Wednesday, September 29, 2010 Delbert Shanklin, Community Member, asks


I qualified for social security disability in April 2010.  I am currently starting a clinical trial for heart disease and diabetes.  This study will pay $700 over three months.  Can one participate in clinical trials while receiving social security disability?  The company will submit a 1099 on all monies over $600.  Will this create a problem with receiving social security disability?  Is money paid for Clinical Trials considered unearned income?  

Answer This
Answers (3)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
10/ 7/10 12:00pm

To be honest, I don't know specifically, however, I do know that it is assumed that SSD is not enough to live on, so you are allowed to earn a certain amount over that. Once you reach the ceiling of that, they may subtract an equivalent amount from your SSD - i.e., that say the ceiling is an extra $200 a month, which means they would then subtract $500 from your SSD. However, don't take my word for it, but give your caseworker a call to find out more details. I would also recommend that you check the SSI website and possibly ask another resource, as well, as sometimes, Social Security personnel don't always know the answers and you don't want to risk losing your SSD. If the $700 is way over the allowed amount per month, you may want to talk about the people running the clinical trial to see if they can give you the money over e.g., 10 months instead of three, so that the amount you get each month is within the allowable range. You may also want to check out my post on SSD for links to resources with information about all aspects of applying for SSD and there will probably be information on this issue, as well.


Good luck! If you're up to it, would you be willing to let us know how things go? Earning a bit of extra income while on SSD is an issue that comes up on the site fairly frequently, so sharing your experience would be very helpful to other users in the community.


Paige, Community Member
10/ 2/10 4:09am

Call your SS office just to be sure, but I'm pretty sure that when I was looking up SSDI, there's a small window where if you have a small income it doesn't always effect your benefits. No matter what though, call and ask. If they say it's not a problem, get a name and write it down along with the date and time you talked to them. Then call and talk to someone else and do the same. I'm a bit wary of social security, if you can't tell, so cover all of your bases, because if they cut your benefits due to income (it proves you can work? even though it's a medical trial?) it will be much harder to re-apply. I think you're also covered under the window though that if you felt you could go back to work, and find out that you can't, you don't have to refile, they just have to reactivate your benefits and you won't get the SSI for the time you work. There are several little loopholes for you to look in to, so no matter what get extra confirmation before doing it!

RJ, Community Member
12/10/10 1:10am


I'm not really sure if this is going to help or not but let me tell you what I went through.

I went almost a full year felling that something was going on. I starting draping things at work and at only 44 co-workers were calling me old man , that made me so mad. My boss even tole me I should find another jod, I had been at that one for 20yrs. And made alot more that he did. It go to the point that some mornings I actully cried because it hurt to get up at 4:30am and get readdy for work. I even had to call off work and the person I called said< and I quote " WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME" MEANING THE PERSON i WAS CALLING. IT MADE ME SO MADE. WHEN IT GOT TO THE POINT THAT i COULE NOT LONGER WORK i DID AN ON-LINE SEARCE FOR DIABILTY LAWYERS.. tHANK god IT DI NOT TAKE ME TO LONG. sHE DID ALL THE WORK, BUT i CAN TELL YOU i WENT ALMOST A FULL YEAR WITH NO INCOME, AND THAT REALLY HURT. BUT, wHEN IT DID GO THROUGH i GOT A FULL BACK PAY FROM THAT DATE i HAD TO STOP WORKING.




Answer This

We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.

By Delbert Shanklin, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 09/29/10