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Working While Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits

Published on February 16th, 2015

Trial Work Period

If a disabled person returns to work while collecting SSD benefits, he must notify the Social Security Administration. He is entitled to a “trial work period” under the Social Security rules and is still entitled to receive Social Security disability benefits during the trial work period.

If gross earnings (even part time) are $750 or more in a month, the person has used up one of his “trial work” months. A disabled person is entitled to a total of nine trial work months. Note that these months do not have to run consecutively.

Once the disabled person has completed 9 months of trial work, and continues to work at a “substantial” level (see below), the benefits may end. If he stops working, he is entitled to an extended period of eligibility (EPE) for 36 more months after the trial work period has ended and can still receive benefits during that time. He must notify the Social Security Administration of this change in order to invoke the EPE.

Gross earnings of less than $1,040.00 per month are not considered “substantial and do not automatically cause the termination of disability status. However, please note that any work activity may cause the Social Security Administration to consider whether you have regained the ability to work.

The above limits are in effect for the 2013 calendar year and may be adjusted every year by the Social Security Administration.

Ticket to Work

The Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency (Ticket) program was created in 1999 to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries the choices, opportunities and support needed to become and stay employed, increase their earnings, and eventually leave and remain off benefits by being fully self-supportive. Organizations selected to participate in the Ticket program are required to provide employment support services that afford Ticket Holders the opportunity and support to prepare for, obtain and retain career ladder jobs that will realistically enable them to leave and remain off of cash benefits.

Eligible Social Security disability beneficiaries, called Ticket Holders, may assign their Tickets to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to maximize their economic self-sufficiency through work opportunities. For more information about this program, please visit the Ticket to Work Program’s Website

Contact our Social Security Disability attorneys today for more information.

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