I've been receiving SSDI for about 7 years. I have discovered a form of work that I seem to be able to do, provided my health improves succificiently over the next several years, which is math tutoring.
So basically this is self-employment.
I have certain expenses each month, such as paying to keep a website maintained and running, paying some transportation costs to get to student's homes, paying some marketing costs (running ads, paying someone to distribute flyers, etc.). I also am working on producing math videos which will eventually be a producl, and I have computer software and hardware expenses related to that.
I also get paid by each of my tutoring clients by cash or check several times per month.
What I would like to do is keep this up part-time for now, (maybe about 10 hours per week) and then see if my health allows me to transition to more full-time work. So I am going to be aware of when my income exceeds the $850 trial work period, from time to time. My hope is that by the time I have 9 such months, I'll be a good position to transition of disability.
Let's call my business expenses E. Let's call my received income from clients C. I also have necessary medical expenses to do my job, including medications and doctor appointments without which I would not be able to work. Let's call that M.
So what counts as my income, when computing the amount over $850? Is it C? C-E? C-E-M?
Obviously it really should be C-E-M because even though my clients pay me C, I'm not really "making" that much money, given that I have to pay out E and M to be able to do this work at all.
But this is important because C has gone over $850 several times. I'm working about 10 hours per week and charging $40/hour, so C can be upwards of $1600. But E and M together are something like $1000, so it's not like I'm actually making $1600.
I called SSA but they were not able to help me. They actually said they're not allowed to give out information like this because the local office handles it.