Social Security Disability Insurance is intended for those who are unable to work due to a disability. It often takes time, effort,legal assistance, and some hoop-jumping to get your SSDI application approved. So when your health improves, the choice to return to work (and forfeit disability payments) can be a tough decision. The Social Security Administration offers several SSDI work incentives to entice SSDI beneficiaries to rejoin to the workforce.These programs may be a major factor in weighing your options for returning to work after a disability.
Trial Work Period & Extended Period Of Eligibility
You may be interested in returning to work, but you may be unsure if you can handle it. The Social Security Administration allows you a trial work period of nine months to test your abilities. You will continue to receive your disability payments during this time. Keep in mind the nine-month trial work period does not have to be consecutive. All work you do within a five-year time frame will count towards your nine months.
After your trial work period, you can have your benefits automatically reinstated if your earnings drop below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. This extended period of eligibility will last for three years after your trial work period ends.
Another SSDI work incentive involves medical coverage. In many cases, those who qualify for Social Security Disability will be able to keep their medical coverage (Medicare or Medicaid) should they return to work. Once your SSDI payments stop, you should still receive Medicare for at least 7 years. If you are on Medicaid, it may be a little more difficult to keep your coverage once your income goes up. However, the earnings threshold varies by state and other conditions.
The Social Security Administration periodically conducts a “Continuing Disability Review” to see if you are still disabled. If you return to work through the Ticket to Work program, SSA does not conduct medical reviews while you are actively participating in the program.
Many people choose not to seek employment when their health improves because they fear the consequences if their health should decline again. SSA knows people dread the possibility of going through the SSDI application process all over again, so they offer the incentive of expedited reinstatement of benefits.
Once your SSDI cash payment benefits end, you have five years to request a reinstatement of benefits. SSA will give you six months of cash payments and medical benefits while they review your case. If they decide not to reinstate your benefits, you will not need to repay the temporary benefits you received in the interim.
Questions About SSDI Work Incentives? Contact A Mt. Pleasant SC Disability Attorney
EachSSDI work incentive program offered by the SSA comes with its own set of rules and guidelines. If you are considering returning to work after being approved for Social Security Disability, it is important to discuss the potential consequences of this decision with an experienced disability lawyer. Klok Law Firm LLC is happy to answer your questions. Contact us today.