Disability, SSI

Working While Disabled — Social Security Can Help

August 2, 2018 • By

Last Updated: July 15, 2021

man sitting in wheelchair

For millions of people, work isn’t just a source of income. It’s a vital part of who they are – it gives them purpose and pride. It’s a connection to community. We’re here to help you get back to work if you’re disabled.

If you’re getting Social Security disability benefits, we have good news for you. Social Security’s work incentives and Ticket to Work programs can help you if you’re interested in working. Special rules make it possible for people receiving Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work – and still receive monthly payments.

The Ticket to Work program may help you if you’d like to work.  You can receive:

  • Free vocational rehabilitation.
  • Training.
  • Job referrals.
  • Other employment support.

You can read more about working while receiving disability benefits on our Ticket to Work Program page.

Work incentives include:

  • Continued cash benefits for a time while you work.
  • Continued Medicare or Medicaid while you work.
  • Help with education, training, and rehabilitation to start a new line of work.

If you’re receiving Social Security disability benefits or SSI, let us know right away when you start or stop working. This is also important if any other change occurs that could affect your benefits.

If you returned to work, but you can’t continue working because of your medical condition, your benefits can start again. Plus, you may not have to file a new application.

You can learn more about the Ticket to Work program by reading our publication, Working While Disabled: How We Can Help.

Part of securing today and tomorrow is giving you the tools to create a fulfilling life. Getting back to work might be part of that. We’re here with a ticket to a secure tomorrow.

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Communications


  1. cheryl

    how do I receive a ticket to work

  2. Terri B.

    I have been trying to get ahold of Allen for 2 weeks about reporting wages. I need to know how to deduct for bus passes purchased and if I can deduct for driving him to Holland for his jobs at Hope Network and Herman Miller.

  3. Denise T.

    I am trying to find help for my situation I am raising my two grandchildren and have been out of work since May 26th I was just wondering if there’s any kind of Social Security help I could get if so please let me know I’m in dire need I’ve something to catch my bills up and take care of the children

    • Ray F.

      Hello Denise. Under current law, Social Security can only pay benefits to grandchildren if certain conditions are met. Generally, the biological parents of the child must be deceased or disabled, or the grandchild must be legally adopted by the grandparent. See “Benefits For Grandchildren” for more information.
      Some individuals may be eligible to receive assistance from the state where they live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information.
      We hope this helps!

  4. Mary

    also, why did social security disability lower my monthly benefits due to a workmans compensation litigation settlement that was agreed to by both parties in December, 2017. – What is wrong with social security??? I needed this settlement money to live on!!!- I have bills to pay as no one else is going to come & pay them for me.!!!
    Social Security Disability is a bunch of crap- I worked for 44 years & unfortunately, am unable to work @ during my golden years due to unforeseen injury -none that I wished be handed to me…. So Mr. Ray Fernandez, why is SS lowering my disability payments monthly by $200.00??? – it is really obnoxious what they do!!!

    • Ray F.

      Hello Mary, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how workers’ compensation or other public disability benefits can affect your Social Security disability benefits. For further assistance, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  5. Colleen P.

    File a appeal

  6. Darryl D.

    I am on Social Security disability and I’ve been on so scared disability since 2001. I live in Mesa Arizona now. I am interested in the ticket to work program however I would like to find my own job. I’ve been applying for federal jobs through USA jobs. If I get selected for one of those jobs can I use it as a ticket to work? Can you explain that a little better to me please?

  7. mehidal a.

    my names mehidal amarree hassan i am big probleme in my arrival to united stade please help my social security numper is *** – ** – *** helpful mass stade

  8. Mark W.

    After 30 years of mostly construction a on the job injury I had to retire and was awarded SSDI. I want to return to a part time job in another field, How much can I earn and not lose my monthly SSDI check? Thanks hope to hear from you

    • Ray F.

      Hello Mark. A person may still be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program if they work. However, their earnings cannot exceed a certain amount. This is called the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. In 2018, the SGA limit is $1,180 per month (or $1,970 for blind applicants). In addition to the amount of money you make, Social Security may also look at the number of hours you’re able to work. Please read our publication “Working While Disabled: How We Can Help“. Thanks!

  9. Mark W.

    I cannot find info about returning to a part time job. Have a job interview and what do I say for pay scale like how much can I earn without loseing my monthly SSDI check.

  10. Robin H.

    If you have earned more than the cap for a few months on and off over the years, does the clock every restart. I thought I read somewhere that the 10 month maximum that after 60 months, the clock is reset. I’m afraid to try short-term work — health permitting every once an awhile.

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