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Working and receiving disability benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance provides income to people who were previously employed but now have disabilities that prevent them from continuing to work. The SSDI application consists of three sections, including the Disability Benefit Application, the Adult Disability Report and the Authorization to Disclose Information Form. 

To receive disability benefits, a person must fill out this application as well as meet certain eligibility requirements. 

Defining disability                      

Someone who qualifies for SSDI must have a disability that the Social Security Administration recognizes. According to the SSA, a person has a disability if he or she has a condition that one expects to last for at least a year or to result in death. 

This impairment must prevent the person from doing the type of work that he or she did prior to the disability. As well, it must prevent him or her from doing a different kind of work. 

The SSA maintains a list of various medical conditions grouped by category that it generally considers eligible for receiving SSA disability benefits. These include: 

  • Immune system disorders 
  • Mental disorders 
  • Endocrine disorders 
  • Neurological disorders 
  • Skin disorders 
  • Hematological disorders 
  • Congenital disorders affecting multiple body systems 
  • Respiratory disorders 
  • Genitourinary disorders 
  • Cancer or malignant neoplastic diseases 

They also cover disorders of the digestive system, the musculoskeletal system, the cardiovascular system, speech and other special senses. 

Permitting work 

If the SSA considers someone to have a disability, he or she cannot take part in employment for profit or “substantial gainful activity.” Earning more than a certain amount of money in a given month causes the SSA to conclude that the person no longer has a disability and can gain employment. 

A person receiving Social Security disability benefits might want to try returning to the workforce without losing eligibility. The SSA permits people to continue collecting benefits while working during a trial work period. The administration still considers someone disabled until he or she has worked for at least nine months within a period of 60 months while earning a certain monthly amount.