The factors that determine whether or not you can work while on disability in South Carolina are complex. Different rules determine how much you can work depending on whether you receive benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. You do not have to figure it out on your own or risk a miscalculation that costs you your Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits when you need them most.
A disability benefits attorney near you can help you understand how to work and keep your SSD benefits at the same time. We can also help you prepare a comprehensive application for one or both programs, and will explain the income guidelines and limitations that govern the appropriate program.
- Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program
- Choose the SSD Benefits Program You Qualify For
- Let Our SSD Team Help Maximize Your Benefits
Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program
Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines allow you to work under certain conditions without jeopardizing your disability benefits. Under their Ticket to Work Program, you can receive the following benefits:
- Training and vocational rehabilitation
- Referrals and other forms of support
You can also receive incentives that support your desire to work, including the continuation of your medical and financial benefits. Our Social Security Disability benefits lawyer will explain what work you can do, how much you can earn, and how you can fight back if your benefits are discontinued because you started or resumed working.
SSA’s Income and Earning Threshold
Social Security considers substantial gainful activity (SGA) by the amount of income earned. For 2022, the SGA limit is $1,350.00 per month. Its best to consult with an attorney if you want to work while waiting for your disability application to be approved, or if you have already been approved and you want to work on a limited basis. If you exceed teh threshold, you risk being denied or having your benefits terminated.
If you are employed, your income is counted as when you earn it, not when you receive it. If you earned income at the end of 2021, but it was not paid until the beginning of 2022, we make sure it is counted for the correct timeframe and not counted twice.
If you are self-employed, your income is counted when it is paid to you, not when you earn it. Some income is not counted at all. These include:
- Government benefits
- Investment income
- Interest payments
- Pensions and annuities
- Capital gains income
Sorting it all out can be overwhelming and intimidating. Our SSD lawyer will help you understand where your current income and earnings fit and how you can retain benefits while remaining part of the work force.
Know What You Are Required to Report to SSA If You Work
If you are an SSD recipient, you are required to report certain aspects of your work life and income to SSA officials. Do not delay making these reports. Either you or your representative must inform SSA when:
- You start working or stop working
- The number of hours you work changes
- Your work responsibilities change
- Your pay increases or decreases
- You have work-related expenses
- Your work-related contact info changes
You can report these activities and changes online, in most cases, and will be issued a receipt that confirms your reports and helps you document them. Like all important papers, you should save these. We may use them to build a case for you or to help formulate an appeal.
Choose the SSD Benefits Program You Qualify For
SSD benefits are available via two programs – SSDI and SSI. Each has its own qualifying criteria, but both require the same medical requirements. The application process includes an evaluation of your current employment. It also evaluates:
- Your personal information
- Your family dynamics
- Your financial picture
- The nature and severity of your disability
- Your completed SSD application
Your application will be processed, and South Carolina’s state agency will make a final determination. The process will start with your application to the right SSD program.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI benefits are designed to assist people who are considered insured. You may qualify if you worked long enough and recently enough and paid Social Security taxes during your employment.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI benefits are designed to meet the needs of people who are not considered insured. You may qualify if you are disabled and have little or no means of financial support and no available resources.
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Let Our SSD Team Help Maximize Your Benefits
If you enjoy working and want to continue to do so, our SSD benefits team can help. We will explain SSA guidelines, regulations, and income thresholds. We can also help with the application and appeals process.
Learn more about how you can work while on disability in South Carolina by contacting one of our Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC team members at (864) 582-1310.