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Unearned Income Does Not Affect SSD Benefits

Many people are under the impression that if they have any outside income (through investments, part-time work, home or auto sales, etc.) they will lose their SSDI payments. As a whole, this is a misconception. As we've discussed before, he Social Security Administration is responsible for two major programs that provide benefits based on disability: Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSD is based on prior work under Social Security and SSI payments are made on the basis of financial need.

Social Security Disability is financed with Social Security taxes paid by workers, employers, and self-employed persons. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit, the worker must earn sufficient credits based on taxable work to be "insured" for Social Security purposes. Disability benefits are payable to blind or disabled workers, widow(er)s, or adults disabled since childhood, who are otherwise eligible. The amount of the monthly disability benefit is based on the Social Security earnings record of the insured worker.

For SSD, there are limits on earnings, but no limits on unearned income. So, investments, pensions (with the exception of a public disability benefit such as workers' compensation) and other financial assets will generally not affect the monthly SSDI benefit. If you are a client and unsure as to whether your assets, investments, or other forms of income will affect your current or future SSD payments, feel free to leave a message and we'll do our best to help you out!

2 Comments

Hi Leonor! The easiest response we can give you without having background knowledge of your case is: it depends. A lot will depend on the results of your exams. For most individuals, the results of one or two exams are not enough for Social Security or an Administrative Law Judge to make a decision, unless, of course, the results of the exam indicate that an individual meets a listing-level disability or one of the Compassionate Allowances listings. Often times, an exam will help add information to an individual’s medical record as a whole, and that is what a decision will be based off of.

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