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How Much Can I Earn and Still Collect SSDI?

If you work while you are collecting disability benefits, special rules apply:

Trial work period – you can work up to 9 months in any five year period and continue to collect disability benefits.  There is no cap on your earnings during the 9 month trial work period.  However earnings over a specific amount in a particular month will cause that month to count at a trial work period month.   If you earn more than $720 in a month in 2012, 2011 or 2010, that month counts as a trial work period month.  If you earned less than $720, that month would not count towards your 9 month limit.   In 2009, the trial work period trigger was $700, and in 2008 it was $670. In 2007, the trial work period trigger was $640, and in 2006, the trial work period trigger was $620.

Extended Period of Eligibility. After you have used up your nine months of trial work , Social Security looks at your earnings on a month by month basis for a 36 month “extended period of eligibility.”  During the extended period of eligibility, you receive your regular SSDI check if your earnings are not “substantial.”   If your earnings are “substantial” you are not eligible for a check in that month.  How much is “substantial?”

2012- $1010 per month
2011- $1,000 per month
2010 – $1,000 per month
2009- $980 per month
2008-  $940 per month
2007 – $900 per month
2006 – $860 per month

If you earn more than the above limits for a particular month, you will be asked to repay Social Security for any disability benefits received during that month.  SSA will literally review your earnings month by month – if you exceed the limit for a particular month, you will have to pay it back.

In addition, if your earnings record shows a pattern of work, SSA will likely review your case to determine whether benefits should be stopped.  This is called a “continuing disability review” and is an eligibility issue rather than a money issue, although the two often go hand in hand.

Note that special rules apply for blind disability claimants – a blind person can earn more money before his earnings are deemed “substantial.”

Here is a link to SSA’s web page about work incentives.

142 thoughts on “How Much Can I Earn and Still Collect SSDI?”

      1. @Nichole: lets say i make 700 in ssi and he make 9.00 dollars an hour @ 40hrs a week. we r engaged. how much would it affect my ssi payment if we got married.

    1. @tami:

      Yes, your husband’s income counts. If you weren’t married but living together, then you could get SSI. The only benefit, financially speaking, to being married is that you can get survivors benefits from Social Security when your spouse is deceased. So if you Social Security is small compared to your spouses, you could collect their Social Security.

      If you weren’t married, you could get food stamps and food pantry assistance. You can live a lot better if you are just living together and not be legally married. Being married can screw things up. But if you are wanting your spouses bigger than your Social Security check, then you need to be married a while. I’m pretty sure, you can’t marry them right before they die and collect survivor benefits. I would say the rules say that you must be married a while. So you would have to go without your SSI, food stamps, and other assistance for a while to get your spouses Social Security check.

    2. @tami: They count only in terms of dependant payments. For instance if your husband is collecting dependant checks from SSDI. If he is not collecting money, then he can make as much as he wants and it will not effect you at all.

    3. @tami:
      Yes tami it does.
      They look at himself as your provider & count his income as yours because, y’all are married they look at it as a combined income.
      I hope this has answered your question.
      Have a GREAT day. God bless.

  1. My husband has maniers disease and can no longer hear. He is a salesman and his employer will be asking him to step down in his position since he can not hear customers even with his hearing aids. He is 56. How long should it take to get on disability and where do we turn to for health ins? Do they usually turn down these cases for the first couple of years?

  2. I just started drawing my SSD last summer. However, it’s very hard to make it on this. I am in KY.

    I draw for my mental disability. I have bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression.

    I know you can work so many hours, but I have a very hard time finding a job. Going through about 6 years of my life and not being properly medicated now have things on my record. So every thing I apply for a job, it’s found. And I cannot get it expunged yet.

    I thought about going back to school, but I’ve here if you go back to school, they will say you obviously don’t need SSD. I feel like I’m in a bad position right now. Please give me some advise.

    m, ky

  3. Are you saying that if receiving ssdi in 2009, that you can work every month and earn up to $979/mo without any consequences? No trial period starting or anything?

      1. Im getting extra help to pay for my medicare premiums and i realize that if i work i can make up to 720 net pay. But if i make more income wouldnt i lose that help and have to pay for the premium, lose my medicaid as well lose my drug assistance coverage lose my foodstamps and WIC and then be in more financial trouble by working? It defeats the purpose of working. Also do they count child support as income? It may be pointless to even work at all


        1. @Laura: The govt should be providing all these things for us because we are sick and disabled, and we are minorities. It is offensive we are told to just “get job” by people who have never been sick , or had a loved one be sick , and who have never been through anything bad, or struggled. The govt exists to provide the basic needs to the people, especially those that are disabled and shouldn’t be working. I am a Type 1 Diabetic and forced to work twenty hours a week and buy my own health insurance, pay my own copays, pay my own phone bill, internet bill, and anything extra that comes up. It is cumbersome and puts such a strain on me, I will probably suffer from serious problems now. The second someone gets any sort of disability, it should be reported and that person should automatically get full benefits for life from SSDI, and everything should be paid for without question. No one has any sympathy anymore in this country. Every other nation does this for their citizens, and they are healthier for it. The lack of medical care and broken healthcare syste, is just one of the endless problems in this country , including poor education,too much religion, sexism, hate, inequality, attack on women’s reproductive rights, extreme poverty, pollution, police brutality, bad eating habits, opression of medical maurijuana users, and not enough available free contraception for all young college women. There are even more than that, I could go on for days. America is about freedom and equality, but only a small percentage of Americans have freedom and equality, and live the “American Dream” while the homeless problem rages on, and the food banks are having nationwide shortages, and the churches are making millions off sheepish people who should be giving that money to help a poor person in need. This nation has so much wrong with it. I am just glad Obama is around and trying to fix it, but the Republicans keep blocking him! I hope in another four years he can break that all down, and FINALLY , do what what needs to be done for the United States, starting with good socialized healthcare! I am sorry you are having the problems you are having. You are right, you shouldn’t have to all, that shouldn’t even be expected of you. Only in America do we tell people who sick, disabled, and unable to even barely get out of bed everyday, they need to go get some back breaking, laborous job that pays slave wages and demeans workers by bossing them around and barking orders at them all day. I understand what you are going through totally, and I am sorry. I come home from work and can’t do much but crash, and zone out. My blood sugar is so out of control because I am being forced to work so much, and I don’t have time to manage it now because I have to hold down an eight hours a day job! That is fine for non-diabetics, but for a diabetic, that is cruel and and unusual and my employer won’t change anything, or give me extra break times so I can rest or take a nap, which they should be required to by law. In Mexico they have siestas and it is productive in the long run. America needs to catch up with the rest of the civilized world and start being a part of the solution, instead of constantly the problem and burden!

    1. @Ann:

      is it true? this 2011 tell me what up?

      Are you saying that if receiving ssdi in 2009, that you can work every month and earn up to $979/mo without any consequences? No trial period starting or anything?

  4. I am 55 yrs.old and was approved for disability and qualify for disability
    rehabilitation vocational services my question is wise too work par-time for work making $8.00 per @28 or 32 hours a week.

  5. I am 55 yrs.old and was approved for disability and qualify for disability
    rehabilitation vocational services my question is wise too work par-ttime for work making $8.00 per @28 or 32 hours a week.

    1. @I’m 56 and have been waiting for approvial for disability for over 3 years. How can one speed up the disibility hearing? Also, can one work part time while waiting for a hearing. I was rrecently approved for Medicaid the judge ruled that the bipolar disorder would be around for 12 months making it impossible to work and that my copd is secondary. Any one got any answers.alfred hetherington:

      1. @jeff kennell:
        I hope your still not waiting for your approval
        But if so. my brother in law was waiting for two years

        Try this get two copies of all medical records that show you are disabled
        Write your letter state time frame and hardship Case no
        Send out a set with your letter to your congressman and the other set
        To ss main office Baltimore Maryland

        In two weeks my brother inlaw received his money
        Find a business person to write your letter
        Make sure you cc name of your congressman

  6. My question is when I turned 65 I went fro SSID to widows Benefits, and Medicare! I was wondering if I can work , either parttime, or full how much do I have to pay SSAdm. for working.I’. 68 now . when I was 65 I wanted to work but it wasn’t clear what I could do! I was on Medicade when I got Widows Benefit they took away my Medicade and paid for my Medicare which doesn’t pay much so I have to also! I’d appreciate some answers thanks

  7. I am about to do a special project/contract work with the Bureau of Census. The project is for 8 wks, and it pays $22.50/hr as well as .50 cents per mile with regards to public transportation.

    I’ve been getting SSDI for about 3 years now, but am totally unsure if this job could put my benefits at risk. If anyone knows, please feel free to educate me!

  8. I was just awarded permanent disability in Jan. 2010 at $1140 per month. I have been self employed but not making more than a few hundred a month this past year. however, looks like I can start to make quite a bit more now. Since it is self employment, what are my restrictions,when do I need to inform S.S. and do they take my gross or after I do a profit and loss? Very worried about losing it since it took two and a half years to get it.

    1. @Tami:


      I was self-employed and because I did my taxes as self employed it sparked a re-evaluation of my ability to work, not only did I get audited by IRS, I was also re-evaluated by SSDI and received a form that I had to fill out. After they received it, they said all was okay. Yet 3 months later a complete evaluation was done and I received more forms for my doctors and etc. It ended up being 6 months from hell. It was not worth all the stress, which sparked an episode of severe bipolar depression. I lost that job BECAUSE of my illness (even though the employer knew of my disability), because if “inconsistant performance”. Which is the definition of bi-polar disorder! After that experience I will NEVER attempt to work again. It was NOT worth it. I nearly suicided because I felt that I couldn’t live on $945 a month – even with food stamp assistance (the housing program here closed the list for assistance for nearly 3 years). Rent consumed 3/4 of my disability, and i was headed for homelessness. Because I was considered an “independant contractor” (even though my boss micromanaged my work) my tax rate was increased to self-employment tax I ended up owing IRS/SS etc., more than $800 that they were going to take out of my monthly diability. I’m telling you, if you are disabled – don’t ever make more than $500 a month – even making that much on a consistant basis will red-flag you for a disability audit.

      The goverment wants to avoid taxing the wealthy and corportations and to make ends meet they are putting A LOT of pressure on IRS and Disability to “clean house” to fix the economic woes that Bush (funding oil wars and terriost attacks and protecting the wealthy) and Corporate Banking and Wall Street lies and machinations has caused.

      I’m telling all of you – watch out, they are out to take your benefits – all of them by dismanteling the SS Admin, including medicare / medicade and other Fed and State benefits (including housing, foodstamps, medicare, medicaid, vocational rehab, mental health services, etc). If the program’s intent is to help the poorest of the poor it is being considered on the chopping block this very minute in order to avoid millionaire individuals and corporations from losing money that they would otherwise spend paying kickbacks, prostitutes, several luxury vacations a year, and lawyers and accountants highly trained at hiding illegal expenditures and immoral shennagicans.

      You are damned if you work, you are damned if you don’t. Work / Not Work? Choose which at this time is the choice that hurts YOU least IN THE LONG RUN. There will be a time, soon enough, that you will have to work because there are no more benefits. And if you are receiving benefits and you don’t deserve them – shame on you! You are hurting people who do need them IN A CATASTROPHIC WAY!

      1. Good comments from a person who has lived it. I’m only nearly 3 years into this disability thing and still waiting for a hearing. At that stage where I’m bored as hell and would like to work part time if I’m able. I’m bipolar and copd. I don’t want to put the disability in jeopardy but I sick of being poor. My attorney gave me a double talk answer sort like damned if you do and damned if you don”t.

      2. @Purple Muse:

        so is it safe to say i can still braid hair 1099 file tax ,claim my dependant ,get a tax refund
        while on ssiand ssd or how does this go cuz new york is on the take too to see a person

      3. @Purple Muse:

        hi, I too receive ssi for bipolar depression…I desperately want a part time job somewhere making no more than 500$ a month. Where can I find a job that would pay me this? Please help. I am desperate.

        1. So, are we truly allowed to work while on SDDI, without always living in constant fear of losing our benefits? I did not choose to be disabled, and would love my old pre-disabled life back. I’ve had multipul spine surgeries, which has left me with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibro, adrenal and thyroid issues, and all around diminished quality of life. I think our government should allow us to work if we can, or at least want to try, as we are always hearing what a drain we are on the system, and it makes me very depressed. I understand that we are only
          allowed to earn so much, as our SSDI benefit isn’t taxed, as we have already earned
          this money through our MANY years of previous work. My question(s) is this.
          If we try working, is vacation pay the company gives us, plus sick pay or bonuses considered “earned” income for the purpose of trying to figure out how much gross income we have actually earned each month, in order to make sure we don’t go over what is allowed? I do think our government should be a little more forgiving of those who are being honest,
          not being fraudulent with our health issues, and just working to help pay for our medications, food, drs. appts., and etc. We shouldn’t be made to feel like criminals either for becoming disabled, or trying to fight being disabled by trying to work some to feel more normal.

          If anyone has been through these issues, as far as being asked to send in pay stubs for SSDI to evaluate wether they’re working to much to keep receiving their benefits, which they have earned? I only work about 10 hrs. a week and some weeks, months I can’t even work at all, due to my condition. I’m so depressed, can anyone please help me with my questions, or help me understand what I need to do? Would it be better, if I just didn’t work at all? Thank you!

  9. I was in jail for 10 months in Florida. I was being payed while incarcarated by Social Security. They issued me a letter of overpayment of over $8,000.00. I moved to Illinois and went down to my local Social Security office and payed the overpayment. They said I would then again receive my benefits after 2 months since paying the overpayment. I have yet received a payment, I am wondering can they refuse me payment because of a bench warrant I have out still in Illinois, even tho not convicted? I was told a judge in San Francisco ruled that this was illegal and order millions of dollars repaid to recipients. Can you please advise me, thanks!

  10. From what I have found out by calling the 800 number for SSA, I can make $980 a month GROSS pay. And I can work 24.5 hours a week @ $9.00/hr. Before SSDI turns around asks for any money back from me because I made too much that month. But if you have any questions, you can always call the Medicare number to ask about your benefits and pay, etc.

  11. I understand that I am able to work while applying for disability albeit may harm chances of approval. My questions is does it change the ‘back pay’ to the most recent job. I haven’t been able to work in over two years, will it cut into my back pay if I get a part time job while waiting for approval?

  12. I received a recorded message from Social Security say that I could work from home part time and still be eligable to receive my full SSDI benefits and I would like to find out more about it . Is there a phone # or website that I could go to too get this info?

  13. I have terminal cancer and am being discharged from active duty Air Force, I will be collecting VA benifits of 100%. I am 34 and still able to work for the next few years. If I decide not to collect SSDI may I still work and is so are there any restrictions? Thank you in advance for all responces. Will

    1. @Will:
      I’m sure you had an answer to this one, but I’ll reply anyway,
      I have been diagnosed with 100% PTSD, 50% sleep apnea, and 80% More for other include the early signs of Lou Gherighs disease to a Total and permanent of 230%. I now know that my Lou Gherighs disease isn’t getting any better, so there’s a chance i start losing my memory SOONER than later..My Point here is, after being told that I’m going to lose ALL my memory and some..well, to me thats TERMINAL also. <with that said..I will live out my life with everything I've earned. WORK again? I'm retired and retired from LIFE, for all the years i've worked BEFORE and after I retired The Active Army(20+yrs). I DESERVE to NOT work anymore! The ONLY work I will be doing is trying to FIND an EXTENSION to my LIFE! So should YOU!
      YOu have been diagnosed with TERMINAL CANCER! TERMINAL! Wake up..GOD IS GOOD and YOU MAY BE CURED ONE DAY, but you WON'T FIND your cure WORKING! LIVE out your LIFE as GOD wants you to. LIVE out your LIFE and take care of YOU! Your Country OWES you for your service. Social Security OWES you, because you've EARNED IT..I PRay you are seeking a cure and NOT WORKING away the REST of your LIFE! God Bless and Thank you for your service!

  14. I have a question, I am collecting SSDI and just recentlying got a letter for Disability Update Report. I started going to school online and wanted to know if this is going to affect my SSDI? I only put maybe 10 hours a week in for school and there is some days that I just do not feel like doing anything. It is so different from working full-time and on a set schedule. Please help if anyone can. Thank you

    1. @Lisa Koffler:
      SSDI does not increase every year. I have been on SSDI for 18 years and just like the year 2011 there was no cost of living increase. This has happen numerous time over the years for the goverment will release a report saying there is no cost of living increase.
      When there is a cost of living increase it is only 1 to 3% and the Medicare part A and B is raised to in which they 0 out each other so you do not get more cash each month.

      1. The cost of living increase was not given to all social security recipients regardless of disability or retirement since Obama took office. For the year 2012, it was the first year that they finally gave ALL social security recipients a cost of living increase. Yu are right they did send out a letter stating that there was no icrease in living expenses for those years, even though we all know there was.

  15. My question is, what can a person make per year in this 2011 year without worring about
    SSDI getting in the way. I do collect SSD & need advise as to how much per year I can earn without losing my SSDI

    1. @Salvatore Agro: The maximum that you can earn as of 2011 is 1000 dollars and not 1 dollar over, unless it is gambling winnings,work bonus (must state on pay stub bonus), inheritance, workers comp pay or insurance payments.I know for I have been audited 5 times over the last decade when my amounts are over the current limit for that year. Long as you have all documneted records you will be threaten by the goverment until you can prove were all monies come from.

  16. A plead for help! Question; the short of ot; i am a disabled man,single parent of the most bestist,wonderful,honor-roll student, beautiful little 10 yr. Old princess. (Sorry bout that, my little Rodia is all the inspiration in my life, i am so very thankful for her.// Ive been on S.S.D.I. since 2004. I pay 550 per month for the current apartment that i, which is a one bedroom, and at which in all reality, is literally my ndaughters apartment. My living arragements, ( and as its been the same throughout our 1-1/2 yrs. Residence at the apt. Previous to our current, mainly has included bouncing arround from sofao to fold-up cot, in small places around our livingrooms, trying always, my best, to not interfere with the neatness of our furniture. (This is not a complaint,its simply a worded picture of my familys reality); ” please help if u can// i pay 550 a month for rent out of the 674 per month i receive from s.s.d.a.// i never had any of the child support thing that i guess, typically u hear of that comes from the father-to-mother. Not that situation in this matter of course. In this matter the father, me, has the child. And no-matter,as long as i am breathing, thats my little angel,and she will, and always will get everything i have for her well being. //please communicate assistance with me. Mainly, housing n low income programs. I really need a 2 bedroom apartment as close to my daughters school as posible. My daughter is a happy little girl. Thats great! Im living to make her happy everyday. My child is happy n haves fun all the time. When she is happy, she does exceptionally better in school,–and therefore, inturn,makes me happy. GREAT RIGHT? RIGHT. please help. Apartment info., job info. Prayer. I have to find a way to make thing better for myself before i stress myself n back-burnner myself to a pulp. Because, knowing that in order to take care of my only child, i have to manage n secure, at the least, a fair wellbeing for myself….( so far, ive been promising myself that i will get to, me, after i take care of my daughter. Dont get me wrong. I am so very thankful that ive managed to keep my daughter happy on a day to day basis. And equally as important, that we have thankfully managed to keep her on honor-roll status in what is now her 5th grade. ………

    1. Why are you not drawing money from Social Security for your dependent? Usually it’s more then your own check. At least SSDI is that way. Not sure about SSI

  17. Hello, I was just approved for SSD effective September this year. The amount is half the amount I live on now from my job’s short term disability. My case will be reviewed in September for my jobs long term disability.
    1. Can I still receive my long term disability from my job and get my SSD benefits so I can survive? I cannot even pay rent with what is awarded to me and I am worried of my survival, like rent, food, medical and car payment. I worked before I became ill and all this was just sudden.
    2. How much is the most I can work part time and still receive my SSD benefits.
    3. Can I get insurance or continue with the insurance on my job if long term is approved?
    4. Is there any help with my rent so I can continue to live where I am?
    Thank you.

    1. @Maureen:

      The deal is this. Now, I receive as much as I earned work units for on SSDI but because I also had Long Term Disability they got out of having to pay me the full amount I’d contracted for. They just the few hundred dollars difference between what SSDI paid what I would have received from my purchased insurance.

    I asked my ATTORNEY and she said
    the quoted rules are not always followed and
    you could lose ALL YOUR BENEFITS and then have to go to court
    to prove that you were WITHIN THE EARNINGS LIMITS STATED

    Before you go ahead get an attorney who will give you
    a free initial consultation

  19. I am on ssi if i was to try to work part time will I still be able to draw my ssi check and how much am I allowed to earn a month to be able to keep my ssi check

  20. If I work while on SSD, will my withholdings be added to my Social Security earnings thereby increasing the amount when I retire? Somebody told me that I’m stuck with the amount I currently get and it remains the same even if I work because the extra earnings will be used to pay the national debt. Is this true?

  21. i am currently drawing 1402.00 a month disability for severe hearing loss in both ears am i able to do a lil on the side for extra money to cure the boredom????

  22. If you have ssi income for a teenager who is sixteen he wants to work how many hours can he work before it effects the ssi benefit amount

  23. My husband has liver failure, I want to have him declared disabled by social security,
    but do not want benefits at this time. Can he draw a salary and if so how much ?
    any help would be appreciated.


  24. my husband and son are both collecting SSI,, my other 2 children are not,,, can i work out side the home and if so , how much am i allowed to make before it starts to affect my husband and sons bennifits?

  25. My brother is 65 (66 on 6/5/12) and receiving disability social security. My brother has a part time job driving a school bus for 20 hours per week at $14.00 per hour. How much money can he earn without affecting his social security benefits?

  26. Hello All I get SSDI Also and yes you can work and you can not make more than 400 to 500 amonth I just called SSI office that what they told me and about all others who gets SSDI and they r going to school yes you will lose ur SSDI Bcuz Your getting paid from the state to go to school right? if not no ur ok they want Us to go to school Thank you all good luck


  28. I have been on SSDI since 2004 and was a nurse for 12yrs.I get less than anyone I know and most of them did not work at a proven job for any length of time,however,they do live in a “certain” county.I thought the regulations were the same every where but I guess not,huh?
    Also,I am very confused about this not being able/being able to work while you are on SSDI and getting any amount of income.I thought you could but had a monthly limit but I called the 1-800 number and talked to someone very nice but confusing because he told me that there was NO limit and we (girlfriend was here so she listened too)could make as much as we wanted and that included inheritance too. Like I said I’m confused because my girlfriend is a caretaker and she just had to send her bi-annual paper in to welfare in which they ask everything including how many squares of toilet paper you use when you wipe and they told her she had to quit caretaking the first of Nov. or she would loose hers-well it would cost her $400.00 month so she can’t do that so who do you believe?
    Can anyone give me an answer that is correct and true?

  29. I am about to turn 69 and still work full-time making about 50,000/yr. I do not plan on leaving my job for several more years–I love it. My husband is 73, retired from his job, and receives SS. Would I receive my full benefits from SS? Or would I receive reduced benefits?

    1. @Rosalind Mayberry: First and foremost check with the Social Security Admin. First of all since you have reached age 66 you are entitled to a full Social Security payment. Every year you wait beyond age 66, the payment will increase. I believe age 70 is the cap though.

  30. How much can I earn monthly before my SSDI is taken away? I am talking about for those who want to work for the duration… I am not talking about any trial 9 month periods or 36 month periods. I mean, as an example: I earn $300 to $400 dollars a month with a part time job that I keep for many years, will my SSDI payment be reduced or taken away? Oddly enough, I have been all over the SSA website and they don’t state this.

    I may be able to get some freelance work from home. I am bipolar and cannot work with others but, I can manage work loads that are very small and not too stressful. Freelance work could help me out but, I don’t want it to be my undoing.

  31. To whom it may concern:
    I’ve been receiving SSDI benefits for 3 years now…. And I’m ready for work I’m constantly bored sitting @ home collecting the $$$ and I enjoy working especially with new ppl what I’m trying to say is can I go back to work and still collect my benefits or is my life over because of a disability…. It upsets me that this condition can cause so many problems such as not working, not enjoying the pleasure of making a living independently, can’t qualify for food stamps cause you make to much, and the thought of embrassment cause you don’t want to scare ppl off with a mental illness…..hopefully I get response from this:) God Bless

    1. @Kiki: i have been on perm. disability for 9 yrs, dur to bi-polar. in those yrs i have workrd on and off. i have always explained to my employer that it must be part-time because of my disability and i cannot make more than what ssdi allows.(which i keep a check on) i always let ss know i am working. i have never been red flaged are questioned by ss about my working.i work to earn more money of couse because my disability only is $728.00 a month. i receive no food stamps. my medical is all paid for by medicare and medcaid (thank the lord) but, the main reason i work is to keep my sanity in check. otherwise i would sit at home and never see anyone. my doctor also says it is best. so kiki, just keep up with the laws with what u can earn. and i always keep it below that amout even if i can earn more. best wishes and may god watch over u.

  32. does what i claim on a w-4 effect my social security disability insurance? ? does that effect the before trial work period, what about the substantial amount does it effect either one or no?

  33. I am on SSDI since I was 62 and I am now 64 . When i turn 66 can i go back to work and not be penalized for being on SSDI since SSdI converts to social Security?

  34. i have ra. and can not work all the time .iam in pain all the time so my doctor wrote a letter saying i will never get any better .so i should go on disabilty .so i had my call with ssd and she said i could work as long as i dont gross over 1000 a mounth so i cut my hours to keep my work when i get aproved do i have to stop working .?

  35. i just started working a couple of weeks ago and my husband is on unemployment . i wused to get ssi i think where i am a diabetic and when my husband worked they went by my husbands income. well now i am working just sitting and taking care of a lady . they told me when i wasnt working he could make up to 2,200.00 a month and i would still get medicaid and some money. but now i work is it the same way.

  36. I’m receiving disability from Sedgwick and as of this month, SSDI too. I have a combination of mental disorders (Ptsd, anxiety, depression) and ortho (degenerative disk disease) problems. I was wondering if it’s possible to attend grad school? It would be very difficult for me to do it if I was accepted, but I feel like I am just sitting around waiting to die. I figure if I can force myself to go through school, it will almost be like therapy for me. I have read all different opinions on this subject and I don’t know what to think….so confused and scared. I have to undergo a yearly review for both the private and SSDI benefits. Will they ask if I am attending school? If so, how can I make them understand that this is my last chance to try to be able to function as a normal person? I mean, I figure if I mess up and can’t get through a grad program, it’s not going to interfere with my ability to survive financially. But at least I would be trying. Having said that; what are the chances they would stop my disability benefits? Not only would I lose the income I need to survive, but I would also lose Medicare and not even be able to see the doctors i need for my conditions,,,,or get the meds i need. Thanks for reading this.

    1. @jea:

      Hi! Same thing…you know what pisses me off about this system in the US right now? Once you get public help, you’re basically screwed from ever being able to work or go to school, (which can often help us get off the disability they so desperately want to take us off of anyways), if you want to collect it again. It’s a you’re screwed if you do, you are screwed if you don’t.

      I need the same answer as you. I have been on permanent disability for about 14 years, and because of the medical benefits, mainly, I can’t afford to get off of it. At the same time, if I could start working again, to see if it is possible, I lose the medical benefits- the ones I need- to afford to stay mentally healthy so I could work again. It’s an impossible situation.

  37. I am on ssdi. I recently sold my grandma’s quilts and earned over 17,000 for them. Will this affect my ssdi? This was not work but my husband sold the quilts and the people who bought them sent me a 1099. Is this still considered working? I was selling off my treasures to get more money to pay bills.

    1. @Lylatree:

      How did they send you a 1099? Did you give them your Social Security number? You shouldn’t have give them your Social Security number? Seems like the person that you sold your quilts to is treating you like a supplier. Also, since somehow they got your Social Security number, they reported it to the IRS as you supplied them $17,000 worth of merchandise for their store. So yeah, I guess you would have to fill out a 1099 form. Next time, do not give them your Social Security number. Or just give them a fake one. If they say you have a couple of numbers missing on your SSN; tell them oh, “12” (The film “Big”). Or if you have two many numbers added on to your SSN; tell them to take off “5” (The film “My Blue Heaven”).

  38. I am in SSD, I do have an IRA and I would like to withdraw money from it. How much I can withdraw in a years (per month) without affecting my benefits?. Do I have to file taxes the following year?


  39. I am currently on SSD and SSI. From what I can understand I can make up to $1000 a month including my SSD. However, I received unemployment for a few months thinking that would give me a little more income for a few months. Well I was wrong. They took away my SSI and my medicaid benefits. I know other people who work and only get SSD and still get medicaid or medicare. Does anyone know what I need to do to be able to work a part time job, keep receiving SSD and also get to keep my medicaid? I live in Louisiana if that makes a difference.

    1. @BP:

      Since you are older than 65 years old. I believe you can make $40,000 before Social Security starts deducting a dollar for every two dollars earned. Now, if you are under 65 years old, then it is like $14,000 a year. Of course, these income figures are for Missouri.

  40. im trying to find out how much i could make on ssd. i got a chart years ago from ssd that told me how much but i dont know how much,if any the total has possibly changed. thanks all for any input you can share with me on this.

  41. I have SSDI. Here are the current rules regarding earnings:

    Trial work period—The trial work period allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During your trial work period, you will receive your full Social Security benefits regardless of how much you are earning as long as you report your work activity and you continue to have a disabling impairment. In 2011, a trial work month is any month in which your total earnings are over $720, or if you are self-employed, you earn more than $720 (after expenses) or work more than 80 hours in your own business. The trial work period continues until you have worked nine months within a 60-month period.

    Extended period of eligibility—After your trial work period, you have 36 months during which you can work and still receive benefits for any month your earnings are not “substantial.” In 2011, we generally consider earnings over $1,000 ($1,640 if you are blind) to be substantial. No new application or disability decision is needed for you to receive a Social Security disability benefit during this period.

    More details can be found here:

  42. Does anyone realise that most of the answers are at the top of the page. Just read it. It lays it all out for you. The state you live in doesn’t change anything.

      1. @jginsberg: I receive SSI for my daughter (Aaren) for Autism. I married her dad and i didn’t report that i got married. My daughter is turning 18 tomorrow and ssi now sent me a letter about my name showing up with IRS (our taxes) and want to know is this me. Im soooo worried. I myself have had a stroke and didn’t apply for ssi. I want to work. My husband and I are separated but i allowed him to file us because he has help us a great deal. My question is how much trouble am I in. I been crying all day and worrying. I didn’t know that I have to report if i get married. I sooo confused right now. Im i going to jail.

  43. I have 3 disabled children who receive SSI. I am their representative payee. I would like to get a part time job this summer. How much can I make before it affects their benefits? Email me at if you have an answer. Thanks!

  44. i get a ssi check, and mediciad, is ther any hours i can work and not lose my check and mediciad ive been sick for the last 6 years but would like to try to work if possibile. dont want to lose anything cause i see a mental health dr every 2 and a half months still on my medicines.

  45. I don’t mean to be “unsympathetic”, however, if you can work part time and earn up to a certain amount in order to keep your benefits, then I honestly think that “most” can get a full-time job and wean off of disability. I know there are some who absolutely need it because they are physically disabled or severely mentally disabled, but typically if that’s the case, you’re not able to work at all.

    There are reasons there are a lot of regulations regarding social security disability and that’s simply because it’s used and abused by a lot of people who can work and for one reason or another, choose not to. I have my opinions on the “why”, but I won’t get into them here. If this is you, then take the disability and lower your standard of living to be able to be self sufficient without needing to take a part time job (you may have to do a number of things including: room with someone, stop smoking, stop drinking alcohol, stop taking drugs, stop eating out, get rid of your car payment and buy a “hooptie”, shop at the goodwills, stop gambling, give up your vacations, etc.). It’s not there to make you rich, it’s there to help you survive at the lowest level because you’re not ABLE to work.

    I know exactly what I’m talking about because I know several people (or know of) who are on SSDI and they are perfectly capable of working fulltime. They’re able to travel, go to bingo twice a week, go to the casinos, go to the beach, work for cash, under the table jobs, go shopping, go to the park, etc., however, the only aspect of life their disability affects is their ability to work. I’ve never seen a disability that “shuts off” at home and turns on at work.

    Again, I’m not being all-inclusive because there are definitely people who need it, but I would be willing to wager that at least 50% (and that’s probably very conservative) of the SSDI recipients are able to work a full-time job and take some of the burden off of the taxpayers and put more money in the pockets of those truly disabled or those retiring who’ve paid in their entire lives. I hope they get even more strict and make it very difficult for people with minor physical or mental disabilities to obtain benefits. That’s the only hope of saving social security as a retirement supplement meant for those who work and pay into it throughout their lifetime.

    There has to be an equitable solution and hopefully someone comes up with it soon or all the money myself and my employer are paying on behalf of me (an the millions of others), will be sucked up by many that could very well be gainfully employed. But because of low goals and settling in life, they would rather stay at home and bring in $1000/month in disability (easy money) rather than work a full-time job making probably much more. It’s very frustrating.

    Those who bash my comment are most likely those I’m strongly referring to. The others are the ones who legitimately need it and (oddly enough) probably agree with me.

    We need reform and quick!

    1. @Michelle: It’s not the fact that they WANT to work. Its that they are forced to work. How can anyone live on what SSD pays? I have a cripeling disease that is making me lose muscle and some use in feet legs arms and hands, BUT there is NO way I can live on my SSD check. Working part time to help with finances doesnt make people on disability bad people. It just means they want to survive. Can you live on $700.00 a month having children or even NOT having children. In todays society I can answer that question for you NO you could not. So for you to say what you said was completely uncalled for unless you are in those peoples shoes and see what they have to go through just to survive on little to nothing.
      Take this how you want, But you just cant understand what its like living your life the way we do.
      You are right about one thing though. I bet there are more people on disability then should be. I also know someone that is on SSD and every month goes straight to the casino. I am highly against that. That money is there to help you not gamble away.You did have some great pointers in your comment. I just hope you know where I am coming from as well.

      1. @Kiana:
        Ok, I am not on SSDI by choice. I became disabled at 22 years of age.I was drug free and did not drink alcohol. Just the cards I was dealt. Tried to work several times but never lasted even with good intentions. Social Security finally just told I would be better off not even trying to get a job.

        Well, this life really sucks. I do drink now and Iam pretty much a perscription drug addict. I live in a shithole and drive cars that barely make it around town. My family suffers financially and we live from check to check, no savings, ho house, and no assets. Yes, I do at least have internet due to the kindness of others.

        In other words I would rather have my health and a real job. SSDI doesnt even get my by, but at least I have medicare. WTF

    2. @Michelle: Michelle you don’t have a clue, just a republican that thinks everyone on SSDI are scammers. What you don’t know it is the program is called social security disability insurance. We worked and everytime we got payed we paided for Insurance. in case we we unable to work, I paid for it. Do you think the people that recieve AFLAC are scammers and could work , but don’t want to?
      No if people drop off the rolls of SSDI the outhers don’t get more money, That just shows how little you know about the program.
      Educate yourself.

    3. @Michelle: Some people really need ssi and ssd. HOWEVER, A LOT of people are straight up dirt bags. They work off the books making great money and collect. They complain its not enough, but they drive fancy cars, and spend money left and right. Also, let me scam ssi and ssd so I can get a check and insurance, then eat and sell all the pills I can. I have seen people get ssd and ssi live off it, and sell all the meds they get for this fake disability and make 4-8k extra. MAKES ME SICK!!!!! Then tjhose who really need it get denied and struggle. FUDGED UP SYSTEM!!!!!!!

    4. @Michelle:


      When I was young I heard of folks getting social security or ssi
      I heard if you have an addiction or one claims mental you get it a check

      Yes that is up setting

      Now I am old. I worked thirty years I need dialysis
      My kidney only function at nine percent
      Can I get my money before I spend my life dependent on a machine
      No I am still waiting

      It my money that I paid into the system for thirty years
      I understand what your saying , some folks apply for ssi
      Which is a small amount

      I suspect your money will be there when it is your time

      I would like to work I would like to go back to school and get more software
      Training . On the days I am free from treatment but
      after reading all the postings I am afraid our government has to.
      many restrictions and sounds like one could loose there ssdi

      Reform is needed


  46. My husband is 59, is self-employed and has MS. He is still working, however, he is in pain and feels he’s not going to be able to do this much longer. Some days he can barely walk at the end of the day. It takes him much longer to complete a job than it should.

    He wants to apply for SSDI (he’s been paying self-employment tax). Does he have to stop working altogether BEFORE he applies? If so, for how long? He doesn’t make that much as it is, and losing that income would severely hurt us financially. I work part-time and help in his business (unpaid). I realize I will have to find more work, but that’s easier said than done. We are considering going to Allsup or an attorney to file for SSDI, but the big question is can he apply while still working? We have read that two out of three applicatins are initially denied and that it could take six months or more to start receiving benefits and that we should definitely have an attorney file because of the self-employment.

    1. Deb, my experience has been that SSA will not even start an application for a working claimant. You raise a good point, however – how is a deserving claimant supposed to support himself and his family during the 2 to 3 years it takes to hopefully get approved?

  47. I am currently on social security disability for a heart condition. I have been collecting since 1990. I am now recieving approx $1,900 per month. My medication costs me about $00 per month and my rent and board costs me over $800 per month. I applied for food stamps in New jersey and wasa denied these benifits as they stated I made too much in SSI disability.

    I have recently been declared Legally Blind . Am I entilaled to any other benifits, either federal or New Jersey State benifits.

  48. Whatever the he** you guys want to call it, its supplemental income and aid that these people are looking for. Does it make sense to create a case for someone who has never filed before? Ain’t nobody trying to get rich off a government check.

  49. Id like to know what they base your disabilty on,I worked from 15 yrs old till I got hurt in 95 and I only make way less than 1,000 a month. And I made good money in some of my jobs. when I got hurt I had been running to differnt places for 3yrs because of a stalker so the jobs I got for three yrs wasnt very good, but before that Imade good money so why is it I get so little,

  50. I make $830 a month after taxes. I am Type 1 Diabetic, and I buy my own health insurance from my employer, which I should not have to do because of the diabetes. I also pay my own cell phone bill around $65 a month, and another $150 on a past medical bill. Neither I should have to pay myself I feel. Both those things should be provided for me because of my disease, because I am overweight, and because I am a woman. I also have been in a mental hospital for having a breakdown over a financial matters that were the fault of an ex and unfair bill collectors who harassed me to that point, so I can probably also “draw” SSDI based on the mental breakdown and get more. I live at home so I don’t have to pay rent, and I feel also shold get some housing subsidies that I feel I am entitled to also. I have been getting not stop calls about my past due student loans, none of which I should have to pay and should be forgiven by the govt I feel because of my disabilities. I don’t pay my own car insurance or gas my parents do as they should since I inherited this disease from them, so don’t have to pay that. My question is though that I do want to keep working until I get bored with that, but if I get Medicare from SSDI , then my monthly income will increase because I won’t be paying for private health insurance, that will raise my monthly income to about $1,000. So I risk losing my SSDI benefits. So should I just keep buying my own insurance, or just not report that and hope the IRS or whatever doesn’t notice? Or will the govt count in my expenses also and consider that? I don’t think I should have to find ways to make this work, or beg for it. I should automatically get all this stuff just for being diabetic, and having a history of other medical issues. Until Obama gets all this healthcare mess figured out though and gets us a good system of socialized medicine and housing, I guess us diabetics are forced having to do this to get what is owed to us for this terrible disease, even though in every other country, diabetics are provided for and taken care of, and overall have better healthcare and longer lives because of it. Also, I am overweight because I am diabetic. The insulin makes diabetics fat. It isn’t my fault, so that should count as a disability that I can draw from.

    1. Sharon, look at the rules that deal with a trial work period. Also, if you earn less that what is considered substantial, part time work will most likely not hurt you.

  51. want to resolsve the issue child Support, and and make appropriate arrangements to receive social payment for the child. by social Security Disability payment.

    I suffer a three massive stoke in 2003 in NY, almost die. I on disability and, I living in Costa Rica. The amount of child support ($55,000 reduce to $25.000). but I do have money, and the warrant arrest, also denied the passport. I am sick, the doctors say I need surgery. How can I do?

    I go to and the embassy in CR. They say that to go social Security (the Social Work- Health and Human Service) or online to provide Disability payment to vacate the case. No hepl. How can I do? Thanks for help. plaese.

    The social work say she need the birth (name, birth, address. #SS), and that the mother should go to social Security (the Social Work- Health and Human Service or, uest payment. or, punish the data (name, birth, address. #ss) for process same soon as possible.
    You understand the situation? I wait for the comment by mail. I can call you? waht number and waht time? Plaese reply… Thanks you,,!

    God Bless you,

  52. i am on ssid because of ra i’m 63 cant stand for long and walk only short dist. i draw 683 a month not on medicad or medicare they say i make to can you live on

  53. Are the amounts that are listed as to how much you can make before it messes with your ssdi. Are they net amounts or gross amount per month?

  54. what if u have a diability that is starting to take its toll. i am working part time unsure to apply for ssi or ssdi

    1. I am not aware of any limit specifically tied to gambling but whenever income appears on your earnings record (I assume that casinos report winnings to SSA), you run a risk. Gambling is an activity that could be considered substantial gainful activity and thus could disqualify you from collecting benefits.

  55. I am on SSDI with an autoimmune an disease. I have periods where I feel ok and do some art work. I can try to sell my art work but I’m afraid that any money I make even if under the limit will trigger a review. Since my illness waxes and wanes I would be afraid to be reviewed during a good periold and lose benefits only to have flares of the illness later. Is this a valid concern?

    1. Steve, in my experience, SSA sees claims in black and white – that is: either you are disabled or you are not. In theory, what you are doing should not raise any red flags, and given SSA’s budget crunch and lack of personnel to review approved claims, it most likely will not. However, any income showing up on your earnings record could trigger a review. You should be prepared to ask your treating doctor for a narrative report explaining the waxing and waning. Bottom line: I doubt you will have any problems but there is always a risk when earning show up under your Social Security number.

  56. The gross amount shown for one to earn while collecting SSDI for 2012 is $1010. Is this including the SSDI &/or SSI benefits? I only receive $718 a month from SSDI & SSI so, would this mean I can only earn an additional $292 a month?

  57. Serious problem I could have here.
    After 12 yrs of fighting disability for connective tissue disorders and without medical care big part why, I finally got it. The judge was kind enough to go all the way back to my last commission check to give me full DSSI, and not ssi. Plus he added everything thing on there even things we were not going for. However, that commission check was only a 4th of my income back then, so I am only getting 775 a month. The issue now is that I feel on a really bad sidewalk. tore both roter cuffs and both manipulas in knees. How can I get my $ due to without risking loosing my soc/sec! It will not be that much after atty and medicals. Still is substancial amount for me. Its not fair! If they pay me 2k for 4 years I loose my soc. I could work in that they pay my medical premiums i loose. But it took way too long to get my soc sec to play with it. How is the best way to handle it. I need another option please! Thanks 🙂

  58. I see the above. I guess it is time to ask this for many. since the laws have not been really upgraded to go with real infated ecomony… And people are trying to live off these 500-800 a month. its impossible for soc/sec to ask people to do this. To live in such povity. Its one thing not to give assit if its not needed, but another to make sure one has no heathly lifestyle at all. Most are disadvantaged to begin with. So my question is this.

    How are laws changed in social security? Why is attys not getting together with those disablied to fight this rule some so that people can survive better. Their figures are unrealistic. Everyone knows this. What would have to be done to change this battle?

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