Working and Reporting Earnings Under Disability

Working and Reporting Earnings Under Disability

Some people have this erroneous view that a person that is receiving disability benefits from Social Security are unwilling along with being unable to work, but that is not the case. People that have some form of disability might be able to work, but just not able to support themselves in the work that they can do due to their disability. Social Security allows that individuals that are receiving social security disability benefits to supplement their disability benefits by working.

Substantial Gainful Activity Amounts

There are some rules that help prevent people that can engage in substantial gainful activity, also known as SGA, from fraudulently collecting a large paycheck and a disability check. For 2016, the threshold amount for a person that is statutorily blind is $1,820, and the amount for those that are not blind is $1,130. These numbers can change over the years as changes are made to the national average wage index. You can learn more about SGA in Cleveland by talking with your lawyer.

Trial Work Period

There is also a trial work period that someone receiving disability may be able to take advantage of if they would like to try to return to work, and earn more than the substantial gainful amounts listed above. This is an incentive where the person will be able to collect benefits along with a paycheck.


The key to remember with any changes in your work status is to report it to the Social Security Administration. You can report these changes in person, by phone, fax, or the mail. There are local offices around the nation ready to assist you in reporting these changes if you feel more comfortable doing it in person. Things that you will need to report include starting or stopping work, changes in pay, hours, or duties, and any expenses that you have to pay related to your disability. You should definitely keep track of your deductible expenses that are related to your disability and working, such as car modifications that allow you to drive your car to work, ramps to get out of your home to work, or the cost of your service animal’s vet services, licenses, and food. After you have made a report about these changes, you will receive a receipt that you can use to support that you did your part in reporting them as required.

Are you still unsure or worried about making changes to your work status? That’s okay because it can be a scary process to go through with the thought of doing something that could disturb your current disability benefits in Ohio, but speaking with a professional can help put your fears at ease.