If I am working, can I still get Social Security Disability benefits?
Possibly. To be eligible for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits, you cannot do “substantial gainful activity” (SGA).
Substantial Gainful Activity
SSA generally uses earnings guidelines to evaluate whether your work activity is SGA. If you were working in 2022 and your earnings averaged more than $1,350 ($2,260 if you’re blind) a month, you generally were not considered to have a qualifying disability. In 2023, the maximum income that applicants can receive from their work and still be eligible for benefits is $1,470.00 for SSDI applicants and non-blind SSI applicants. Blind SSDI applicants can earn up to $2,460 a month and still be eligible. If you have income that is greater than the SGA limits, you could lose your benefits.
If you are not working or if you are working but not performing SGA, then the SSA will send your application to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) office to make the decision about your medical condition. The DDS uses a step-by-step process involving five questions to determine if you have a qualifying disability. You can read about the decision process on this page.