Your Georgia workplace-related injury could qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if it is severe enough to limit your ability to perform your duties. 

Yet, you may still find yourself in a disheartening situation: What if you need more income than you receive in benefits? Or, what if you still find value in contributing to the workforce and earning a little extra money despite your physical limitations? 

Fortunately, qualifying for SSDI does not prevent you from working or earning any cash at all; it is simply a way for the government to help you bridge the income gap for the duration of your long-term or permanent disability. 

Will I qualify for SSDI if I can still perform some tasks? 

According to the Social Security Administration, you do not need to be completely incapacitated to fit their definition of disabled. Instead, they use the following criteria to make the determination: 

  1. Are you unable to perform the same job and duties as before your diagnosis? 
  2. Are you unable to perform other work that could support you financially? 
  3. Is your condition fatal or persist for a year or longer? 

If your condition fulfills all three of these elements, you may qualify for SSDI. 

Does “disabled” mean I cannot work at all? 

If you wish to return to some level of productivity, the SSA provides a small loophole for you with the concept of “substantial gainful activity.” Basically, this means that if you earn more than a certain amount of income per month, your job qualifies as a substantial gainful activity, and you become ineligible for SSDI. 

Therefore, you may work and receive benefits simultaneously as long as you do not go over the monthly threshold of $1,260 ($2,110 if you are blind). Plus, the SSA will grant you a 9-month trial period during which they will disregard the income limit and continue your assistance while you test your ability to return to the workforce.