How Much Can I Earn from SSDI in 2021?

Monroe social security disability attorney

Earning a living can be challenging when you are unable to work due to having a disability condition that is chronic or long-term. Although it may be necessary to file a compensation claim for social security disability insurance (SSDI) in Louisiana, the process is often complex and time-consuming and may require legal representation. A Monroe social security disability attorney can help you with this process.

There are potentially four (4) levels at which the Social Security Office may hear your disability claim, each of which has its own set of challenges. A Monroe social security disability attorney can help you reach your disability insurance benefits.

Am I eligible for SSDI?

Applying for disability benefits requires proving to the government that you are a disabled person to a point where the condition keeps you out of work. It is essential to keep in mind that just because you receive disability benefits doesn’t mean you cannot work or should stay out of work. 

Workers who have acquired enough work credits are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SSDI recipients are considered “insured” since they paid FICA Social Security taxes to the government.

To be considered for social security income, a worker must accumulate a certain number of taxable labor credits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are available to disabled people in the workforce, widows and widowers, and disabled children under the age of 65.


What is the income limit to be denied benefits?

This issue has numerous aspects due to the specific circumstances handled by the Social Security System. Remember that the Social Security Act does not examine all income. Not every money, including child support, counts towards your monthly income.

SSDI recipients must earn nothing more than $1,310 every month. Recipients with an income of under $794 monthly qualify for the SSI program instead and not the SSDI. While these figures vary, the income cap is usually in this range.

Additionally, for blind people, the SSDI income ceiling has now reached $1,950 monthly. As a result of this, the US government now recognizes blindness as a distinct impairment. This extra social security income is designed to offset any additional costs that blind people face.

These may vary in an SSDI application and an SSI application. Substantial gainful activity is not considered present in most types of social security income not taken directly from wages or under-the-table employment for Social Security and Disability Insurance. This comprises assets such as investments, interest, a spouse’s income, and other types of income.

“Substantial gainful activity” is defined as earning more than this amount through employment or illegal labor (SGA). SGA patients are deemed self-sufficient and do not qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, the national average salary index (used to calculate these income limitations) tends to rise somewhat each year.

Even though you may be engaged in significant gainful work, you may still be eligible for SSDI/SSI benefits or other disability insurance benefits.

Situations differ significantly from one individual to the next. Based on the extent of your condition and the nature of your income, you may still be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits under certain circumstances. It is always preferable to apply for benefits and not qualify than not to take the chance at all, so don’t let these statistics deter you from placing your disability claim with a social security lawyer.

How much can I earn from SSDI?

One of the numerous factors you’ll need to make before applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits is whether disability payments alone would provide you with adequate financial assistance. As of 2021, the highest monthly disability compensation you may get is $3,148. The average monthly benefit, on the other hand, will be closer to $1,277. 

From $137,700 in 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has stated that the maximum amount of earnings due to the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax would rise to $142,800 in 2021.

As part of its announcement, the Social Security Administration (SSA) stated that recipients of Social Security benefits would receive a 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment in 2020. The earnings test for the amount of income that beneficiaries can receive without having their benefits reduced each year is $18,960 before full retirement age. The limit taxpayers can earn once they reach full retirement age is $50,520.

Factors that Play a Role in SSDI Income Limit

Because SSDI is a needs-based program, applicants are expected to have low-income or fewer assets than usual. In 2020, the FBR was $783 per disable person and $1,175 for a married couple.

Anyone with countable income below the FBR will have their SSDI benefits reduced by the amount of their countable income. If an applicant for SSDI doesn’t have a countable income yet is qualified, they will get the monthly FBR.

Because SSDI is a need-based program, a person’s income and assets are considered while determining eligibility. Before SSI benefits may be given to an adult, their assets and other financial resources will be assessed. These may include:

  • Inherited assets and cash
  • Income from investment
  • Retirement savings
  • Assistance from friends and family
  • Any other monetary assets such as automobiles, homes, and commercial rental properties.

If you only possess one house or car, their worth is unlikely to be considered in an SSDI evaluation. It’s only likely to be extendedly assessed if you have ownership over more than one car or home.

However, living with family or friends without paying rent may impact your SSDI eligibility. You will also get a combined SSDI benefit if your spouse receives SSDI benefits. This happens every year due to cost-of-living increases (COLA).

When a minor files for SSDI, the SSA is likely to look at both the child’s and parent’s income and financial resources. These include the parents’ wages and any of the below:

  • Child support
  • Pensions
  • Investment returns
  • Alimony


How to Get Rid of SSDI Benefits

The SSA office usually stops SSDI benefits because the beneficiary has returned to work, but this doesn’t usually happen. While receiving SSDI payments, returning to your regular work will be considered “substantial gainful activity” by the SSA (SGA).

The main element in determining whether employment is SGA is pay. In 2020, earning above $1,260 or $2,110 for the blind is deemed SGA.

For example, earning $200 per week in a part-time job does not exceed the SGA limit. If you work a lot, but your earnings are below the SGA level, your SSDI may be stopped.

If you work and earn above SGA, you may be eligible for a short-term disability program. This time enables SSDI recipients to return to work and not lose their benefits.

You should be allowed to work for up to 9 months during a trial work period and still get SSDI disability help regardless of your earnings. When the trial work term ends and you are still earning more than the SGA level, the local social security office may conclude that you are no longer disabled and discontinue your Social Security Disability benefits.

Some reasons why your SSDI benefits may stop:

  • You are now 66 years old and no longer eligible for SSDI but Social Security retirement benefits.
  • Following 30 days in jail, your SSDI payments cease and are only valid up to a month after your release from prison. If you are in a rehabilitation program, you may be treated differently depending on the crime. A misdemeanor conviction may affect SSDI payments, but only if you are jailed for one month or longer.
  • If your parents are on SSDI benefits and you are below 18, your SSDI payments may expire when you reach the age of 18.


How can I maintain my SSDI Benefits?

These differ slightly from SSDI to SSI. Regarding SSDI, most forms of income that are not made directly from work wages or under-the-table work are not included in substantial gainful activity. This includes investments, a spouse’s income, interest, or other assets.

Consult with a Social Security Attorney Now

If you’re contemplating on applying for SSDI benefits but are still working, or if you’ve been receiving social security retirement benefits but are considering part-time employment to supplement your income, you must obtain all the information to fuel your determination before making any choices that may jeopardize your disability appeal and payments.

Consider calling a Monroe social security disability attorney at E.Orum Young Law-Firm for assistance with applying for Social Security programs, appealing a decision, or just discussing any legal issue to obtain professional legal help.

Our helpful legal staff will set up a free appointment to examine your case and explain how SSDI income restrictions may affect you. Call us at (318) 249-8293, or use our secure contact form to connect with us.