After receiving disability benefits for a while, you may find yourself ready to get back to work. It should be fairly easy, but sometimes things just go wrong. Read on to learn how to avoid three mistakes when you return to work.
Failing to Report Income to the SSA
It’s possible to continue receiving disability benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) during a trial work period. During this time, you can earn up to $880 a month, which is then considered a “month of service.” Most benefit recipients have up to nine months of service without losing benefits.
All that aside, it’s very important that you report any substantial gainful activity to the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you forget or ignore this important requirement, the SSA could require you to repay any overpayment of benefits.
Failing to Use Ticket to Work Resources
The SSA offers this program to beneficiaries who want to return to work, but perhaps at a different job. The transition from home to the workplace can be eased by using resources like:
- Career counseling,
- Vocational rehabilitation services,
- Free employment services,
- Job placement and training.
Participation is voluntary and free! If you are interested in this program, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 / 866-833-2967 (TTY).
Failing to Track Expenses Related to Your Disability
As noted above, if your reported income exceeds the SSA’s limits, your benefits may be reduced or stopped. However, when calculating your earning, the SSA may deduct the cost of some impairment-related expenses, including:
- Any item or service that enables you to work;
- Equipment, supplies, or services that are not reimbursed by an insurance carrier or Medicaid.
For example, you may need a wheelchair or scooter to perform your new job duties. The cost of renting or buying this equipment may be an eligible impairment related expense.
Tracking these expenses could make a significant impact on your ability to return to work and still pay your bills.
Make Your Return to Work Easier
The SSA recognizes that some workers may be unable to work full-time as they finish recovering from their disabling condition. Workers who want to return to work just need to follow the rules and avoid making the mistakes mentioned above.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve SSDI and SSI issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.