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Federal regulations for working and getting SSD benefits

Some Florida residents receiving Social Security disability will want to try to get back to work, but are not aware of the federal regulations when retaining SSD benefits if they do so. When approved for SSD benefits, the claimant will not be able to take part in substantial gainful activity or SGA. The person cannot earn more than a particular amount on a monthly basis. In 2016, the earnings cannot surpass $1,130 monthly. For those who are blind, this amount is $1,820. It is important to have a grasp on the exceptions that are in effect for these rules.

A person who is receiving disability can have a trial work period. This is when the disability recipient wants to try to work again, but is unsure as to whether or not they are able to. The Social Security Administration will let the person work for nine months. The benefits will continue in full no matter how much is earned. At this time, earning more than $810 in a month will be viewed as a trial work month. A person who is self-employed can have a month in which more than 80 hours are worked viewed as a trial work month. The nine months can be within a time frame of 60 months.

There is also an extended period of eligibility. Once the trial work period ends, the claimant can continue receiving disability benefits when, over the course of a month, the earnings are less than the SGA threshold. This will last for 36 months. The claimant will be accorded extra protection if he or she cannot work on a consistent basis due the illness, injury or condition. In the event that the benefits ceased due to surpassing the limits, the claimant will have five years for them to be reinstated.

Expenses can also offset earnings. A person who earns more than the minimum allowed could have expenses related to the disability deducted. This will let the claimant lower the amount they have earned to below the level to continue receiving disability benefits. Needing to hire a taxi instead of taking public transportation can be an example of this.

Those who are receiving SSD benefits and considering getting back to work need to understand the various issues that can affect their disability status and benefits. It is important to take steps to become informed on these matters, especially if there is a loss of benefits or any other problem as a result of going back to work.

Source: The Motley Fool, "Can You Work While Receiving Social Security Disability?," accessed on May 29, 2016

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