After almost two years on disability, Mark was excited about returning to work. He was also a little afraid of what would happen if his disability returned after he started working. That’s what we will look at in this article. You may be surprised at some of the ways people on disability can be protected from losing their benefits if their disability returns.
Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits
To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you have to have a medical condition that prevents you from working. Your work record also helps determine whether an applicant meets eligibility requirements.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages the SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. The SSA rejects many first-time applications. However, benefit recipients receive monthly income if their disability claim is approved.
Getting Back to Work
Occasionally, an SSDI recipient might be able to start working again. A trial work period may allow the individual to try returning to their job without losing their benefits if the attempt fails. The trial work period can start part-time as a tryout. Returning to work full-time is the goal for some disabled workers.
In fact, the SSA’s Ticket to Work programs provides free, voluntary services to help disability claimants return to gainful employment.
But sometimes the person returning to work finds it necessary to return to disability status instead.
The SSA has built-in some safeguards for people leaving disability for the workplace. In addition to a trial work period, you can also enjoy a 36-month Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). During the EPE, SSA staff will compare your monthly earnings to the current substantial gainful activity (SGA) limits.
Workers who meet the SGA limit still have a 3-month grace period.
At the end of your EPE, you may be working and no longer in need of disability benefits. However, if your disability returned and you are unable to work again, your benefits resume.
Another situation may occur where a disability returned after a benefit recipient started working. Perhaps you have exhausted your EPE and benefits stopped. At that point, you may have to file a new disability claim.
Get the Benefits You Deserve When You Need Them
Don’t wait for an unnecessary amount of time to get your disability payments started. Talk to a lawyer as soon as you learn you can no longer work.
At The Law Offices of Martin Taller, your case gets the attention and care of experienced Social Security Disability attorneys. Call us at 714-385-8100 to set up a free consultation. Though our office is conveniently located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.