Will Doing Seasonal Work Affect Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits?

using laptop for job searchMany people take on seasonal work to earn extra income, develop or strengthen an existing job skill or ease back into the workforce. Seasonal work is not just reserved for the holiday season or for in-person positions. Working a seasonal job, however, may affect your eligibility for Social Security Disability benefits.

Generally, being employed could affect your eligibility for benefits if the work is deemed sustainable. This is determined based on the kind of work you do and the amount you earn per month.

If you do seasonal work or are considering it and want to apply for disability benefits, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Oshkosh Social Security Disability lawyer. The lawyers at Sigman Janssen are here to review your situation in a free initial consultation.

Learn more by calling (920) 245-3400.

Substantial Income

A condition to receive and retain Social Security Disability benefits is that you cannot earn a substantial income. This is otherwise known as engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). You cannot make more than the earnings limit for that year. Otherwise, your disability benefits may be discontinued.

While doing seasonal work may not seem like enough to earn a living, the SSA may think that your part-time work demonstrates an ability to work normal hours, with or without employer accommodations.

Trial Work Period

Disabled individuals are encouraged to try and re-enter the workforce when possible. If you had to stop working because of your disability, doing seasonal work may be a good option. Working a seasonal job will not make you ineligible for benefits under a trial work period – an incentive offered by the SSA.

You are able to test your ability to work for at least nine months. The nine months do not have to be consecutive within a rolling five-year period. However, it is important to keep track of the number of months you work so that your disability benefits are not discontinued.

Disability Review

Working while receiving Social Security Disability benefits may trigger what is known as a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). The SSA reviews almost anyone who receives disability benefits at set interval times. Certain things that may trigger a CDR include:

  • If your medical condition has improved;
  • A new treatment for your condition is now available; or
  • You return to work and make over the SGA limit

If you have not been receiving Social Security Disability benefits for that long, doing work may also trigger a review. The findings of a CDR could lead to your disability benefits being canceled.

Unsuccessful Work Attempt

If you attempted to do seasonal work but were forced to stop working due to your disability, you may still be able to receive benefits throughout the months you were working. Perhaps you had to resign or were terminated because your disability did not allow you to perform the work tasks required of you.

Duty to Report

It is important to note that Social Security Disability recipients must report all earnings – including seasonal work – to the SSA. The upside is that these earnings could count toward your future benefits. (You are able to earn Social Security credits when you work in a job and pay Social Security taxes.)

You also have a duty to report the following work-related changes:

  • When you start working
  • When you stop working
  • Changes to duties, hours or rate of pay
  • If you are paying expenses for work due to disability

Reach Out for Trusted Legal Help

If you want to apply for Social Security Disability benefits and still take on seasonal work, it is important to know about how working can impact eligibility for benefits. Learn more about how seasonal work could affect eligibility for benefits during a risk-free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced lawyer at no cost to you.

We are ready to discuss the SSA’s rules on work earnings and how they may apply to you. There are zero upfront fees to retain our services and no fees unless we help you obtain benefits.

Talk to a lawyer today: (920) 245-3400.