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Will Getting a Job Price Me My Social Safety Incapacity?

Pricey Penny,

I obtain full incapacity from Social Safety. I’m 64 and went out on incapacity at 48 years previous. (I used to be born in 1957.) 

Since there may be now a scarcity of labor, I assumed I’d prefer to attempt going again to work. Social Safety has a Ticket to Work program, which supplies you a restricted time to attempt working with out dropping your advantages. Is there a draw back in attempting to return to an workplace job? I imagine I can work half time and earn lower than $1,000 a month with out disturbing my advantages. 

Additionally, proper now, I don’t pay any earnings tax. Would I actually be gaining something if I went again to work simply to have a tax invoice wipe out my earnings?


Pricey L.,

Getting authorized for Social Safety Incapacity Insurance coverage (SSDI) is such an extended and sophisticated course of, so I perceive why you wouldn’t wish to put your advantages in danger. However I don’t see a lot draw back to what you’re proposing.

The Ticket to Work program gives coaching, profession counseling and assist with discovering a job for individuals who obtain incapacity and wish to work once more. You will discover out extra concerning the companies the packages supplied at

However you don’t want to make use of Ticket to Work’s companies to qualify for a trial work interval. Mainly, so long as you continue to have a incapacity, Social Safety enables you to take a look at out a brand new job for as much as 9 months with out affecting your advantages. There’s no restrict on how a lot you’ll be able to earn throughout these 9 months.

As of 2022, any month you earn above $970 or work at the very least 80 hours in case you’re self-employed would rely as one in all your trial months. Social Safety would solely think about your incapacity to have ended in case you used up 9 trial months throughout a 60-month interval. However so long as you stored your earnings under $970 for any month you’re employed, it wouldn’t rely as a trial month.

When you’ve accomplished a nine-month trial interval, you’ll be able to preserve your incapacity for any month through which you don’t earn sufficient to have what Social Safety calls substantial gainful exercise for the following 36 months. In 2022, you’ll be able to earn as much as $1,350 a month, or $2,260 monthly in case you’re blind. There’s no center floor right here, although. Should you’re not blind and also you make $1,351 in a month, you wouldn’t get your incapacity for that month.

Even in case you’d expend 9 trial months, you’re not placing your long-term advantages in danger due to your age. You’re about two years away from full retirement age, at which level your incapacity profit will convert to your retirement profit. After that, you’ll be able to work as a lot as you need with out impacting your Social Safety. You additionally wouldn’t threat your Medicare, because you’ll be 65 this yr.

A few different advantages to think about: By working, you’d be paying into Social Safety, which might enhance your retirement profit. Additionally, while you earn cash from a job, you’ll be able to contribute to a retirement account, like a 401(ok) or IRA.

The tax a part of the equation complicates issues a bit. Whilst you’d seemingly wind up paying some taxes, I don’t assume Uncle Sam would take too massive of a chunk. We now have a progressive tax system that regularly will increase tax charges in keeping with earnings.

Suppose you’ve $20,000 of earnings from Social Safety incapacity, plus $10,000 in wages for the yr, bringing your earnings to $30,000 for the yr. Between federal taxes (which might apply to each your earnings and a part of your Social Safety) and payroll taxes (which might solely apply to your earnings), you’d wind up paying a little bit over $1,500.

In the end, it’s your name whether or not getting a job is price owing a bit in taxes. The purpose is, you don’t have to fret about taxes eliminating the advantages of working.

So long as you are feeling like you’ll be able to work with out risking your well being, I’d vote for at the very least making use of for just a few jobs to discover your choices. Together with workplace jobs, you may additionally wish to have a look at work-from-home jobs since distant work is the brand new regular for therefore many firms.

The present job market presents so many alternatives, notably for older staff or these with a incapacity who typically face numerous obstacles once they search employment. Since you’ve choices for working with out risking your advantages, why not take benefit?

Robin Hartill is an authorized monetary planner and a senior author at The Penny Hoarder. Ship your tough cash inquiries to [email protected].



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