How Many Hours Can You Work While on Disability?

Christian Worstell
In this article...
  • Find out if you can work while receiving disability benefits, and how much you can earn during this period. Learn how to find the documentation you need and the answers to your questions from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
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In this guide, we will explore what happens if you are able to work while receiving benefits. We'll discuss important factors such as trial work periods and remaining eligible for continued assistance.

Table of Contents:


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Trial Work Period

The Ticket to Work program from the Social Security Administration provides a golden opportunity for those who feel ready enough to reenter the workforce, while keeping their disability benefits intact.

This "ticket" grants access into job market resources available through participating employers and vocational rehabilitation services such as counseling and training programs.

The goal of the program is to enable. individuals to achieve greater independence and financial security via gainful employment opportunities.

What is the Trial Work Period?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers a trial work period for those receiving disability benefits, allowing them to test their ability to work for at least nine months without losing their full disability benefits.

If you make over $1,050 pre-tax in any given month in 2023, then it is counted as one of your nine trial work months.

After completing your trial work period, you can continue working with earnings up to $1,470 per month in 2023 and still receive benefits for any month where you don’t exceed that amount without a need to reapply or be ruled disabled again.

What Is The Grace Period?

There is a grace period following the end of disability benefits. If your disability benefits are "ceased" by SSA, you'll receive disability benefits for the rest of the. month and for two following months.

Working While Receiving Disability Benefits

For those receiving disability benefits, the number of working hours isn't what matters. The Social Security Administration (SSA) examines whether an individual is working and if it is considered “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). If SSA considers the work to be SGA, they may deny or terminate benefits.

Generally, the monthly earnings limit for 2023 is $1,470 per month.

If a person is self-employed or head of a business, then Social Security looks at both the amount of money made each month as well as how many hours were worked.

Currently, self-employed individuals can work up to 45 hours per month (about 10 hours per week) while still being eligible for disability benefits — as long as they aren't making substantial income and not working alone in their business.

Resources for Working on Disability

The SSA website is an invaluable resource for those seeking information on disability benefits, such as eligibility criteria, benefit amounts, application processes and more. The SSA website provides comprehensive details on eligibility criteria, benefit amounts, how to apply for benefits and other associated matters.

The VA website is also a great source of data for veterans regarding disability programs and services.

Goodwill Industries International's Career Services Program and the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) from the U.S Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy provide invaluable assistance to individuals with disabilities seeking employment, offering career counseling, job placement services, resume writing help and interview techniques training - all free-of-charge.

Social Security Disability FAQs

How much can you earn while on Social Security disability in 2023?

In 2023, the maximum amount of Social Security Disability (SSD) an individual can earn is $1,470 per month. This amount may be reduced if you have other income sources.

The SSD scheme is set up to give financial aid to those who, due to an impairment or medical issue, are not able to work. SSD benefits should not be seen as a permanent fix, but rather as a means to an end while seeking out job or training prospects with the aim of regaining self-sufficiency.

How many hours can I work and still collect Social Security?

You can work and still collect Social Security benefits as long as you are under full retirement age. However, if you are over full retirement age, there is no limit to the number of hours that you can work while collecting Social Security.

For those who have not yet reached their full retirement age, earnings (rather than hours) above a certain level will result in deductions from your monthly benefit payment.


It is important to understand the rules and regulations of working on disability in order to maintain your benefits.

Familiarizing yourself with the number of hours you can labor while collecting disability compensation is necessary to guarantee that you get the most out of your earnings without compromising any of your benefits.

Christian Worstell
About the Author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

While at HelpAdvisor, Christian has written hundreds of articles that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. You can find Christian’s most recent articles in our blog.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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