When workers in New Jersey suffer a long-term disability, they usually apply for Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI. SSDI is a program set up by the U.S. government that pays out benefits to workers who are unable to work because of long-term disabilities. It’s an entitlement program open to anyone who’s worked and paid into the Social Security system for at least 10 years, and it’s open to both low-income and high-income earners.

Payments paid out to SSDI beneficiaries are dependent on those workers’ earnings records. While the average payout is $1,258 per month, some people get more than that amount due to their earnings history. In spite of this, some beneficiaries determine that their SSDI payments are not enough. They wonder if they can work part-time while receiving SSDI benefits.

Can SSDI recipients work?

General SSDI rules are straightforward. SSDI payments will cease if the recipient is involved in substantial gainful activity or SGA. In 2021, the SGA amount is earnings of more than $1,310 per month or $2,190 if you’re blind. The exception to this rule is if you’re participating in one of Social Security’s work transition programs called work incentives programs. These plans set up trial periods or programs that help SSDI beneficiaries slowly ease back into the workplace.

One such program is the Ticket to Work program. This program provides assistance like work experience, job training, and other services that help SSDI beneficiaries build back their lives so that they become self-supporting once again. Ticket to Work and programs like it waive the SGA earnings limits so workers can get paid while continuing to receive their SSDI payments. SSDI benefits will cease if you get hired by one of the companies working with the program, but they can resume if the medical issue that put you on SSDI gets worse.

Where can people go when they need help with SSDI info?

The rules surrounding SSDI are often confusing. People who have questions about SSDI eligibility may benefit by working with attorneys who have experience with SSDI laws and rules.