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emc011075, Tax Adviser
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3170
Experience:  Tax adviser IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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I was awarded disability febuary 2016 and i feel like i

Customer Question

I was awarded disability febuary 2016 and i feel like i could return to work but im afraid that i will loose my disability. I pay child support and im single. So i fear being financially stuck because i attempted to work. Ive heard that if i remain below the threshold of $840 a month that it doesnt affect my disability but im not sure however what "doesnt affect my disability mean". Can you please tell me how to get informed so that i can know wheather i need to go to back to school or go get a job that pays close to minimum wage before my benefits get cut off.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

If you are on SSDI and do some work you have to watch out for 2 things: trial work period and substantial gainful activity.

Basically, any month you earn more than 840 is considered trial work month. You can have 9 trial work month in 5 years without affecting your benefits. If if exhaust your trail work period the social security will reevaluate your case to determine if you engaged in substantial gainful activity (earned more than 1170 per month). If you did, your benefits will end. If you did not, you enter so called extended period of eligibility, 36 month period when you can work and still receive the disability check as long as you do not earn more than 1170.

If you earn less than 840 per month (or work less than 40 hours per week as self-employed or do volunteering work), your benefits will not be affected.

Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

I see you read my respond. Do you have any questions? Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Im getting really tired of going to therapy for my mental health issues. If i stop going to my therapist for my therapy sessions will social security cut my benefits?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

Not sure what your caseworker would say but social security periodically evaluates your eligibility. If you voluntarily quit your therapy the doctor may not give you the recommendation next time social security request it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Ok. I think thats it.
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

You're welcome.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Actually i have more questions. How can i find out why exactly social security approved my ssdi?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

What do you mean why? You file a claim because you have a specific disability and based on doctors' recommendations and diagnoses SS caseworker decide if you are eligible for the benefits or not.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
OKi understand. Last and final question is. How does going to school affect my disability? Can it affect my addiction if I go full time?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Can it affect my disability if I go to school full time?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

Yes, you can go back to school but after graduation you will most likely loose your benefits if you become employable again.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Say i want to get a parttime job that pays me $840 a month. Do i get to earn this income plus the full amount i get from ssdi?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

As long as the gross wages (before any taxes or withholding) is less than 840, which is about 190 per week, than yes.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If I should go for a part-time job that pays me under 840. Will social security continue doing certain reviews?
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

Social security review disability cases periodically, working or not. The main purpose is to determine if you are employable or not. Working part time or going back to school will increase your knowledge and/or experience so you may qualify for jobs in different areas.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I thought if you did ticket to work it canceled your cdr reviews. But if i understand you correctly then going back to work sounds like it could contribute to you loosing your disability.
Expert:  emc011075 replied 1 month ago.

The main reason you get the benefits because you are not able to work and earn income because of your disability. Keeping a part time job, getting more experienced or even get a degree that would qualify you for work in different industry will eventually contribute to losing your disability.

For instance, you are construction supervisor and you break your shoulder. Your doctor tells you that you cannot work in construction anymore and you get disability because you lost ability to earn living. If you decide to go back to school and get accounting degree now you are qualified to work as an accountant. You will sooner or later lose your benefits because your broken shoulder is not preventing you from getting an office job as an accountant. The same apply to part time job or requalification training. If you can regularly work with or without reasonable accommodation (part time or full time), you will eventually lose your benefits.