If you’ve sustained a debilitating injury or received a life-altering disability diagnosis, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, you still need to know whether or not you can work and remain eligible for SSDI benefits in Arkansas.
In order to be eligible for SSDI benefits in Arkansas, you need to have a work history. Arkansas residents pay into the system when Social Security taxes are taken out of their paychecks, allowing them to access benefits when they need help. However, to qualify for SSDI benefits, you can only earn a certain amount of money per year, causing many SSDI recipients to only be able to work part-time. That being said, there are certain circumstances where people on SSDI benefits can still work and receive some level of income. If your injuries are work-related and prevent you from earning any income at all, you may be able to gain access to Workers’ Compensation benefits as well.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping disabled Arkansas residents claim the benefits they deserve. For a free case evaluation with our Arkansas disability attorneys, call today at (479) 316-0438.
Can Arkansas Residents Get SSDI Benefits and Work?
If you are receiving SSDI benefits because of a medical condition or disability, you may be wondering if you can still have a job and make money. Individuals receiving SSDI benefits can only be employed in certain circumstances in Arkansas.
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are meant to essentially replace for individuals who cannot continue working as a result of a debilitating injury or disability. The idea is that your injuries are severe enough to prevent you from engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), so you need these benefits to help with your expenses instead. Thus, generally, you cannot maintain a job while receiving SSDI benefits in Arkansas.
That being said, there are some exceptions. One major exception is that SSDI benefit recipients can earn up to $1,350 per month in income and remain below the SGA threshold, according to the Social Security Administration’s 2022 limits. Recipients who are blind can earn up to $2,260 per month. So, if you cannot continue working at your previous job but want to remain in the workforce, you may be able to while receiving SSDI benefits in Arkansas. There are some exceptions to this income threshold for individuals who want to try to return to work full-time. If there is an issue with your current income threatening your eligibility for benefits, or if you have questions, reach out to an Arkansas disability lawyer.
So, it’s likely that you will only be able to maintain part-time employment (if any) while receiving SSDI benefits in Arkansas. Remember, if you earn an income that’s over the threshold, you may become ineligible for SSDI benefits.
It’s important to note that you have to report all income, including passive income, when receiving SSDI benefits. Your Arkansas disability attorney can help you properly report your income and make deductions for expenses related to your disability to remain below the SGA threshold.
What is a Trial Work Period for SSDI Benefit Recipients in Arkansas?
If you want to go back to work full-time but are unsure whether or not you will be able to, you won’t always lose your SSDI benefits right away. Trial Work Periods (TWPs) allow individuals to retain access to SSDI benefits while testing their work abilities over nine months. While this may sound exciting to disabled Arkansas residents, it’s important to note that TWPs are automatically triggered if income exceeds a certain amount.
Not all individuals on SSDI benefits are eligible for a TWP, so it’s important to ask your Arkansas disability lawyer if you are. The nine-month TWP doesn’t have to be consecutive, although you must complete it over five years.
If you are in a TWP, any month you earn equal to or over $970 will count as part of your TWP. As long as you are in a TWP, you will not lose access to your SSDI benefits. That being said, entering into a TWP doesn’t require enrollment. A TWP will be automatically triggered if you earn $970 in a month and do not deduct costs associated with your disability before reporting your earned income.
After a TWP is complete, the Extended Period of Eligibility begins. This is a 36-month long period, during which Arkansas residents can still receive full benefits if their income is less than the SGA threshold. If you earn over the SGA threshold after your TWP is complete, you will typically have your SSDI benefits terminated.
TWPS can benefit SSDI recipients and also be very complicated. If you’re interested in entering into a TWP, talk with a lawyer before you do so. Because these periods are automatically triggered when recipients don’t take certain precautions, you may unknowingly enter into a TWP.
Do You Need a Work History to Qualify for SSDI Benefits in Arkansas?
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are available to individuals who have sustained severe injuries that prevent them from earning a sufficient income. Generally, in order to receive SSDI benefits, an Arkansas resident needs a work history.
One of the major qualifications for receiving SSDI benefits in Arkansas is having work credits. This means that you have to pay into the system by paying Social Security payroll taxes throughout your life. The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI benefits depends on your age and when you were diagnosed with a disability.
But, yes, you do need a work history to qualify for SSDI benefits in Arkansas. If you have not been employed and paid into the system, you cannot receive these crucial benefits. After all, work history and SSDI benefits are intrinsically linked.
What Should You Do if You Can’t Work While Receiving SSDI Benefits?
If your disability prevents you from working while receiving SSDI benefits, you have options. Our experienced attorneys can help you file a Workers’ Compensation claim so that you can live comfortably despite being unable to work because of a work-related injury.
Working part-time while receiving SSDI benefits for some Arkansas residents can improve their quality of life. However, if you cannot work because your injuries are severe and you were injured while on the job, a lawyer can help. Your Arkansas Workers’ Compensation attorney can help you file a claim against your employer’s insurance to receive additional benefits. That being said, Arkansas residents who receive Workers’ Compensation benefits may see their SSDI benefits reduced.
In Arkansas, injured workers can simultaneously receive Workers’ Compensation and SSDI benefits. In fact, it is common for Arkansas residents injured and work to do just that.
Call Our Arkansas Attorneys for Help Applying for SSDI Benefits Today
If you have recently sustained a serious injury or received a disability diagnosis in Arkansas, you may qualify for SSDI benefits. For a free case evaluation with our Fayetteville, Arkansas disability attorneys, call today at (479) 316-0438.