Will my other income affect my disability benefits?

It generally depends on what time of income you have as well as the disability benefit type you are receiving.

For income from work, if you earn above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount, then you can be found to be not disabled. For 2020 the SGA is $1,260 and for 2021 the SGA is $1,310.

For other income, such as income from investments, inheritance, a pension, other types of benefits, a legal settlement, etc., it matters whether you are receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). For more information on those differences, please see our page here on the topic.

For SSDI, in general your other income has no effect on your SSDI benefits. You can any amount of property and receive any amount of other income, with no effect on your benefits. The only exception is if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, in which case there is an offset to your SSDI benefits.

For most people, the Social Security Administration requires that SSDI be reduced so that a person is receiving no more than 80% of what they were while working. The process to determine this is called a worker’s compensation offset.

You may not be able to receive SSI payments depending on how much you are receiving in workers’ compensation or other income. The amount you receive in workers’ compensation is considered part of your income and will be deducted from the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR) you receive (In 2021, $794 for an individual or $1,191 for an eligible couple). This also applies to any other income you may receive.