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SSDI & SSI: Will I lose my benefits from working?

Millions of Americans benefit from SSI and SSDI each month, and it is possible to work and earn an income at the same time. But there are limitations.

social security card with cash and check representing benefits like SSDI and SSI

Your payments will stop if the Social Security Administration discovers you’re making what they consider to be a livable wage.

69.1 million Americans were receiving SSI and SSDI in 2019, according to The Sun.

If you make over $1,350 per month you could lose your benefits.

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SSI and SSDI explained

SSI is cash assistance for elderly, blind, and disabled people in need.

The SSI payments are disbursed by the SSA but paid for by general taxes.

SSDI is for disabled and blind people who have paid into Social Security and are insured.

Working while receiving benefits

You may work while you get SSI and/or SSDI.

What you earn in income will be deducted from your benefits.

This means anything you earn you must report to the SSA.

Failing to report could result in you being overpaid and needing to pay those benefits back.

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How does earning money and withholding SSDI and SSI work?

When working, the SSA disregards the first $65 you earn in addition to half of your remaining monthly income.

Once you report your income, it could take up to two months for your check to reflect the changes.

If you become gainfully employed, you will no longer qualify for your benefits and lose them.

This happens once your income exceeds the gainfully employed income level set by the SSA.

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How do I let the SSA know about my earned income?

Keep copies of you pay stubs to provide to the SSA.

You can drop it off at your local SSA office and you should ask them to stamp it as proof of drop off.

Make copies for your own personal records.

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