Individuals in Tennessee and throughout the country are allowed to work after applying for disability benefits. They are also allowed to work after they start to receive disability benefits. However, those who are working are not allowed to exceed the substantial gainful activity (SGA) threshold. This is because exceeding this amount generally indicates that a person is not functionally impaired. An exception may be made for those who participate in a trial work program.
Participants are allowed to make as much as they want for up to nine months without jeopardizing their ability to receive disability payments. It is important to note that the nine months do not need to be consecutive and that they can be accumulated over a rolling period of 36 months. If a person’s earnings are below the SGA threshold during a trial month, that month will not count.
Individuals are encouraged to let local Social Security officials know about any attempts to return to work. This can help to minimize the chances that a person will receive benefits that he or she isn’t entitled to. Individuals who receive more in benefits than they are entitled to may have to pay that money back. However, exceptions may be made for those who can’t afford to repay what they owe.
Individuals who are seeking Social Security Disability benefits may have questions about how to do so. They may also have questions about their eligibility for payments while still employed. An attorney may be able to answer those and any other questions a person might have. Legal counsel may also be able to help a person file an initial application or submit appeal paperwork if an initial application is denied. If necessary, an attorney may represent an applicant during an administrative law hearing.