Will looking for a job make me lose my Social Security disability?

Dear Penny,

I am totally disabled from the Social Security Administration. I am 64 years old and I am disabled at 48 and out. (I was born in 1957.)

Due to the labor shortage right now, I thought I might want to try going back to work. Social Security has a work ticket program that lets you try work for a limited time without losing your benefits. Are there any downsides to trying to go back to the office? I believe I can work part time and earn less than $1,000 a month without affecting my benefits.

Also, right now, I don’t pay any income tax. Will I really gain anything if I go back to work just to have my tax bill wipe my income?


dear L,

Getting approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a long and complicated process, so I understand why you don’t want to put your interests at risk. But I don’t see much downside to your proposal.

The Ticket to Work program provides training, career counseling and helps those with disabilities who wish to work again find work.You can learn more about the services offered by the program at select jobs.ssa.gov.

But you do not need to use Ticket to Work services to qualify for the trial period. Basically, as long as you have a disability, social Security Lets you test new jobs for up to nine months without affecting your benefits. There is no limit to how much you can earn during those nine months.

From 2022, if you are self-employed, any month in which you earn more than $970 or work at least 80 hours will count as one of your trial months. Social Security will only consider your disability to be over if you use up your nine probationary months during the 60-month period. But as long as you keep your earnings below $970 for any month you work, it doesn’t count as a trial month.

Once you complete your 9-month probationary period, you can keep your disability for any month in which your income is not sufficient to perform what Social Security calls substantial gainful activity for the next 36 months. Through 2022, you can earn up to $1,350 a month, or $2,260 a month if you’re blind. However, there is no middle ground here. If you are not blind and you make $1,351 in a month, you will not be disabled for that month.

Even if you use up your nine-month trial period, your long-term interests will not be put at risk because of your age.you about two years later full retirement age, at which point your disability benefits will be converted to your retirement benefits.After that, you can work as you wish Does not affect your Social Security. you will not take risks medical insurance, because this year you will be 65 years old.

Some other benefits to consider: By working, you will pay Social Security costs, which may increase your retirement benefits. Also, when you earn money from your job, you can contribute to a retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA.

The tax part of the equation complicates things a bit. While you may end up paying some taxes, I don’t think Uncle Sam will be surprised. We have a progressive tax system that gradually increases tax rates based on income.

Let’s say you have $20,000 in Social Security disability income, plus your $10,000 in wages for the year, bringing your annual income to $30,000. Between federal taxes (applied to your income and some of Social Security) and payroll taxes (applied to your income only), you end up paying more than $1,500.

At the end of the day, it’s your decision whether or not it’s worth paying a little tax to get a job. The point is, you don’t have to worry about taxes taking away the benefits of your job.

As long as you feel you can work without risking your health, I’d vote for at least applying for some jobs to explore your options.In addition to office work, you might want to check out Work at home Because remote work is the new normal for many companies.

The current job market offers so many opportunities, especially for older workers or people with disabilities, who often face many barriers in their job search. Since you can choose to work without risking your interests, why not take advantage?

Robin Hartill is a certified financial planner and senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.Send your tough money questions to [email protected].

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