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Money and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

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Both your income and the way you earn it are restricted with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you are not careful, you can lose your benefits. To find out how to avoid that and what to do when you do lose your benefits due to income issues, read on.

As You Apply for Benefits

You must be ready to show the Social Security Administration (SSA) that you cannot earn any income at all – at least until you are approved. That means not only that you must not be working at your job but that you should not be working at any job. Unfortunately, those depending on either work or benefits to pay the bills are at a disadvantage until benefits get approved and that can take some time.

Once Approved for Benefits

Things may not get much easier after you have been approved. While the SSA has special rules for those who want to try to work, they must be accepted into special work programs to do so. Otherwise, you may be allowed to earn some income as long as you stay below the levels required.

When you earn income, some disability-related expenses can be deducted from those earnings without penalty as long as you report the income and have proof of your expenses. For example, you may need to pay for transportation because of your disability and that may be a qualified expense. Other things that may be counted as income can include gambling winnings, gifts, prizes, and lawsuit judgments. However, only part of a lawsuit judgment is considered income.

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

When dealing with SSA issues, the above term is one to become familiar with. SGA refers to the income you earn each month that must be reported to the SSA. However, that is only part of what SGA really means. When applying for SSDI, you are also telling them that your medical condition is making it difficult to work. To be approved for benefits, you must show that you are unable to work at your most recent job along with any other potential job. That means any job you do that earns income, even if at below the restricted level, can come under scrutiny. 

Unfortunately, some claimants end up losing their benefits due to confusion over SGA and income. If so, speak to a Social Security lawyer about your issue and they can help you get your benefits reinstated. Talk to a Social Security lawyer to find out more.