Working While Disabled:

Can I Still Receive Disability Benefits?

Working While on SSDI or SSI in Pennsylvania

Can I Work & Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you are currently receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must comply with strict rules regarding your employment. Generally speaking, you cannot work while receiving Social Security Disability—but there are some exceptions.

As of 2020, you can earn up to $1,260 per month and still receive SSDI benefits.

There is no limit to unearned income, such as your spouse’s earnings, inheritances, gifts, etc. associated with SSDI. Understanding your options and your rights can help you avoid a mistake that could cost you your benefits. Since 1922, Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC has served the hard-working people of Pennsylvania, fighting for the fair treatment and benefits they deserve when they are disabled and cannot work. Federal and state benefit programs are in place to help those who cannot support themselves, and our attorneys believe in upholding the principles upon which SSDI and SSI were founded.

To find out how we can help you, call (888) 498-3023.

SSDI & SSI Benefits Are for People Who Cannot Earn a Living

  • If you can work and earn enough money to make a living for yourself, you might not be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits.
  • SSDI benefits are for people who have medical/mental conditions that prevent them from working. These benefits are available to people who have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify.
  • SSI is for disabled people based on financial need. Recipients cannot earn more than a certain amount of money nor possess more than a certain amount of property ($2,000 in Pennsylvania, excluding their home and usually their car) to qualify.
  • You can work while receiving Social Security retirement or survivors benefits, however.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) & Disability Benefits

As mentioned above, eligibility for SSI and SSDI is based on your inability to work. This is specifically defined by the SSA as a substantial gainful activity, or SGA. Earning more than a certain amount of money is deemed engaging in a substantial gainful activity, which would make one ineligible for benefits. As of 2020, the substantial gainful activity limit is $1,260 per month for disabled applicants.

If you earn more than that, you may not be eligible for SSDI. There is no limit on unearned income.

Social Security Work Incentives

The SSA offers incentives to help people on SSDI or SSI get back to work, without jeopardizing their current benefits. These incentives include:

  • A nine-month trial work period where you can still receive full Social Security benefits, regardless of how much money you’re earning, as long as your reporting your work to the SSA.
  • An extended 36-month eligibility period where you can receive Social Security benefits for any month that you earn less than $1,260 (as of 2020).
  • Expedited reinstatement, which includes a five-year period where you can request for the SSA to restart your benefits if your disability prevents you from continuing to work, without having to go through the entire application process again.
  • An extension of Medicare coverage for at least 96 months after your 9-month trial work period, if your Social Security Disability benefits have ended due to your earnings, but you are still disabled.

For more information, call (888) 498-3023. Our attorneys serve disabled clients in York, Lancaster, Hanover, Harrisburg, Carlisle, and the surrounding communities in Pennsylvania.

Do You Need Help?

Fill out this form, and we'll setup a free consultation! Call (888) 498-3023
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.

Why Hire Us

  • We've been around since 1922.

  • We’ve helped over 40,000 Pennsylvanians.

  • You pay us nothing unless we win.

  • Free consultations available.

  • We’re committed to fighting for your family.

Meet Your Attorneys

Trustworthy. Reliable. Winners

Our Award-Winning Team Is Here To Help

At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg, we have nearly a century of experience helping our clients recover from serious accidents and injuries. During that time, we have established ourselves as leaders in the field, receiving numerous awards from both local and national organizations. This includes honors for the tens of millions of dollars that we have won, as well as recognition of our law firm's dedication to our clients.

National Trial Lawyers

Membership in The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is by invitation-only and is comprised of the nation’s premier trial attorneys in the region.

Super Lawyers

Only 5% of attorneys in the U.S. are selected to the coveted list of Super Lawyers®, a recognition earned through nomination, independent research, and evaluation.

Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Membership in Million Dollar Advocates Forum® is limited only to those attorneys who have won million-dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients.

Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum®, a recognition given to less than 1% of all practicing lawyers.

Mass Tort Trial Lawyers - Top 25

Members of the Mass Tort Trial Lawyers Association – Top 25 exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, and performance in their area of specialty.

Super Lawyers Rising Stars

The Super Lawyers Rising Stars list honors no more than 2.5% of all attorneys in every state who are up and comers in the field. To be eligible for this award, an attorney must be either 40 years or younger or have been in practice for less than a decade.

U.S. News-Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms

“Best Law Firms” is a ranking of law firms nationwide in 75 practice areas by U.S. News and Best Lawyers®. Our firm has been ranked Tier 1 in Harrisburg for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs.

Best Lawyers®

Best Lawyers® is the premier peer review guide for lawyers nationwide. It was first published in 1983 and has since been used to recognize leading lawyers in a wide variety of practice areas.