Income and Disability: What You Need to Know

If you’re injured but still able to make a small income, you may have questions about income and disability qualifications. In this video, Memphis SSDI attorney Darrell Castle discusses what you need to know.



Hello, I’m Darrell Castle, and I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee. I’ve been doing a series of videos on Social Security Disability. And today we’re going to talk about what it takes to be qualified for disability under the Social Security rules.

Can you earn income and still be disabled?

We know that you have to be medically unable to work, but can you earn income? The answer is yes, if your income is less than (amount*) per month on average.In other words, if you worked this year, if you earned money this year, can you still be qualified? Yes you can, if you earn less than (amount*) per month on average, and not a penny more. There has to be a cutoff, and those are the rules.

(*This video was filmed in 2014, but the amount you can earn changes every year based on inflation. To find the most up-to-date amount, always check with the SSA.)

What does it take to be medically unable to work, under the SSA rules?

The SSA maintains a list of conditions—very severe conditions—so severe that if you have one of those conditions, you’re automatically qualified. You’re automatically disabled.

What if your condition is very severe, but not on the list?

Well, then you have to look at your past work. Does it interfere with your past work? Does it interfere with basic work activities? That is the test of disability.

What if your condition is severe, but not as severe as those on the list?

It’s the same answer: Does it medically keep you from working? That is the real answer.

Age and SSDI Income Limits

Now let’s talk about age for a minute. Let’s say that you are 65 years old, and you have a condition that you feel keeps you from working. Can you get Social Security Disability? The answer is no.

Once you reach the age of 65, the Social Security Administration considers you to be retired. You’re no longer working, so you no longer need an insurance policy to replace lost income. There is no lost income.

You are on Social Security at that point: your Social Security should be just as high as your disability payments would have been. But you cannot collect both at the same time. So 65 is the cutoff.

Get Help from Our Memphis SSDI Attorneys

If you feel like you’re medically unable to work and qualify for disability, I’d like to talk with you about that. Call me right now for a free consultation, or contact me using the form on this page.

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