Working While Waiting to Receive Disability Benefits

The Social Security Administration allows you to perform some work while waiting for your claim to be processed. This work must fall below certain limits on schedule and pay, or it can disqualify you from receiving benefits.

To make a determination on a claim, the first things Social Security considers are:

  • How many hours the claimant is working
  • How much money the claimant is making


If you are consistently earning more than $1,180 per month (before taxes), you are working too much to receive disability benefits regardless of impairment limitations. Social Security will allow you to work and earn less than this amount without affecting your benefits eligibility.

Our Advice

However, we suggest work income less than about $750 per month (before taxes). The closer your earnings are to the maximum, the more likely a decision-maker will determine you are able to work. We also advise you not to work more than 20 hours per week, even in volunteering or unpaid positions, because Social Security also looks at weekly hours worked. If you work more than 20 hours per week, it is more likely a decision-maker’s findings will conclude you are able to work and are not disabled.

Let Us Help

There are many rules and regulations related to working while waiting to receive benefits—you should consult an attorney if you have specific questions about a particular job. We are happy to provide our expert opinion and tell you how your specific employment situation may impact your disability claim.

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