Some government disability benefits are complicated. Some, like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), are so difficult that many first-time applications are denied. However, maybe your situation is different. You already receive benefits but wonder if you can make money while on disability. It is possible, but you have to know how the system works.
Work Incentives While on Disability
If you are already receiving benefits but feel you are ready to work, the following work incentives might help:
- Trial Work Period – You might be able to test your ability to work for up to nine months.
- Extended Period of Eligibility – This period starts after the nine-month trial work period. You might be able to work and still receive benefits, depending on your income.
- Expedited Reinstatement – After a successful trial work period, you might remain eligible to restart your benefits for the next five years.
- Continuation of Medicare – Your Social Security disability benefits might stop because of your income. However, you might continue to have Medicare Part A coverage for another 93 months if you are still considered disabled.
- Work Expenses – If you work while on disability, you might have work-related expenses because of your condition. If so, Social Security might deduct your expenses from your earnings before deciding whether you can still qualify.
Some programs within SSDI also offer benefits to encourage recipients who want to get back to their jobs or an altogether new job.
Ticket to Work Programs
You might face special challenges when trying to work while on disability. The Ticket to Work Program offers services specifically for people in your situation.
If you choose this program, you and your service provider will decide on some goals. Then, you will develop a plan that helps you reach those goals. Your plan might include some or all of the following:
- Counseling for benefit programs and for starting a new career
- Job search assistance
- Ongoing employment support
- Training and educational programs
- Tuition assistance
- Rehabilitation and retraining
Depending on your disability, you might also receive assistance with any accommodations you need to make returning to work a reality.
Reporting Your Income While on Disability
If you make any money while on disability, you must report the income to Social Security. This includes:
- Wages and other earnings
- Workers’ compensation
- Other disability benefits
- Paid time off
- Certain pensions
You also need to inform Social Security of start and end dates for employment. Basically, you should report any changes to your employment status. Your SSDI attorney can help.
An SSDI Attorney Can Answer Your Questions About Working While on Disability
Talk to an attorney about your eligibility for disability benefits. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ legal experience, much of it involving Social Security Disability Insurance claims. They can help you with your application and any appeals that might be needed.
Call us at 714-385-8100 for a free consultation. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.