Can I Supplement My SSDI Payments with Other Benefits or Income?

Posted by: Chris

Since Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments are typically not enough to live on, it is important to understand what other benefits you may be entitled to and even try to supplement your income by working part-time if you can. Here is what is allowed and what is not allowed:

Work income

The Social Security Administration’s definition of “disability” is based on whether you are able to perform “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). You are only considered officially disabled if not are not able to perform SGA. However, the SSA usually allows you to earn up to $1,310/month in 2021 ($2,190/month if you are blind) before it considers you to be performing substantial gainful work.

However, there are exceptions. If you own your own business, this income rule may not apply and other factors may be taken into account, including your duties and the number of hours you work. In addition, you are entitled to a nine-month trial work period during which you can make more than the SGA amount.

Other benefits

You are only allowed to collect one Social Security benefit at a time. If you are eligible for more than one benefit, you will receive the higher of the two benefit amounts. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not considered a Social Security benefit, so you can collect SSI in addition to SSDI.

You are also allowed to collect private disability payments -- for example, from an insurance policy. In addition, veterans are eligible to receive VA benefits at the same time as SSDI benefits.

Many people with serious, long-term work-related injuries qualify for both workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits. It is possible to receive both types of benefits at the same time, but the benefits may be reduced. The total amount of workers’ compensation and disability benefits awarded to you cannot exceed 80% of your average earnings. If it is higher than 80% of your average earnings, the SSA will reduce your disability payments to keep you under this limit.


After you’ve been receiving SSDI benefits for at least 24 months, you become eligible for Medicare coverage, even if you have not yet reached the age of 65. This two-year waiting period begins five months from the date your disability began (due to the five-month waiting period for SSDI).

If you are disabled, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our attorneys guide you through the process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll-free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.