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Can you work while on Social Security Disability benefits?

Social Security Disability is an essential protection for those who are injured and unable to work. So long as you have enough credits paid into the Social Security Disability program, you can seek benefits if you suffer a disability that makes it impossible for you to work a job often enough to support yourself.

If you are receiving Social Security Disability, you might think that you're not able to work at all, but the reality is that you can work a small amount. Here's more information on what you can and can't do.

Avoid gainful activities

If you are working, it can't be considered gainful employment. So, while you might be able to work a few hours once a week without penalty, 40-hour weeks would likely be considered "gainful."

If you feel that you can return to work, the Social Security Disability program does have work incentives. Some of the work incentives include being able to receive cash benefits for some time while you work, keeping Medicaid or Medicare while you start working and getting help with rehabilitation, training and education.

Use the Ticket To Work Program

The Social Security Administration offers the Ticket To Work program, which gives you access to training, job referrals, employment support and vocational rehabilitation for free. The program allows you to explore the option of going back to work without the immediate loss of your benefits.

Learn more about your options

Our website has more on Social Security Disability and what you can do if you would like to consider going back to work. You may be able to keep your benefits while you start a new job.

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