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Earning money while on disability

Social Security Disability (SSD) is meant to help people who aren't able to work still be able to support themselves. The program is based on need and can be impacted by the person's ability to return to work. Anyone who is disabled but who is considering returning to work should learn about the restrictions that come with disability payments.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has programs that can help individuals return to work. One of these allows for a nine-month trial period that you can use to see if you are able to work. Once this period is over, there is a grace period of three months during which you are able to continue working. This gives you a chance to see what you are able to do and if you are able to make enough money to warrant the challenges that you will face.

If you work beyond the grace period, which would mean more than 12 months total, your disability payments can stop. During your time of employment, there are income limits. Once the 12-month total employment period is completed, your income will help determine whether you can keep benefits or not if you continue working.

As it is with everything related to disability, you have a lot to think about if you are considering a return to the workforce. Understanding how any income might impact your benefit is important so that you can make an informed decision. Of course, this doesn't mean that you should avoid working if you can. Instead, balance out your options and decide what is right for your needs.

Source: AARP, "Can I earn money while collecting Social Security Disability?," accessed March 22, 2018

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