How Does Working Affect Your Social Security Benefits?

When most people think about social security benefits, they imagine their golden days of retirement with a steady source of income. Over 80 million Americans receive SSD checks every month, making it a critical aspect of a significant part of the population’s post-work life. However, the SSD is not just a retirement plan; it provides a safety net in many life situations. 

Social Security benefits are helpful for those who become disabled in their retirement years and cannot have an income. However, it can also help people who are capable of working but do not have enough income. That being said, if you are seeking benefits, it is important to understand how working affects your claim. Talk to an attorney from The Law Office of Nancy L. Cavey today. 

How does an income or having a job affect your social security benefits?

To be eligible for your Social Security benefits, you must have a condition that prevents you from working or earning sufficient amounts to support your family. The Social Security Administration uses a five-step process to determine whether you qualify as disabled according to their standards. 

The SSA checks whether you have a substantial income. The threshold is $1,470 for individuals who are not blind. If you are earning more than that, you are considered to have enough income to support yourself, and your benefits will be denied. However, it is more complex than that.

The SSA defines something called substantial gainful activity, or SGA, which is much more than just a dollar value. Gainful work activities may include the following:

  • Work performed for pay or profit 
  • Work is generally performed for pay or profit. 
  • Work intended for profit, whether or not profit is earned.

For example, if someone does charity work at the church for 15 hours a week, taking phone calls and keeping records, instead of taking a bookkeeping job at a restaurant, they will not receive the benefits. 

Can a low amount of income still impact social security benefits?

You can have an income under the SSA’s threshold and get benefits. If you decide to work during retirement for some extra cash, it is important to know that your SS benefits will be affected. 

That being said, the SSA does not affect your unemployment benefits. However, you may need to check with the unemployment office to see how the SSA benefits impact the unemployment benefits. There are certain rules about collecting both types of benefits. 

Understanding the ever-changing rules of social security can be challenging. Hire an attorney today. 

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