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The Countable Income Test for Self-Employed SSDI Claimants

December 18, 2020 Blog

Let a Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer Assist

If you are a Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits recipient, then you may be thankful that you were able to secure such benefits, but frustrated by the limitations imposed on you when it comes to earning a side income.  After all, disability benefits may be insufficient to provide for a high quality of life.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the “countable income” test to evaluate monthly income and determine whether an SSDI claimant is still eligible to receive benefits.  How does this work?

Basic Rules

In Florida, and throughout the country, the monthly income cap for SSDI claimants is $1,260 as of 2020.  If your monthly “countable income” is higher than $1,260, then the SSA may determine that you are no longer disabled (as you can clearly engage in substantial gainful activity).

This can prove a problem for claimants who need to supplement their income, as SSDI benefits may not be enough.  Fortunately, claimants who are self-employed have a way to circumvent the monthly income cap.

Let’s take a look.

The Significant Services Exception

Under certain circumstances, however, the SSA allows for an exception in which the SSDI claimant has no limit on their countable income (i.e., their income will not be counted with respect to determining substantial gainful activity).

Specifically, if you — the SSDI claimant — can show that you are not providing “significant services” for your business, then you can earn above the substantial gainful activity income cap amount.

Now, if you have a solo business, any services you provide will be considered “significant services,” as any contribution you make is fundamental to the operation of the business.  If you did not make those contributions, the business could not run.  Thus, having a solo business makes it so that you cannot make use of the “significant services” exception.

If you have a business with multiple owners, or employees, on the other hand, then you may be able to take advantage of the “significant services” exception.  If you work less than half the total hours necessary to manage the business (or 45 hours or less of management services), then your services will not be considered significant, and you can take advantage of the exception.

Contact a Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer for Help

Here at the Office of Mike Murburg, P.A., we serve SSDI and SSI claimants, helping them to secure benefits through the SSA, whether through an initial claim submission or in challenging an adverse administrative decision (i.e., claim denial).

We are committed to working closely with SSDI claimants at an early stage, identifying their needs and concerns, and developing a comprehensive strategy for securing the benefits the claimants deserve.

Attorney Mike Murburg has decades of experience representing clients in SSDI disputes with the SSA.  If you’d like to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a qualified Tampa social security disability lawyer today, call 813-264-5363 or submit a message through our website.