Social Security benefits can be a valuable source of income for people who are unable to work. However, the amount of money people receive may not be enough to cover their needs; thus many look for ways to supplement this income. Although getting a temporary seasonal job can provide a much-needed injection of funds, it's important to follow a few rules to avoid having your benefits reduced or discontinued.

Avoid Earning Too Much

The Social Security Administration (SSA) wants to make sure it's only paying benefits to people who need and/or earned them. Therefore, its benefits program typically limits the amount of money people can earn from a job before the benefits the individual receives will be reduced or discontinued. The maximum amount you can earn from a seasonal job varies depending on the program you're getting your benefits from.

If you're receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can't earn more than $735 per month ($1,103 for couples). Those getting SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) payments are limited to earning $1,170 per month ($1,950 for blind persons). Going above these amounts will result in your disability payments being decreased by the amount of the overage. For instance, if you earn $50 over the limit, your benefits may be reduced $50.

It's important to note that some types of income are excluded in the SSA's calculations, so it's possible you could earn more than the limit and still qualify for full benefits. It's best to consult with an SSA agent, an attorney, or the administration's website for more information about how earned income is determined.

Don't Work Too Long

Seasonal employment may be the best option for certain people receiving Social Security benefits because the SSA limits the amount of time those people can work before their benefits are ended.

For instance, the SSA has a Trial Work Period program where beneficiaries can return to work for up to nine months and still receive their benefits. After the trial period has ended, the administration will evaluate the individual to determine if he or she engaged in any substantially gainful activity and decide whether to end or continue benefits based on its findings.

Again, you'll want to look up your particular program's limitations on employment and make sure the temporary seasonal job you want to get doesn't cause you to violate the program's terms.

Contact a temporary jobs office that can help you find temporary seasonal jobs.