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Are you able to own a business and receive social security and disability.

Dallas, TX |

Recently awarded ssi and disability due to have lupus bipolar and a host of other illness. I have held jobs but not for a long amount of time due to keep falling ill and missing days. Judge finally said I cant work but if i have always wanted to own my own business can i do that and still receive my monthly payments.

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Attorney answers 3


Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are two different programs. Both provide benefits to persons who are elderly or disabled. Social Security is an insurance program. If you have enough "covered quarters" and insured status, your disability benefits would continue if you made less than $1,000 per month at your business. If your disability benefits are SSI, a means-tested welfare program, the earnings limits are less. Be aware that the demands and stress of owning a business often exceeds that of employment in many ways. If your work attendance was so inconsistent you met the disability standards, owning a business without losing lots of money may be an unrealistic expectation.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


I would agree with the last writer that as long as your income remains under $1000.00 a month you may be fine. Keep in mind though that SSA can do a review on your claim and if it is show that you can work and make a living at SGA levels, you may become disqualified. You run that risk so proceed carefully!


Both attorneys are correct BUT there is a danger. When you were evaluated for disability it was based on medical condition, education and relevant work experience. You were found disable because you could not perform work for which you were qualified. If you own your own business, even if you stay under the $1040 mark, you will be exhibiting skills that you may not have been previously evaluated. If that is the case, SS may decide that you are able to perform work related to these new skills and you would lose your disability award.

Do not want to discourage you but you should know the potential risks relative to your situation.

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by attorney Clint Curtis as general information and not specific legal advice. Specific advice can only be provided after a complete analysis of all information related to the asker. No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of the information provided. If you have additional questions please contact the law office.

Katherine Renee Kyle

Katherine Renee Kyle


There is additional information that I believe is notweworthy to this situation. Social Security makes a distinction between earned and unearned income. Therefore if you owned a business but did not perform any duties as the owner and hired someone to manage the books, etc. you could receive profit from the business over $1040 a month and still qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, title II claim. However, these types cases are often investigated by the Social Security Administration because the individual's ownership creates a potential for fraud. If you work in the business you have to be sure that if you paid someone else to do the job you are performing they would not earn over $1040 per month in order to ensure you still receive your SSDI benefit. You cannot pay yourself less than you would someone else to perform the job just to be under $ 1040. If you did it would be fraud and your benefits could be cut. Supplemental Security Income also know as SSI is somewhat different and the information I provided does not pertain to an individual receiving SSI.



thank you Katherina kyle that was really helpful

Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus

Gerald Gregory Lutkenhaus


Earned income versus earned income is the key. You could receive $1,000,000 from investments and this would not disqualify you for Social Security DisBility.

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