Being unable to work is really difficult for some people. It can be distressing, even when they understand their medical condition prevents them from working. However, some people begin to improve after being disabled for a time. They may be eager to return to work, but afraid they will fail. Even worse, they may fear losing their disability benefits. For example, Donna was not able to work for two years while she battled breast cancer. However, although she won the battle, she still felt weak and unsure of her ability to handle a job. She was happy to learn about programs for people just like her.
What does the Social Security Administration look for?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two programs related to disabilities: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To qualify for SSDI benefits, an applicant must prove they have a medical condition that prevents them from working and must have accumulated enough work credits. SSI applicants must prove disability and financial need.
It is possible for someone receiving SSDI to work with some limitations. However, the SSA will monitor the individual’s substantial gainful activity (SGA). In 2019, a non-blind person may earn up to $1220 per month, while a blind person may earn up to $2040. Benefit recipients who exceed the monthly SGA may see their benefits reduced or terminated.
What does the Social Security Administration offer?
Are you receiving SSDI benefits? Always tell the SSA if you:
- start or stop working,
- report back to work only to find your job has changed, or
- start paying for work-related expenses required because of your disability.
The SSA provides the following assistance to SSDI recipients who want to return to work:
- The Trial Work Period. You may work for up to nine months with unlimited earnings with no loss of Social Security benefits.
- Ticket to Work. Eligible SSDI recipients age 18 through 64 may receive back-to-work services through this program.
- Extended Eligibility for SSDI Benefits. You may be able to receive benefits for another 36 months after your trial work period ends.
- Expedited Reinstatement. Some people’s SGA exceeds the monthly limit and they lose benefit. However, you have five years to restart benefits if your medical condition prevents you from working again.
A Disability Attorney Can Help Every Step of the Way.
For a free consultation with an experienced Social Security attorney, consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of Martin Taller. Call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients through Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.