Can You Work After Qualifying For Disability Benefits?

The simple answer is yes.  Social Security has several programs to assist disability beneficiaries in their attempt to return to work.  One program is the trial work period.  A trial work period allows a beneficiary of disability benefits to test his or her ability to work and still be considered disabled and receive his or her benefit.  Any month in which you work and your earnings are greater than $750 (for 2013) will trigger a trial work period.  Your trial work period ends when you have nine months with earnings greater than $750 (for 2013).  The nine months do not have to be consecutive, but there must be nine months total in a rolling 60 month period.

After your trial work period ends, you have 36 months to work and still receive disability benefits for any month in which your earnings are not “substantial”.   Any earnings over $1,040 ($1,740 for blind beneficiaries) will be considered substantial.