Collecting Disability While On The Job
Many people mistakenly believe that if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits you have to be totally unable to work. That is not the case and it is possible to be gainfully employed and still receive some SSI disability benefits. The Social Security Administration applies a very precise formula to determine how additional income affects SSI disability benefits.
The first thing that the SSA does in calculating how work will reduce your SSI disability benefits is to disregard the first $65 of income that you receive in a given month. That threshold of income is bumped up to $85 if you do not have any other income. Next, your disability benefits are reduced $1 for every $2 of income you receive in a given month.
For example, in 2012, if you receive $250.00 a month in income and that is your only income, the Administration will calculate your benefits as follows.
• $250.00 – $85.00 = $165.00. This means that only $165.00 of your monthly income will figure into the calculation for reducing your benefits.
• $165.00 ÷ 2 = $82.50. This means that $82.50 will be reduced from your monthly benefits from the SSA.
• If you receive the maximum amount of $698.00 (subject to COLA increases each year) per month, your new benefit amount for the month will be $698.00 – $82.50, for a total of $615.50 per month.
If you require the use of additional items to help you work, the costs of those items can be deducted from your monthly income if: (1) you have paid for the items yourself; (2) you will not be reimbursed by your employer for those expenses; (3) you can provide the Administration with proof of payment; and (4) the Administration approves your expense. The Administration calls these items “impairment-related work expenses” and they are deducted before the Administration reduces the benefit amount by $1 for every $2 in earned income.
Blind disability benefit recipients can also receive special deductions for any of their work related expenses. The SSA calls these expenses blind work expenses. These are deducted after the monthly benefits are reduced.
If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law Offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.
Very informative article. It can be difficult to explain the effect that working has on SSI benefits but you did a great job.
: I started collecting ss at 62, went back to work at 63, am 69 years old, still work part time. Still working, recently diagnosed with severe degenerative disc disease L5-S1. Large ovoid left paracentral disc extrusion. I work 24 hrs per week at Costco. I am 69 years old and collect social security. Can I file a claim for disability benefits also? Taking prescribed drugs for the severe pain in both hips and legs currently. Afraid if I continue to work, will further damage discs.
I’ve been a nurse 42 years and it’s caught up with me. Diagnosed with moderate multilevel degenerative spinal disc disease with moderate central stenosis at L4-5. I am unable to do my per diem job as a hospice nurse the past two months. I only worked two twelve hour night shifts per month. Can I file for disability? I am receiving SS.
at the age of 42 I changed careers and went to work for the City of Boston NO SSI taken out. The previous 24 years I payed into SSI. I will be turning 62 in November and I am still planning on working am I eligible to collect my SSI benefits while still working for the city
I have been receiving benefits for years, no one told me that I could have collected money for my wives son. I supported him till I went on ssd. People told me that I could have gotten half of my money for him.