You understand that those who are disabled and can no longer work may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. These benefits help to provide for the income that they have lost because of the disability, and they can be very helpful for those who have no way to get back into the workforce.
However, you still can work. You have a limited income, for sure, but you are bringing in money every month. Can you still qualify for some benefits, or does that income mean that you have no options?
You certainly can qualify. The SSA uses the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program specifically to give benefits to both children and adults who have limited income and a disability. Social Security Disability also permits people with disabilities to work and earn a limited amount of money each month.
Don’t assume that being able to work means you can’t get any benefits or that the government assumes you are self-sufficient. There are many potential situations in which the ability to work limited hours or in a reduced role may mean that you don’t have to step away from your career entirely, but where your income means you still cannot afford all of the costs that you face. This is especially true if your disability means that you need some extra medical care or even day-to-day care. There are programs for people with all levels of disabilities and you do have options that you can explore.
That said, even if you may be eligible, there are limits. They are tied to your earnings and, as SSA states: “The more countable income you have, the less your SSI benefit will be.” For every $2 you earn, your benefits are reduced by $1. If you are married and your spouse earns too much, that can also disqualify you. Working and earning more than the monthly limit for “substantial gainful activity” will also disqualify you. Every situation is unique.
If this process feels confusing or too complex, it can be helpful to work with an experienced legal team that can guide you through every step that you need to take to apply.