How Does Working Affect My Disability Check?

Artwork: Robin Mead


If you are going back to work while on Social Security Disability, there are two questions you may wish to consider.

Question One: Will Working Affect My Medical Disability Review?

The answer is: Yes, it will be considered during your disability review, but it may not be a a problem. Please learn more about this: How to Work While On Social Security Disability

Question Two: Will Working Lower the Amount of My Check?

💮 If you are on SSDI, the answer is always no. You do not need to read the rest of this page (please take a look at the link above about disability reviews). However, if you are also in other programs, income could affect other benefits programs. Many people on SSDI are also in Medicare Savings Programs (programs that pays your Medicare premiums or co-pays), and this may be affected.

💮 If you are on SSI, the answer is usually yes. Please read this page.

💮 If you are on both SSI and SSDI, then working will likely affect the SSI part of your check, but not the SSDI part.

💮 If you don’t know what you are on, check out: How to Tell What You’re On. Sometimes people are mistaken or confused about what they are on, so please double check.

How Will My SSI Check Change?

If you are on SSI, you can earn $65 per month without affecting your check. If you earn more than that, see below to learn what happens. After that your check will usually be lowered by $1 for every $2 you earn. There are a few exceptions:

💮 For SSI, certain types of work income is exempt. Your check will not be lowered if you have a PASS plan or some IDA plans.

💮 Working as a personal attendant in certain state or medicaid program is sometimes exempt and may not affect your check. Please check the regs for the program you are in.

💮 If you are self-employed or own a small business. They will consider your income after your business expenses. In some cases, this means your check will not be lowered.

💮 If you have impairment related work expenses, these will not be counted, and that may keep your check from being lowered. Many different things can count as impairment related work expenses. You may have some you don’t realize: What Does Social Security Consider an “Impairment Related Expenses”?

💮 If you are on SSI, and you start earning income, it is likely that at some point Social Security is going to make a mistake, pay you too much money, and then want some money back. You do have some options. Learn more: How Sandra Got Her Overpayments Waived


Everything No One Ever Tells You About Living on Social Security Disability

How to Work Without (Too Much) Trouble

How Will Income Affect My SSI Check?

How to Survive on SSI

Updated Oct 2017. Please comment below with stories, ideas, questions or suggestions. Please let us know if any links on this page stop working.


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