Bridges Resource Library

SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) – Fast Financial Facts

Updated as of February 26, 2024.

SSDI in Brief

  • Benefit based on work history
  • If you have too much earned income, you will lose ALL SSDI benefits that month unless an exclusion applies (often called the “SSDI Earnings Cliff”)
  • Work incentives: Exclusions from earned income
    • Impairment-Related Work Expenses Exclusion
    • Trial Work Period

SSDI Disability Eligibility

  • Legally blind – special treatment in some cases
  • Other disabilities

SSDI Financial Eligibility

No limitations on Resources

  • There is no limit
  • Resources are NOT included in SSDI eligibility determination

Limitations on Income

  • Unearned income is not factored in
    • Gifts, bequests
    • Investment income
  • Earned income only (Substantial Gainful Activity – SGA): 2024 SGA for SSDI
    • For blindness: $2,590/month
    • For all others: $1,550/month
  • Exclusions from Earned Income SGA
    • Trial work period – up to nine (9) months
    • If earned income, after exclusions, exceeds SGA, even by only a dollar, the individual will ALL of the SSDI payment for that month
    • This also impacts medical insurance coverage

Medical Insurance for SSDI Recipients

  • Medicare
  • 24-month waiting period
  • Earning too much can affect this
  • If still medically eligible, but earning too much money:
    • Extended eligibility period (trial work period of nine months plus seven extra years)
    • Possibility of paying premiums to continue some Medicare coverage

Other Benefits That May Be Available to SSDI Recipients

SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)

  • Often called “food stamps”
  • Eligibility based on gross income

Lifeline: Free/low-cost internet or cell phone

  • Offers discounts for phone and internet services from approved companies
  • Available to those receiving SNAP benefits

Tuition Waiver at Maryland Community Colleges for SSI and SSDI Recipients Bridges Resource Library entry

  • For up to 6 credits per semester or up to 12 credits per semester if the individual is enrolled in classes as part of a degree or a certificate program designed to lead to employment
  • For continuing education designed to lead to employment, including life skills instruction
  • Available to those receiving SSDI or SSI benefits

Amazon Prime Access

  • Discounted Amazon Prime membership
  • Available to those receiving SNAP benefits

Museums for All program

Download available

IRWE Calculation Spreadsheet (two worksheets: SSDI Calculation & IRWE Calculation)

Contact the Bridges Helpdesk for More Information

Our Accessible web form


Text: Send to: (410) 357-1546

Voice mail: Call (410) 357-1546, leave a voice mail message, and we will return your call

This unique project is being coordinated through The IMAGE Center of Maryland, a center for independent living in Towson, and it is funded by a grant from the Maryland Department of Education Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services.

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