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  • Christopher Le

Can I work after I am approved for Social Security Disability?

Yes. There is a rule called the Trial work period that allows you to work. The rules for a Trial Work Period are complicated. Below is an explanation as to how you can work and still continue to receive social security disability. (This is for year 2021)

1. Any month in which you earn LESS than $940 (gross meaning before taxes), you should still be able to receive your full benefit.

2. Any month in which you earn MORE than $940 (gross) will count as one month of a Trial Work Period. Under the trial work period rule, you get nine months total in a 60-month period, and they do not have to be consecutive. During a Trial Work Period month, you will still receive your full benefit amount, no matter how much you make. However, if you earn more than $1,310 per month, this is considered substantial gainful activity (SGA). If you earn less than the SGA limit during your Trial Work Period, your disability benefit amount will continue after the Trial Work Period. However, if you earn more than the SGA limit, then after your Trial Work Period, you will enter an Extended Period of Eligibility.

3. Once you use up all nine months of your Trial Work Period, then the $940 limit is no longer considered. At that point you enter whats called an 'Extended Period of Eligibility', which lasts for 36 months after the last month of your Trial Work Period. During this time, the $1,310 (2021) gross income per month limit is whats considered. This is the SGA amount. If you go over the SGA limit, then you will not get your benefit for that month. If you are under it, you will continue to get your benefit.

4. After the 36 months of your Extended Period of Eligibility, even if there is one month where you go over $1,310 (2021), your benefits will stop for good, even if you go under $1310 the next month. However, for another five years, you are eligible for reinstatement If you do stop working, you can restart your disability benefits without going through the full application process all over again.

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