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Can I go back to work after I get SSDI?

Question: After many years of collecting Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, I feel like I could manage a part-time job. I think it would be good for me to get out and I would like to feel productive, but I am afraid if I get a job that the Social Security Administration will cancel my benefits and I can’t afford that.

Answer: You are right to be concerned. The SSA does do periodic reviews to make sure that you are still disabled, but you do not need to be completely fearful. Many people work a part-time job and claim SSDI benefits also. There are some simple guidelines that you need to follow, however.

First, the SSA has established guidelines that could trigger a review of your benefits. If you stay within those guidelines, you are less likely to run into trouble. The SSA measures the work you do according to the amount you get paid. Each year the SSA establishes an amount of money that you can make and still be considered disabled.

For the year 2017, that amount of money is $1, 170. As long as you stay below that limit, you will not trigger a review based on your earnings (you may however, still be asked to do a medical review as these occur regularly and regardless of whether you are working.) In 2018, the amount of money you can make will be $1,180.

If you are considering going back to work, it is always a good idea to consult with your doctor beforehand. It’s also a good idea to consult a Social Security disability attorney so that you understand your rights and responsibilities when working and receiving benefits.