Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is designed to help those suffering from physical disabilities make ends meet. People with disabilities sometimes find it difficult to return to the workforce, and disability benefits might be their primary income.
While disability benefits can help make ends meet, people who earn too much money on their own might not be eligible for benefits. People who exceed the limits of “substantial gainful activity” may be denied benefits or have their benefits terminated. Substantial gainful activity is a monthly income limit that, if met or exceeded, is used as evidence against you that you do not need disability benefits. However, under certain circumstances, disability benefits recipients can test the waters of the workforce with trial work periods where they are allowed to earn an income in addition to their benefits.
If you are a disabled person who relies on disability benefits through Social Security, our Arkansas disability attorneys can assist you. Call our team of compassionate legal professionals at (479) 316-0438 for a free case review.
What if I Make Too Much Money in Arkansas for Disability Benefits?
To be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to participate in substantial gainful activity. This kind of activity can be defined as working or somehow earning income that meets a specific monthly limit. Essentially, this means that people who earn too much money on their own are ineligible to receive disability benefits. Our team of disability attorneys can help you fight for the benefits you rightly deserve.
The monthly limit for substantial gainful activity is updated each year to account for changes in the cost of living, inflation, and other factors. For 2022, the limit on substantial gainful activity is $2,260 for blind individuals and $1,350 for non-blind applicants. This means if a disabled person meets these limits, they make too much money to be eligible for disability benefits.
While a disabled person may meet the limits on substantial gainful activity, that does not mean they are fully able to make ends meet. Disabilities can be very costly, and many people have to contend with huge medical bills in addition to everyday living expenses. Even if you meet the substantial gainful activity limit, you might still be in dire need of disability benefits.
How is Substantial Gainful Activity Determined in Arkansas?
Understanding substantial gainful activity and whether your actions fit within its definition require breaking down this term to its elements. “Substantial” refers to work that is physically or mentally taxing. Even part-time work can be considered substantial. Small odd jobs you pick up here and there are probably not considered substantial.
The activity must also be gainful, meaning you are being paid to do it. Remember, you do not necessarily have to be paid in money for work to be considered gainful. Working in exchange for goods or services may also be considered gainful. If you are receiving payment of any kind for work, talk to our disability attorneys about it right away. All income while on disability must be properly reported.
Substantial gainful activity is also based on changes in the national average wage index. The index measures the average wages earned by Americans each year. If the index shows an increase in the average wage, the limit on substantial gainful activity will also increase.
If you are unsure if your income is considered substantial gainful activity, talk to our Bella Vista disability attorneys about your case. We can review your situation and determine if you are eligible for disability benefits.
Am I Allowed to Make Any Money While Receiving Disability in Arkansas?
It is possible to begin working again after receiving disability benefits in some cases. Trial work periods are designed for disability benefits recipients who want to re-enter the workforce but are unsure if they can earn enough income to make ends meet. A trial work period essentially lets them test the waters without putting their disability benefits in jeopardy.
A trial work period allows people receiving disability benefits based on their own earnings history to test their ability to earn a living by working. Any work performed during a trial work period is not considered proof of a disabled person’s ability to work and may not be used as grounds to revoke or terminate benefits. If you meet the trial work period income limit of $970 per month, a trial work period is triggered whether you like it or not. This is often risky for people who try to make ends meet with odd jobs on the side in addition to their disability benefits. Earning too much puts your benefits at risk, and you should speak to a lawyer about any extra money you are earning on the side.
After a trial work period has concluded, your case might be reviewed, and your benefits might be reduced or terminated if it is determined that you can work and earn an income on your own. While many people aim for this goal, many others are not ready. Our Fort Smith disability benefits attorneys can help you fight any possible termination of your benefits.
Can I File an Appeal if My Disability is Revoked in Arkansas?
If you are already receiving disability benefits and you are at risk of termination because you earned too much money, our Harris disability benefits lawyers can help you get the termination reconsidered. Similarly, if you applied for benefits but were denied because of how much money you made, our team can help you file an appeal.
It is possible that money not part of your income was mistakenly considered as part of your income when your case or application was under review. We can help you gather evidence of your income to show that you do not exceed any monetary thresholds and should continue to receive or begin to receive benefit payments.
Contact Our Arkansas Disability Attorneys
If you were denied disability benefits or believe your benefits might be terminated in the near future, contact our Fayetteville disability benefits attorneys for help right away. Call our team for a free case review at (479) 316-0438.
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