Does It Matter How Many Hours You Work While Receiving SSI?

by | Aug 22, 2023 | SSD Qualification

As you consider options for generating income while battling a disability, you may have specific questions about Social Security Disability benefits. Specifically, you may be focusing on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are wondering, “how many hours can you work on SSI?” then you have come to the right place for helpful information.

The summarized answer is that you can work while receiving SSI as long as your income level does not exceed the SSI income limit. Continue reading for specific information about how this works.

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Understanding SSI and SGA

Supplemental Security Income is a form of Social Security Disability benefit that is awarded when an individual proves that they are suffering from a severe medical condition that prevents them from performing a substantial amount of work. SSI is awarded on a financial and resources need-based system.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a substantial amount of work as any work that exceeds the substantial gainful activity (SGA) earning limit, which is $1,310 per month in 2021.

An important note is that SGA is not counted by hours but rather by how much you earn per month.

However, if you are self-employed, the SSA generally allows such individuals approximately 10 hours each week, with a limit of up to 45 hours per month.

Does Working While Disabled Affect Your Case?

We understand that it is necessary to continue working in some form while waiting to decide whether to apply for disability benefits. However, this may pose some problems to your case.

By displaying that you are able to continue working, the SSA may decide that you are able to work full-time at an easier job or submit you to working part-time at your current job.

Overall, it is more difficult to prove that your disability inhibits your ability to work if you are still working when you apply.

However, you cannot simply move to a part-time job to prove your disability. In this case, the SSA may also review how many hours you are able to work to receive your income level. If they see you are able to perform 20 hours of work per week, you may not qualify as disabled.

What is SSI Countable Income?

Another key consideration is that any income or benefit received from outside sources could affect your SSI disability pay.

The SSA will pay up to $783 per month in Federal SSI benefits. Your monthly benefit allowance is the difference between the Federal benefit allowance and what is known as monthly countable income.

Countable income consists of the following:

  • Wages paid from your job
  • Value of free food and shelter
  • Payments from other sources, such as unemployment or Veteran’s benefits
  • Supplemental income from family or friends

The SSA deducts the first $65 of earned income, plus half of the remaining amount you are paid each month.

– For example, if you receive $1,465 per month, the SSA will subtract $65, which results in $1,400, then half that amount to arrive at $700 for your countable income amount.

The SSA would then find the difference between the Federal SSI benefits amount and your countable income ($783 – $700). Through this calculation, your monthly SSI benefit amount would be $83 per month.

Find Help with SSI Benefits and SSI Qualifications

We know that each case is unique and the guidelines can be murky when applied to your situation.

That’s why we are prepared to lead you through the application process and answer all the questions you have along the way. Our team is knowledgeable about the entire process and we are ready to lend you a helping hand on the journey to receiving SSI.

Complete this form or contact us to get started on your application and to find answers for any questions you may have.

Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

    1. Do you expect to be out of work for at least 12 months?

    2. Did you earn taxable income for 5 of the last 10 years?

    3. Are you currently receiving disability benefits?

    4. Have you seen a doctor within the last 12 months?

    5. Are you currently working with a disability advocate?

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