Whether or not you do have to quit your job to apply for Disability depends on how much your job pays. Applicants are not allowed to earn more than a certain amount per month, so earning “too much” on the job could disqualify you from receiving benefits.
If you have any doubts about whether your income qualifies you for Disability, a Social Security Disability lawyer from our firm can help. They are up to date on all of the latest rules and restrictions, and they can also help you file your claim.
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Current Employees Can Receive Disability, Too
The Social Security Administration (SSA) states that you can work and still qualify for Disability benefits, so long as you do not earn more than a given amount per month. This amount may change depending on which type of Disability benefits you apply for.
It is important that you understand the difference between each type of Disability benefits, as they are completely different. A lawyer who handles Social Security Disability cases can tell you definitively which type you qualify for.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
SSDI is for workers who become disabled through an injury or illness and are no longer able to work the way they used to do. A disability, according to the SSA’s definition, is any condition that prevents you from earning a living for twelve months or more, including:
- Certain types of cancer
- A physical disability, such as heart disease or osteoporosis
- A mental illness, such as schizophrenia or obsessive-compulsive disorder
- An intellectual disability, such as brain damage, caused by an accident
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI has no work requirements at all. The following criteria apply:
- Age: If you are over retirement age, you do not have to have a qualifying disability to receive SSI.
- Disability: If you are under retirement age, you must meet the same disability requirements as SSDI applicants—that is, your condition prevents you from working for at least twelve months.
- Available resources: All of the countable resources at your disposal—to include income, stocks, land, real estate, and other benefits—must be worth less than $2000, according to the SSA.
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Meeting the Work Requirements to Receive Disability Benefits
There are several work and income requirements you must meet before you can begin receiving Disability benefits.
If you are applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you need to have a qualifying work history before you receive those benefits. This means you must work in a position that is covered by Social Security for a certain number of years before you can begin to collect SSDI.
The number of years you have to work before you can receive SSDI depends on your age, how recently you have worked, and your specific situation. A Social Security Disability lawyer can help you calculate how many work credits you have.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) sets income limits based on the cost of living, the applicant’s condition, and the type of benefits you are applying for.
In general, SSDI applicants are not allowed to earn more than $1,350 per month as of 2022. If you are capable of earning more than this, your condition is not sufficiently disabling by SSA standards.
The eligibility of SSI applicants is determined not only by their income level but also by the total resources they have access to and can rely upon for support.
Exceptions to These Requirements
The above are general rules and do not apply to all cases. For example:
- The monthly earning limit for people who are blind or have low vision is $2,260.
- Children with qualifying disabilities can receive benefits.
- Unmarried adults with qualifying disabilities that began before age 22 can receive benefits.
- Surviving spouses, including divorced spouses, between the ages of 50 and 60 with a qualifying disability can receive benefits, depending on when their disability started.
Our legal team can help you figure out which program you qualify for and how to prove your eligibility.
What If I Decide to Go Back to Work?
The SSA offers something called the Ticket to Work program for beneficiaries under retirement age who wish to reenter the workforce. This program:
- Allows those receiving SSDI to work for up to nine months
- Continues to pay beneficiaries full benefits, regardless of how much they earn during their nine-month trial period
- Is a safe way for SSDI beneficiaries to figure out if they are able to work long-term and support themselves without Disability benefits
Call for a Free Consultation
Before you quit your job to apply for Disability, reach out to Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for guidance. Our team handles Disability cases just like yours, and we are eager to help you pursue the benefits you deserve. Take advantage of a free consultation.