Some Americans balk at the idea of giving up work completely, and Michigan residents are no strangers to pursuing meaningful careers. When an individual suddenly requires lengthy medical treatment and is no longer able to work, he or she may view applying for Social Security Disability benefits as a failure of sorts. SSD, however, is a benefit earned after workers have devoted more than just a few years of their time and efforts to their occupation. Turning to it for relief when needed is not an indication of personal or career failure.

To qualify for SSD benefits, applicants must have a permanent injury or a diagnosis of a qualifying medical condition that prevents them from performing substantially. The condition must limit an individual’s regular activities for a 12-month period in areas such as lifting heavy weights, maintaining focus, standing or walking. According to the U.S. News & World Report, an individual may still work and earn an income of less than $880 each month while receiving SSD benefits.

Lifestyle changes through SSD

While having a debilitating condition prevents an individual from carrying on as actively as before, finding a new line of work or position is still legally permissible. Once an individual receives approval and begins to receive SSD, new types of work opportunities may present themselves.

There are various programs designed to assist individuals in pursuing an alternative career, such as through learning a new skill or studying for a particular trade. Starting work on a part-time basis may also help an individual feel better and regain a positive outlook.

SSD requirements and monitoring

When an SSD recipient begins to earn an income of more than $880 per month, the Social Security Administration reviews the benefits claim and determines whether it represents a trial work period. In circumstances in which an individual is able to work and earn more than $880 in nine months out of 60 months, he or she may no longer be eligible for SSD. If an individual’s average earnings obtained through gainful work activity grows to become more than $1,220 per month, the qualifying condition may not be severe enough to maintain eligibility for benefits.

Qualifying for SSD does not require an individual to be a certain age. Workers under the age of 50 may receive benefits if they develop a debilitating condition.