It depends. The Social Security Administrations does have some programs for people who have been approved for disability to try to return to work full-time and in some cases you can work part-time. The first step in every disability case is are you working? And if you are working, how much are you making? If you are working and making more than substantial gainful activity (SGA) which in 2018 is $1,180, Social Security can determine that you could do a full-time job. However, there are some exceptions. If you have been approved for Disability Insurance Benefits (called Title 2 benefits, SSDI or DIB) and have not worked at SGA for at least 12 months, you can try a trial work period. The trial work period allows you to test your ability to work for nine months. You’ll receive your Social Security Benefits as long as you report your work and continue to have a disability. In 2018 a trial work period is any month in which your earnings are over $850.00 a month. The trial work period continues until you have used 9 months within a 60-month period. After your trial work period you have 36 months during which you can work and still earn benefits for any month your earnings are not over SGA.
If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (called Title 16 or SSI) your SSI payments may go down. Your SSI payments are based on how much other income you have. When you earn more than your SSI limit, your payments will stop for those months. If your only income is SSI, they won’t count the first $85.00 dollars of your income. Each month your SSI benefits will be reduced 50 cents for every dollar you earn over $85.00.
What is important to know about either program is that you always tell the Social Security Administration when you start working, your duties, hours and pay. It is also important that you report expenses for working. Expenses can include: transportation, childcare, employment services such as job coaching, supplies to start and maintain a business, uniforms and safety equipment.