SSDI Income Limits in Pennsylvania (Updated for 2021)
If you are disabled, you may be eligible for monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments. To qualify for SSDI, your condition must be serious enough to limit your ability to earn a living. Earning a living does not necessarily mean you cannot work – you may still work and earn some money while you receive SSDI benefits. However, there are strict income limits in place, and your ability to work may disqualify you from receiving SSDI benefits. Our Philadelphia disability lawyers will help you understand the SSDI income limits for 2021.
Pennsylvania SSDI Requirements and Limits in 2021
You must meet several requirements set by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to qualify for SSDI benefits. Your physical or mental disability must substantially limit your ability to support yourself financially. If you are capable of earning a living, the SSA will reject your disability claim.
The SSA defines being able to support yourself financially as “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). Last year, the SGA threshold was $1,260 a month. The SSA has increased the SGA amount to $1,310 per month for 2021.
If you are blind, the threshold is higher. Last year, the income limit for a blind person is $2,110 per month. This limit will increase to $2,190 per month for 2021.
Additional Requirements for Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania
The SGA income threshold is one factor in determining whether you qualify for SSDI benefits, but the SSA will also look at factors such as the severity of your condition. Your disability must be severe enough to limit your ability to support yourself financially. Additionally, your condition must be expected to last more than twelve months or result in death. The SSA publishes a manual of impairments that lists the medical conditions that qualify for SSDI benefits. Known as the “Blue Book,” this publication is available online and contains specific definitions of each qualifying condition, allowing you to determine whether your condition is severe enough to meet the SSA’s standards. While some of these definitions match with typical medical or mental health definitions, some are more strict so that only severe instances of that condition qualify. Talk to a disability lawyer for help understanding whether your condition is “severe enough” to apply for disability benefits in Pennsylvania.
You must also have also earned enough work credits to be eligible for SSDI benefits. Work credits are the measurement unit of time the SSA uses to determine if you qualify for social security benefits. Workers accrue work credits when they pay their Social Security taxes over the years they spend working before their disability. On average, you will need 40 work credits – 20 of which were earned in the previous 10 years – to qualify for disability benefits.
The Bucks County, PA disability lawyers at Young Marr & Associates will help you determine if you are eligible for disability benefits.
Earning Income in 2021 While Collecting Social Security Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania
If you are applying for disability benefits in Pennsylvania for Lupus or other medical condition, that medical condition must limit your ability to support yourself financially. However, the SSA allows you to earn income under a “trial work period” (TWP). The purpose of the trial work period is to ease you back into the workforce. The TWP allows you to work and earn income while still collecting your disability benefits.
The trial work period allows you to work, testing whether or not you can once again support yourself financially. Earning nine months of a particular income threshold may stop your benefits, but a TWP may be good for short-term employment while you receive disability. The monthly income threshold for last year was $910. This threshold increased to $940 in 2021.
Therefore, any month you earn $940 or more outside of your disability payments will count towards one of your nine TWP months. If you exceed nine months of which you are earning an excess of $940, you will no longer be able to continue working and collecting benefits for your disability simultaneously. If you are self-employed, there is an additional limit of working 80 hours per month. Earning less than $940 should not count towards the TWP, but you must still report all income from work to the SSA.
If you are currently working while collecting disability benefits or you plan on returning to work, you need to be aware of all the potential consequences of working while on disability. Call our Pennsylvania disability attorneys to ensure you are not jeopardizing your benefits and to learn how to properly report your income and expenses to the SSA.
Call a Pennsylvania Disability Attorney About Your Benefits and Their Income Restrictions
If you or a loved one is disabled, you must talk to a disability attorney about your benefits and their restrictions. Our attorneys can help you if you are working, or are attempting to work while collecting disability benefits. To schedule a free consultation with our Pennsylvania and New Jersey disability lawyers to review your benefits or your ability to work, contact our law offices today. Call our Pennsylvania law offices at (215) 515-2954.