Today on the blog, we’re going to talk about something important called “SGA” or substantial gainful activity. Don’t worry if it sounds complicated; we’ll make it easy to understand. We’ll also explore whether working part-time affects your SSDI or SSI disability benefits and where to find disability lawyers in Charlotte, NC.
What is SGA and Why is it Important?
First, let’s break down the word – “SGA”. SGA stands for Substantial Gainful Activity. It’s a term used by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to decide if someone with a disability qualifies for benefits. In simple terms, SGA is the amount of money you can earn per month while still qualifying for disability payments.
For 2024, SSA has set the SGA limit for non-blind individuals at $1,550 per month; and for blind individuals at $2,590 per month. This means that if you make more than these amounts, you will not qualify for SSDI or SSI disability benefits. But don’t worry; there are special rules for people who are trying to work and keep their benefits.
Will I Lose My Disability If I Work Part-Time?
Now, you might be wondering, “If I work part-time, will I lose my disability benefits?” The good news is that the SSA wants to encourage people with disabilities to work if they can. They understand that earning a little extra money can help improve your quality of life and reduce your dependence on shared resources. So, they have some rules to help you keep your benefits while working part-time:
- Trial Work Period: You can try working part-time (below SGA) for up to nine months within a five-year period without losing your benefits. It’s like a “test” period to see if you can handle working.
- Extended Period of Eligibility: After your trial work period, you get 36 more months where you can still get your benefits if your earnings are below the SGA limit. This way, you have a safety net while you transition into working more.
- Impairment-Related Work Expenses: If you have to spend money because of your disability to be able to work, those expenses can be subtracted from your earnings, making it easier to stay under the SGA limit.
- Subsidy and Special Conditions: If your employer helps you do your job because of your disability, the SSA may not count all of your earnings. This is called a “subsidy,” and it can help you stay under the SGA limit.
- Ticket to Work Program: There’s a program called “Ticket to Work” that offers support and services to help you with your work goals while keeping your benefits.
So, the short answer is that you can work part-time and still keep your disability benefits as long as your earnings stay below the SGA limit and you follow the SSA’s rules.
Where to Find Disability Lawyers in Charlotte, NC
Now, let’s talk about another important topic: finding disability lawyers in Charlotte, NC. Sometimes, you might face challenges when applying for disability benefits, and having a lawyer can be a big help. Here are some ways to find a good disability lawyer in Charlotte:
- Ask for Recommendations: You can start by asking your friends, family, or healthcare providers if they know any good disability lawyers. Personal recommendations are often very reliable.
- Online Searches: The internet can be a great tool to find lawyers. Use search engines like Google and Bing. You’ll find a list of law firms and lawyers specializing in disability cases, and a LOT of ads. Be sure to read the firm’s reviews, scroll to see the non-sponsored listings, and consider selecting a local firm for a more personal approach to your claim.
Remember, when looking for a lawyer, it’s important to choose someone experienced in disability cases. They can guide you through the application process, represent you at hearings, through appeals and help ensure you get the benefits you deserve.
Collins Price, PLLC, a local disability law firm serving Charlotte, NC, provided this SGA content. Our experienced and compassionate attorneys provide free consultations on SSDI or SSI claims. There is never a fee for our services unless your claim is approved.
Our firm partners, Brad Collins and Andrew Price personally handle each claim. They are ready to assist you no matter where you are in the process. Contact us today for a free consultation.