I have a friend living on social security disability for a mental disorder and he's come up with an idea for an invention that I think could be useful to society and perhaps profitable for him. I'd like to help him go forth with developing it (prototype, provisional patent application etc) with the goal being to eventually get a licensing deal. Which could mean additional income for him if successful, but he's concerned about how that could affect his benefits and doesn't want to risk losing his social security (that he's depending on to live) over a pipe dream.
Does anyone know how SSA treats cases like this? I've read there have been many successful inventions that were created by people with disabilities, but I don't know if they were living on social security at the time and how that worked for them.
He's concerned that they will reduce his benefits, or cancel it altogether and use it against him (ie "he must not be disabled anymore if he's able to invent something and license it").
I feel like it's kind of a catch-22, because I don't want him to do it if it's going to affect his ability to live on a daily basis, but at the same time I would like him to have a better life and perhaps this could help him get off social security one day. So I was just wondering if anyone could offer some advice.
Being that a product can sell thousands one month and zero the next, how would that work with regards to his monthly benefit amounts? Would he have to report changes to his income every month?
And what if it made enough money that he himself decided to stop his benefits because he didn't need it anymore, but then the product stops selling and he ends up needing his social security again later?
***I realize the odds are against inventors ever making any money from their inventions, but he just wants to be informed about how his social security would be affected if it does succeed.***