Will passive income affect your ability to get SSD?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2023 | Social Security Disability

When applying for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, the Social Security Administration will assess your eligibility based on a number of factors. One of these is your income. There is a limit to how much you can earn to qualify for disability benefits, and exceeding this limit can either lead to the denial or revocation of your claim. 

Passive income, however, may not count towards your income limits. But what exactly is passive income and how does it impact your disability claims?

Understanding passive income per SSA standards

According to the Social Security Administration, any income that takes little effort to earn and maintain is considered passive or “unearned” income. In other words, you should not materially participate in the income-generating activity in question. Such income is treated separately from earned income.

This includes any monies that you do not earn through contractual or regular employment. Some of the unearned income the SSA will look at when determining your eligibility for SSD benefits include:

  • Workers’ compensation
  • Pensions and retired benefits
  • Unemployment and veterans’ benefits
  • Alimony and child support
  • Inheritance payments
  • Income from investments and rental properties

Per SSA, any work done under special conditions does not necessarily qualify as “substantial gainful activity” that could disqualify you from benefits. This includes situations where someone is employed through a special workshop or with a job coach.

Fighting for your rights

Don’t assume you can’t qualify for benefits based on your income without learning more. Knowing your legal options can ensure that you get the best possible outcome for your Social Security Disability claim.