Some New Jersey residents may be under the impression that if they work, they cannot receive Social Security Disability benefits. But is that true? Can a person work and collect benefits? Or must they forego work in order to receive benefits?

Let’s start with the good news: in many cases, New Jersey residents can work and still receive Social Security Disability benefits for an injury or illness. All it takes is satisfying certain eligibility requirements.

To meet that criteria, a New Jersey resident cannot perform substantial gainful activity. Such an activity is one where the person earns more than a certain threshold amount. In 2016, that threshold is an activity generating more than $1,130 per month for the typical person. For a blind person, the threshold increases to anything over $1,820.

But, that’s not the only situation in which a person can work and receive benefits. Another scenario is if a person wants to test the waters and try to work again. The Social Security Administration will permit the person to try to work without canceling disability benefits. The test period is for up to nine months. During that period, a person may make any amount of money without seeing any cut in disability benefits.

New Jersey residents who pursue the work trial period may also extend their benefits beyond the nine months discussed above. This additional period can last for up to 36 months, and is triggered whenever the person’s income falls below the substantial-gainful-activity threshold.

New Jersey residents interested in pursuing disability benefits may want to get more information about their eligibility. Doing so could be the first step towards receiving the benefits they need and deserve.