Can You Work Part-time and Receive Disability Insurance Benefits? 

April 28, 2020 | J. Price McNamara
Can You Work Part-time and Receive Disability Insurance Benefits?  In some instances, you may be able to work at a part-time job and still receive disability benefits. However, the amount of your part-time wages can have a significant impact on the amount of any benefits which you are entitled to receive. Eligibility to recover disability benefits is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  If you have applied for disability benefits and your disability claim has been denied, you may have several legal options available to you – including appealing your case administratively with your insurance company or filing a lawsuit against your insurance company in federal court.  The experienced Texas disability insurance attorneys at the J. Price McNamara ERISA Insurance Claim Attorney are committed to helping you pursue the disability benefits you need. Please contact us online today for more information and to schedule a Free Denial Review and legal consultation.

What is a Substantial Gainful Activity?

Any work that an individual performs – including work that is part-time in nature and which results in a set amount of income that the individual receives on a monthly basis – is called a substantial gainful activity (abbreviated as SGA).  When you apply for disability benefits, the Social Security Administration is then tasked with determining if you truly suffer from a disability that prevents you from working and which qualifies you to receive disability benefits. The SSA figures that if you can work a certain amount in order to obtain a set sum of money, then you have the ability to work and earn an income that is competitive – despite any long-term injury or illness from which you might suffer.  For the year 2020, the preset income limits for an SGA are as follows:
  • $1,260/month if the applicant does not suffer from blindness
  • $2,110/month if the applicant does suffer from blindness

Evaluating an Applicant’s Work Abilities

Even in cases where an applicant’s monthly income falls above or below these SGA income levels, the SSA can still elect to evaluate an applicant’s ability to work – including the applicant’s ability to do part-time work.  For example, if the applicant works as a volunteer in a soup kitchen where he or she must engage in physical activity, the SSA may assume that the applicant is able to work at a restaurant – even though the applicant’s income level may otherwise suggest that he or she requires disability benefits in order to stay afloat. On the other side of the coin, an applicant may earn monthly income over and above the SGA level, but the applicant’s occupation may accommodate the disability, suggesting that the applicant is eligible for benefits (despite the high amount of the applicant’s monthly earnings).  In all cases, for an applicant to be eligible to obtain disability benefits, he or she must be wholly incapable of earning SGA. 

Talk to a Texas Disability Insurance Lawyer Today

If you are interested in learning more about how part-time work can affect your eligibility for disability benefits, the legal team at J. Price McNamara ERISA Insurance Claim Attorney is ready to help. To schedule a Free Denial Review and legal consultation with a knowledgeable Texas disability insurance attorney, please contact us online today.
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J. Price McNamara


Losing my own brother, then my father and sister after long, disabling illnesses just a few months apart drove a career change for me. Before that experience, I never truly understood the place you’re in. I never understood the dramatic impact that receiving (or not receiving) the disability and life insurance benefits you paid for and counted on can have on your life especially when you need to focus on family and healing. What I experienced with my own family now drives the way I view my clients and my work, and I will never forget it!

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