When it comes to Social Security Disability (SSDI), the total income one can earn depends on their unique circumstances. This is particularly influenced by whether they are engaged in part-time work while receiving SSDI benefits.
Financial assistance provided through SSDI is determined by calculating an individual’s average earnings throughout their working life prior to the onset of disability. Unlike means-tested programs, SSDI benefits are not based on financial need, but rather on the individual’s earnings history and ability to work.
Apart from average lifetime earnings, there are several factors that influence the amount of money one can receive through SSDI. These factors include the duration of employment and payment of Social Security taxes, as well as the age at which the disability occurred. To determine the benefit amount, the Social Security Administration (SSA) utilizes a complex formula known as the Primary Insurance Amount (PIA), which takes into account the individual’s earnings history.
The PIA calculation involves considering the individual’s highest-earning years, indexing their wages to account for changes in the national average wage, and applying a formula to determine the primary insurance amount. This amount represents the monthly benefit the individual is entitled to receive from SSDI.
It is important to note that working part-time while on SSDI can have an impact on the benefit amount. The SSA employs a set of rules and thresholds to determine the impact of earnings on SSDI benefits. These rules, known as the “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) guidelines, establish the maximum earnings limit an individual can have while still qualifying for SSDI.