Home » All You Need to Know About Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Understanding SSDI Rules: Balancing Work and Disability Benefits

All You Need to Know About Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

  • Home
  • /
  • All You Need to Know About Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

The complexities of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) often lead beneficiaries to a question: Can they engage in employment without jeopardizing their vital financial support? 

The intersection of work and SSDI involves specific rules and considerations that impact eligibility and benefits. For detailed consultation, you can visit a Social Security disability attorney in Orlando.

Let’s discuss whether a beneficiary of SSDI can work while receiving insurance benefits with the help of some questions across the topic. 

Also, find out the guidelines, trial work periods, and substantial gainful activity thresholds  In this piece, we aim to provide clarity for SSDI beneficiaries seeking to balance their desire for employment with the necessity of maintaining disability benefits.

What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program in the United States designed to provide financial assistance to individuals unable to work due to a qualifying disability. social security lawyer orlando

Administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), SSDI supports those with a substantial work history who have paid Social Security taxes. 

Eligibility requires a medically determined impairment expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. Work credits earned through employment play a crucial role, and beneficiaries gain access to financial assistance and Medicare coverage. 

The program incorporates a Trial Work Period, allowing recipients to explore employment without immediate loss of benefits. It emphasizes its role as a crucial safety net for individuals facing long-term disabilities.

The social security lawyers at Orlando widely accept and help out needy people in this type of matter.

What Are Social Security Disability Benefits?

Here are the main three points about SSDI benefits:

1. Qualifying Disabilities 

To be eligible for SSDI benefits, individuals must have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

The disability must also prevent the individual from engaging in substantial gainful activity. 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of impairments that may automatically qualify for benefits, but other conditions can also be considered.

2. Work Credits 

Eligibility for SSDI is tied to an individual’s work history and the number of work credits they have earned through employment. Work credits are earned based on the individual’s annual income, and the specific number required for eligibility depends on the age at the onset of the disability.

3. Financial Support and Medicare

Approved SSDI beneficiaries receive financial support based on their work history and earnings. Additionally, they become eligible for Medicare, providing essential healthcare coverage. The financial assistance offered by SSDI serves as a crucial safety net for individuals facing long-term disabilities, helping them maintain financial stability and access necessary medical care.

One can go to the Social Security attorneys nearby to follow the easy process of availing of the benefits.

What are the rules for availing SSDI?

Here are the fundamental rules and requirements for availing SSDI:

1. Qualifying Disability

The applicant must have a qualifying disability that prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). The disability must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

2. Work Credits

Applicants must have earned enough work credits through their employment and payment of Social Security taxes to qualify for SSDI. Work credits are earned based on the individual’s work history and vary depending on age.

3. Recent Work History

The applicant must have a recent work history, with the length of work required depending on their age at the time of disability. Younger individuals generally need fewer work credits.

4. SSA’s Listing of Impairments

The applicant’s medical condition must meet the criteria in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments (the “Blue Book”). The Blue Book outlines specific medical conditions that automatically qualify for disability benefits.

5. Inability to Perform Previous Work

The applicant must demonstrate that they cannot perform their previous work due to the disability. The SSA considers factors such as the individual’s age, education, and work experience in evaluating their ability to engage in other types of work.

6. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

The applicant must refrain from engaging in substantial gainful activity. SGA is a level of work activity and earnings set by the SSA. Applicants earning above the SGA limit may be considered ineligible for SSDI benefits.

7. Application Process

To apply for SSDI benefits, individuals can apply online, by phone, or in person at a local Social Security office. The application should include detailed information about the applicant’s medical condition, work history, and other relevant details.

8. Medical Evidence

Applicants must provide comprehensive medical evidence supporting their disability claim. This may include medical records, test results, doctor’s statements, and other relevant documentation.

9. Waiting Period

There is a mandatory five-month waiting period for SSDI benefits. During this waiting period, individuals must be continuously disabled before becoming eligible for benefits.

Can Beneficiaries Of The SSDI Work?

Whether it is permissible to have a job while receiving Social Security disability income is very confusing and complex. People often need to hire Social Security attorneys to understand the matter.

The people who give out Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) know it’s essential for people with disabilities to be able to support themselves and not rely on others for money. That’s why they have created programs to encourage people to try to go back to work if they meet specific requirements.

What Are The Rules To Work Even After Getting SSDI?

1. Trial Work Period

SSDI recipients may have a trial work period during which they can attempt to return to work without losing their benefits. The trial work period allows individuals to test their ability to work while still receiving full SSDI benefits.

2. Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE)

Beneficiaries enter a 36-month Extended Period of Eligibility after the TWP. During this period, they can work and receive full benefits for months with earnings below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level.

3. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) 

In 2024, the SGA level is $1550 monthly for non-blind and $2,590 monthly for blind individuals. Earnings exceeding this amount may trigger a “countable month” toward the EPE.

4. Expedited Reinstatement (EXR)

If disability recurs within five years of benefits ending due to work, beneficiaries can request expedited reinstatement without reapplying.

5. Work Incentives and Supports

Various work incentives, such as the Ticket to Work program, vocational rehabilitation, and impairment-related work expenses, aim to support individuals in their return to work without immediate loss of benefits.


After navigating the complexities of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), beneficiaries grapple with whether employment is possible without compromising vital financial support. The intricate intersection of work and SSDI involves specific rules and considerations impacting eligibility and benefits. 

According to the social Security Disability attorney of Orlando trial work periods and substantial gainful activity thresholds, clarity is sought for beneficiaries striving to balance employment aspirations with the necessity of maintaining disability benefits.

The rules for working while receiving SSDI involve trial work periods, extended eligibility periods, substantial gainful activity limits, and expedited reinstatement, all designed to support beneficiaries in pursuing financial independence.