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Disabled/But still work and ride

I am just curious, if you’re disabled and receive disability, but still work at a job, would riding and owning your own horse still be looked at as a bad thing? I will add, that I go to a therapeutic riding program, to help keep my mobility strong. I am in Canada

I’m in Canada…nope wouldn’t bother me or anyone I know …if you can afford it, go for it!

I am not in Canada, but Kudos to you for keeping all those balls in the air! :encouragement:
I have a hard enough time being retired & no disability - besides age-related - caring for my horses.

Whose business is it that you do what you want with your income?
Nobody’s! :mad:

You do You :yes:

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One of my former friends said she couldn’t work, but yet rode and wanted to show/travel to Florida. She also complained she didn’t have any money. To each their own decision!

You should ask an attorney in your location, actually. I don’t think that it would be bad to go to a therapeutic riding center. I don’t know if having a horse could affect whether the government thinks you have too much income and don’t need the supplement, though – totally different question that you should get real legal advice on.


Yes, this will depend on the disability you have claimed. You don’t want to jeopardize your benefits.

Anything on the mental health spectrum, I would think not.

On the physical spectrum it will.depend.

Therapy riding is therapy, so I don’t see the problem there.

But yes, you need legal advice and if you are low income in Canada you may be able to find a legal advocate from a poverty rights kind of organization to walj you through the relevant rules.


IIRC, receiving SSDI is not based on former income. SSDI income is based on former income.

IIRC also that any outside income is capped while receiving SSDI. If you earn above the cap, that can disqualify you from receiving SSDI.

This is in the US. Can’t speak for Canada or other countries.

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Scribbler, I don’t recall having to identify my disability to receive SSDI. However, I did need to either see a SSDI “appointed” Dr or justification from my own Dr as to why I could no longer work. SSDI reviews that information and makes a determination if the person is eligible for SSDI.

SSDI is also notoriously hard to get. Many have their claim denied and must appeal.

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I am in the US, and worked with a disability for over 20 years. When I finally just couldn’t do it any more, I quit working without filing for SSDI due to exactly the concern you expressed. I felt I would be questioned on having horses, even though my husband did all of their care and I limited myself to driving my very quiet pony around the neighborhood (couldn’t ride any more due to balance issues). I was able to spend the last two years without income, but I won’t say it was easy. Without a lot of sacrifices to save like crazy when I was younger, I never would have managed it.

Ironically, I ended up retiring my last horse right around the time when I quit working, and he has since died. But I also like to travel when I feel able, and I don’t want to be questioned on that, either. It’s a ton of work for my husband, who sets up all our trips so I can handle them. But I could see it being misunderstood.

I can apply for Social Security next week, and that’s a huge relief to know I will have money coming in after three months. And I don’t need to worry about traveling when I feel able to, as no one will be looking over my shoulder.

I have known people who in the US were questioned on their recreational activities while on some form of disability (although that could have been private disability insurance–I don’t remember the details). I didn’t think they were doing anything wrong; it’s so much better for us disabled folks to do what we can, when we can. But some entities look at it as a black and white situation, at least in the US.

I don’t know what the rules are in Canada. Someone upthread suggested consulting with a local lawyer, and I think that is very good advice.


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Well, I think the system in Canada is different from the US. There could be federal benefits, provincial benefits, and also payments from private extended health insurance plans. There are also big payouts from auto insurance after accidents.


OP, I think you need specific legal advice for your province and your source of benefits.

If that is indeed your question.

Looking back at your question, I see you just ask if its “seen as a bad thing.” Do you mean by the horse community? No, if you have means and support to care for the horse. By the world in general? Nobody cares or needs to know your status.

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CPP disability benefits are not necessarily permanent. It is intended to partially replace your employment income for as long as your disability stops you from working at any job on a regular basis.

Your CPP disability benefit may stop if:

  • you are capable of working on a regular basis
  • you are no longer disabled

Are you expecting the government to fund your horse ownership as well as your hippotherapy? Because a case worker might question that! :wink:

I would suggest talking to your case worker. If Canadian disability benefits are managed as benefits are here in the US, you have a case worker assigned to your case. Check with them.

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Interesting. I was on SSDI for 4 years and never had (at least never met with) a case worker… interesting.

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FYI in USA you are not going to be able to work and get SSI. However owning and riding horses is not a problem . Horses mouth,

Thank you all for your advice, I will definitely check into legal advice, sounds like my best option. I am not on CPP. My disability is mental but it affects me physically. But riding therapy definitely helps keep me strong and mobile, and I will be competing in para dressage with my therapy program. My condition is not a well studied one, and a lot of doctors don’t know a thing about my condition. I only have two specialists that understand it. But I just recently started easing back into working again, With disability I claim all my work pay every month, and they deduct any money from my disability pay if I earn over the allowed limit of earnings from work. I apologize I might be trailing off the topic a little bit, I really appreciate the help from you all

Best of luck with your riding!

Have you had your own horse before?

Yes I have had two, not at the same time. I just had to retire my last one, and she’s happily living with some other horses, on a friends retirement farm, where They own and take care of her now


You can work while on SSDI. Your “substantial gainful activity” is capped, for 2019, at $1220 per month without loosing the SSDI benefit. Unearned income is not included.

I’m in the same boat. My disability is rare, too, a physical one that affects me mentally/emotionally. IME with US disability applications (I’m not on disability but not for lack of trying!), the only people who can give you accurate information are the disability-program people.

My advice would be to contact the disability agency in Canada. Whichever agency awards disability benefits. They are the only ones who can tell you how it works.

Good luck!

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Thank you I know it’s a tough subject. I will ask the disability agency as well :slight_smile:

:no: Not true.
I was able to collect 80% of DH’s SSI (Widows Benefit) while I was still working.
Switched to mine (I paid in longer, so greater benefit) when I retired.
SSI may be less if your income exceeds the cap, but you are still eligible.
After age 70 income is unrestricted.
SSI does not give a fig what you spend your money on.