced with disability cases.