Working While Receiving SSD: What You Need to Know

It is possible for you to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits while working at the same. However, there are several key points and limitations that you should keep in mind when it comes to getting SSD benefits while working. Below is an overview that highlights each of those points.

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The Impact of Reaching Your Full Retirement Age

One of the biggest questions to ask about work and SSD is, “How old are you?” If you have reached the full retirement age, then you do not need to worry about earnings limits when it comes to your SSD benefits. Your benefits will never be reduced starting with the month that you become your full retirement age no matter how much income you generate from your work.

For anyone who was born in or after 1960, the full retirement age is 67. Those who were born during or earlier than 1956 have already reached their full retirement age.

If you are turning 67 this year, then the SSA will deduct $1 from your benefit amount for every $3 earned above a specific limit. However, they will only consider your earnings that were accumulated before your birth month in which you finally reach the full retirement age. According to the SSA, the limit on your earnings for the months before the full retirement age in this case is $59,520 (or $4,960 per month).

If you have not yet reached your full retirement age, you can still receive SSD benefits while working. However, in those cases, there are a few restrictions and limitations to consider.

Can I Keep My Benefits Under the Full Retirement Age? 

If you have not reached the full retirement age yet, then the SSA will deduct $1 from your benefit amount for every $2 that you earn above the specified limit for the year. The retirement earnings exempt amount for 2024 is $22,320 per year ($1,860 per month).  This is an increase of $1,080 over the 2023 limits.

You can calculate exactly how much of your benefits will be deducted by paying attention to how much money you make in excess of that limit. For example, let’s say that a person under the full retirement age makes a salary of $2,560 per month – $700 over the earnings limit. Following the formula of $1 deducted per $2 earned above the limit, this means that your benefit amount would be reduced by approximately $350 per month.

disabled people want to continue gainful employment

How Are Your Earnings Calculated? 

Unless you have already exceeded the full retirement age, then you are likely concerned with the calculation of your earnings and what is (or is not) considered part of that equation. 

  • Included: Wages from your job (employed) or net earnings (self-employed) including commissions, bonuses, and vacation pay. 
  • Not Included: Annuities, pensions, interest, investment income, or other military/government retirement benefits.

It is important for you to keep a close eye on your earnings throughout the year – not just at the end of the year. Doing so will help you to budget your expenses accordingly – especially if a substantial amount of your benefit amount will be deducted because of exceeding the earnings limit.

Can I Get an Increase in SSD Benefits While Working? 

Most people who earn income from work and SSD benefits will understandably focus on keeping the benefits they already have. They may not even realize that it is possible to get an increase in the benefit amount while still working, depending on your applicable circumstances.

Keep in mind that the SSA checks your income record every year to determine whether the additional earnings accumulated will increase your monthly benefit amount – especially since you are still continuing to pay Social Security taxes each year as you work.

If the figures work out in your favor, then the SSA will notify you by mail of your new benefit amount and when the modified payments will go into effect. If you ever have any questions about the amount calculation or possible discrepancies in your past payments, then you can always reach out for assistance.

Making sure you have all the facts will help you to make wise decisions in the management of your SSD benefits. This will also help you to minimize the risk of suffering from the aftermath of overpayments.

Let Us Help With Your Social Security Disability Case!

At Ascend Disability, we believe that it is our duty, not only to provide the most effective legal representation available but also to guide our clients through the daunting process of applying for disability benefits.

Contact Ascend Disability today for help with your Social Security Disability claim.

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