"If my doctor clears it, can I work part-time and still receive social security disability benefits?"
- Olivia T., Columbia, South Carolina
While Social Security Disability Insurance is a good safety net to catch people when they fall and help hold them up, the money isn't a lot and many South Carolina residents who are receiving disability benefits want to do more and make more money.It can be tricky though if you're not sure you will be able to sustain a gainful level of work long term. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration allows South Carolina disability recipients to test the waters before fully diving back into the job market.
- Nine-month trial The SSA will allow you to try working for up to nine months without reducing your monthly benefits even if you make more than the 2013 maximum of $1,040 a month. Any month in which you work more than 80 hours or earn more than $750 is considered a trial work month.
- After the trial After the nine-month trial period, the Social Security Administration will begin reducing your benefits based on how much you earn working and will continue paying benefits for any month you drop below the Substantial Gainful Activity threshold of $1,040 a month.
- Reduced benefits If you are receiving SSDI benefits in South Carolina and begin working, the first $85 you earn does not count. After that, the SSA will deduct 50 cents from your monthly benefit for every $1 you earn for 36 weeks after the nine-month trial period.
- If you lose your job If you lose your South Carolina job while still in the nine-month trial period, your disability benefits will be reinstated. But if you lose your job in the 36 months following the trial period, you will have to contact the Social Security Administration to request your benefits be reinstated.