Not everyone qualifies for Social Security Disability Insurance, even if you have a debilitating disease or injury. Earned income is a significant factor in determining your SSDI payments.
According to the Social Security Administration’s official website, the most you can earn to qualify for SSDI is $1,350 per month or $2,260 per month if you are blind. However, this number changes according to your situation.
What counts as unearned income?
Not all income counts against your SSDI benefits. If you collect unearned income, this does not affect your eligibility for disability payments. Unearned income includes child support, gifts, investments and benefit plans. The SSA’s goal is to provide benefits to those individuals who could not earn an income through employment, even if they have other sources of income.
What counts as earned income?
On the other hand, any income you actively work for through traditional employment, contract work or self-employment affects your eligibility. The goal of SSDI is to provide help to disabled individuals who cannot engage in productive activity. Productive activity that earns an income is called substantial gainful activity (SGA). However, even if you participate in SGA, you can still apply for benefits if you have a disability. Depending on your specific situation, you might still qualify for SSDI regardless of your income.
If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you should apply for SSDI benefits. Even if you do not need the help now, you never know what might happen in the future that will prevent you from supporting yourself financially. You cannot always rely on unearned income.