One of the most common misconceptions about Social Security disability benefits is the notion that you cannot earn any income at all while you are actively receiving benefits. In reality, the Social Security administration does permit benefit recipients to work and earn an income without sacrificing their benefit eligibility. Read on to learn a few important facts that you need to know about working while you are receiving benefits.

The Income Cap for Earned Income Varies Based on Your Disability

For many individuals, their Social Security disability benefits are not enough to cover their living expenses. Even if your benefits do cover your expenses, you may want to work for the socialization or for personal fulfillment. The Social Security administration recognizes that some disabled individuals may be able to do some type of work to help cover an income shortfall or to fill their time.

As of 2018, the Social Security administration limits individuals with disabilities other than blindness to a monthly earned income of $1,180. If your are blind, this amount increases to $1,970.

Working Does Not Necessarily Indicate That You are Not Disabled

Some benefit recipients are hesitant to work because they feel like the Social Security administration will question their disability and possible revoke their benefits, especially if the disability is not easily visible. However, this is usually not the case. If you have medical documentation to support your disability, it is not unreasonable for you to be able to work for a few hours or a couple days each week, even with your disability.

In order to be eligible for benefits, the Social Security administration requires that applicants be unable to participate in substantial gainful activity. Your job will not be considered substantial gainful activity unless you earn more than the current income cap.

You Do Not Automatically Lose Your Benefits If You Return to Work Full-time

Over time, you may have success treating the condition or injury that has left you disabled. You may even feel like you are healthy enough to return to work, but hesitate because you do not want to lose your Social Security disability benefits.

Fortunately, the Social Security administration will give you a nine month trial period so that you can properly determine if you are healthy enough to resume full-time employment. This allows you to test the waters without ceasing your benefit approval. 

However, it is important to follow the proper process when returning to work to ensure you get the nine-month trial period. Don't just assume you can start working. Instead, contact your local Social Security office to report your new job, start the trial period, and learn how to report your earnings. 

For more information, contact a company like Van Gilder & Trzynka PC.