Before you decide to volunteer while on Social Security disability benefits, think carefully about the amount of volunteer work you are doing and whether this will have any effect on your benefits.
Being disabled can be a lonely experience, and it can be useful for a person who is unable to work to spend time volunteering in an organization. This can keep a person occupied and improves one’s mental outlook and status. However, doing volunteer work while on disability, could impact disability benefits.
Make sure that the volunteer work you do does not contrast with your disability. If your disability is related to a spine injury or back pain, don’t volunteer for a job with prolonged standing, walking or with heavy exertion. Take care not to volunteer for more than a few hours in a week. Your disability benefits may be at risk if you work on a volunteer basis for an amount of time equal to a full or part-time job. Such volunteer work could be deemed to be equivalent to monetary compensation. If you receive monetary compensation or volunteer work comparable to monetary compensation, and that amount meets or exceeds the Substantial Gainful Activity level, your benefits will be at risk. The Social Security Administration could determine that you are capable of working to earn a sustainable income, and your benefits could be at risk.