SSDI Income Limits 2019

Disability paid through the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) is one of the most popular ways for disabled individuals to receive benefits to help support them and their families. This program requires you to have a serious disability that prevents you from working, but you may still be able to hold a job on the side while you receive disability benefits. However, your ability to work could also disqualify you for SSDI benefits, and it is important to speak with an attorney for guidance on whether you can qualify and still work. One important thing to consider is the income limit for SSDI. The Pennsylvania and New Jersey disability lawyers at Young Marr & Associates explain these income limits for SSDI recipients for 2019.

Social Security Disability Income Limits 2019

In order to qualify for disability in the first place, your condition must be severe enough that you cannot work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has rules in place that dictate what makes a condition qualify as a “disability.” It is not usually enough that you have the condition – it must also be severe enough to interfere with your life, your physical skills, your mental skills, and your ability to support yourself.

The SSA will reject your disability application if you are suffering from a disability but you are still able to work to support yourself. This work is called “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). If you are able to perform substantial gainful activity despite your disability, you may be unable to claim disability benefits.

The SSA judges whether you can perform SGA by looking at the amount of income you are able to earn in a month. If you can perform a job or jobs that pay(s) you $1,220 per month, the SSA will usually reject your SSDI application. If you are blind, the threshold is more forgiving, and the SSA does not reject applications unless the applicant makes $2,040 per month.

This SGA limit is the primary income limit that dictates whether or not you can receive SSDI. This is one of many factors that the SSA uses to determine your initial eligibility and is not the only defining factor. There are also medical definitions for qualifying conditions that must be met for your medical condition, injury, or illness to qualify as a “disability,” plus you must meet other requirements regarding work history to be eligible in the first place.

How Much Can I Earn While Drawing Social Security Disability?

Once you begin receiving disability benefits through SSDI, you are expected not to work. One of the conditions you must meet to qualify for SSDI is that you cannot work to earn a living. This still allows you room to work – to an extent – while still being considered disabled.

To apply for SSDI, you must not be able to make $1,220 per month. Once you are receiving SSDI, the threshold changes. Any work performed while you receive SSDI can be considered part of a “trial work period” (TWP) – but if you earn too much money, the SSA may revoke your benefits.

A trial work period is designed to help you ease back into the workforce. Any month where you earn a certain amount of money is considered part of your TWP, and once you reach 9 months of working to earn above this limit, your TWP ends. These months do not need to be consecutive.

You are required to report any income you earn while receiving SSDI, so there is no way around this limitation. The trial work period limit for 2018 is $850 per month, and this increases to $880 per month in 2019. Earning less than this should not trigger a trial work period and may be acceptable while receiving benefits.

While in a trial work period, you can continue to gain SSDI benefits as normal. Once your TWP ends, you can no longer work and continue to receive benefits at the same time. You should speak with an attorney about planning your TWP and what will happen afterward. In some cases, if you show that you are able to work, the SSA may believe that you no longer qualify for benefits, and you might be denied benefits.

Working while receiving disability is always a tricky situation. If you are considering working while receiving SSDI, you should speak with an attorney to help plan your trial work periods and properly report your funds.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey Disability Attorney Offering Free Consultations

If you or a loved one is disabled, talk to an attorney today about receiving disability benefits. The Pennsylvania and New Jersey disability lawyers at Young Marr & Associates represent people applying for disability benefits and fight to help them get the benefits they need. Our attorneys can help if you are working or attempting to work while receiving disability benefits. To schedule a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today. If you are in New Jersey, call (609) 557-3081, and if you are in Pennsylvania, call (215) 515-2954.


Before coming to Young, Marr & Associates, our SSD attorneys worked for the SSA which gives us an advantage over attorneys who have never dealt directly with the internal SSA system. We know the process is difficult – your job is to get better, and our job is to make sure you get the disability you deserve.

Chances are you are preoccupied dealing with a painful illness. You are concerned about your financial future, about how you will get by without a steady source of income.

Read what our clients have to say about us.


“I have already recommended Paul Young numerous times. He was honest, explained endlessly in terms that were understandable. Paul Young guided me through the process from beginning consultation to the end of case. Highly satisfied and grateful for his expertise.”


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