The answer is no. SSDI would count as unearned income and reduce an SSI payment, almost certainly down to zero. In general, for most people, SSDI would provide a higher payment than SSI.
You are encouraged to create a “My Social Security Account” to determine your SSDI payment amount.
There are a series of programs that allow you to work and earn income while collecting SSDI.
You begin with a Trial Work Period (TWP), which is 9 individual months where you earn more than $970 (2022).
- These 9 months can occur within a maximum of 60 months (5 years).
- During the TWP (until you reach the 9-month total) there is no reduction in SSDI for the earned income.
- If you are claiming Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB):
- Prior to collecting CDB, if you exceeded SGA in any 9 individual months in a rolling 60-month period you are no longer considered “disabled” since the age of 22 and will lose CDB permanently
- After collecting CDB, if you exceed SGA in any 9 individual months in a rolling 60-month period are no longer considered “disabled” since the age of 22 and will lose CDB, but can get it back if you fit the SGA definition for “disabled” again within 7 years (84 months).
After the TWP period ends, you will be in the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), which lasts 36 months.
- If you earn less than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount SGA of $1,350 (in 2022), you will receive your full SSDI for that month.
- If you earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount SGA of $1,350 (in 2022), you will NOT receive your full SSDI for that month.
- If, during the EPE period, you fall below the SGA for a later month, you can get your SSDI benefits back.
After the 36-month EPE period, SSDI continues until the first month that SGA (earned income over $1,350/month) is earned. At that point, SSDI is terminated after a grace period.
- If you later fall below the SGA amount, you are eligible for Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits (EXR), which means that for a period of 5 years, you can get SSDI reinstated without a new application.
- You must apply to Social Security to expedite reinstatement.
- After 24 months of reinstated benefits (i.e., no earnings above SGA), new TWP, EPE, and EXR periods will begin.