If you've recently suffered from an illness or injury that has left you temporarily unable to work full-time, you may be investigating your options. From employer-sponsored short-term and long-term disability insurance to workers compensation to Social Security Disability (SSD), the number of disability programs potentially available can seem overwhelming. In addition, if you feel you're able to work at least part-time during your recuperation, you may wonder whether you're even eligible for any disability assistance. Read on to learn more about how working part-time can impact your disability benefits, as well as the options available to help supplement your income until you can return to full-time paid employment.
Can you work part-time and receive SSD?
The SSD program has several purposes -- the primary purpose is often assumed to be the protection of those with disabilities from financial ruin, by providing a monthly stipend to help pay for necessities in lieu of earned income. However, an often overlooked purpose of the SSD program involves helping disabled individuals re-enter the workplace on a part-time basis without suffering a significant blow to their finances.
Unlike other types of benefit programs, which can dramatically cut or even end benefits once the individual's income reaches a certain threshold, the SSD program does permit recipients to work on a part-time basis while still receiving benefits. Once you can demonstrate your ability to regularly earn "substantial" income while still disabled, your benefits will begin to phase out. However, if you never reach this income threshold and are simply working for a bit of extra money to help pay bills, you'll be able to do so while receiving SSD for the foreseeable future.
What should you do if you'd like to re-enter the workforce while receiving SSD?
If you're interested in starting back to work on a part-time basis, you'll want to carefully review your current benefits, as well as the salary you can expect to earn. You'll be able to receive your regular SSD payment for at least 9 months while you test this arrangement. Then, if you earn more than $780 per month for 9 months straight, your benefits will end. If your income over the next 36 months falls below $1,090 per month at any time, you'll be able to receive your SSD benefits for the number of months affected. You'll also be able to receive your regular SSD benefits immediately upon ceasing paid employment, without having to go through the application and approval process again.
For more information, contact a social security disability attorney, such as Banik & Renner.