Social Security Lawyer: Can I Volunteer On SSD?

People who receive Social Security Disability benefits often wonder if it is possible to volunteer while they are still receiving benefits. The answer is yes — You can volunteer while receiving Social Security Disability benefits. However, there are specific considerations to ensure your disability benefit. This article is for reference, but it is always best to consult your Social Security Lawyer to ensure you don’t lose your Social Security Disability benefits.

Choose A Non-Profit Organization

Volunteering with 501c3 designated organizations is essential. The 501c3 designation will protect your disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) might disapprove of you volunteering to help your sister with her freelance business. Why? Because this activity could earn you a salary. The SSA may reconsider your eligibility for benefits if you perform a job for which a salary is normally paid.

Don’t Become A Full-Time Volunteer

There is the possibility of “too much of a good thing”. You should limit volunteering to a few hours per week or shorter shifts. The SSA may think that if you volunteer for 30-40 hours per week, it is possible to work that many hours, which may put your disability benefits at risk. Volunteering for just a few hours every week is the best option to protect your benefits. This way, you get all the benefits of volunteering while not jeopardizing your disability benefits.

Be Selective

You may feel comfortable volunteering in a position where you are familiar with the work. For example, if you worked as a teacher and became disabled — the last thing you want is to be a volunteer in a classroom. Tempting as that may be, the SSA may question your ability to use the skills you gained in your job as a volunteer. If you have questions about volunteering at an assignment, consult with your Social Security Lawyer.

Volunteer with an Approved Organization

The government adopted the Volunteer Domestic Services Act in 1973. This act protects people with disabilities or other government help to volunteer, do good and get the socialization they need. The act approved some agencies as organizations that people can volunteer without risking their benefits. 

Volunteering with these groups will ensure that you don’t lose your benefits:

  • Volunteers In Service To America
  • The University Year in Action
  • Foster Grandparent Program
  • Active Corps of Executives
  • Special Volunteer Program
  • Retired Senior Volunteer Program
  • The University Year in Action
  • Service Corp of Retired Executives

These organizations are national, so that you can locate a branch or chapter almost anywhere.

Volunteering While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?

There are many ways to volunteer and receive your disability benefit. However, there are certain restrictions that can jeopardize your disability benefit. For many, working is more than just a source of income. Beneficiaries of SSDI risk feeling isolated and depressed. Volunteering can be a great way to help others, find purpose, and regain a sense of community. 

If you’re considering applying for social security disability, and have questions about the process, help is available.  Get a free case evaluation, and locate a social security lawyer near you who can explain more about the Social Security Disability program.

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