Some disabled workers may find that their condition has gotten a little better. Maybe they locate a new job that they can do despite their disability. For example, Chris was unable to return to construction work because of injuries to his spinal cord. He received Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income. Chris learned of a new career that suited his current physical limitations, but he was worried. Would returning to work affect his SSDI and SSI? What if he tried to go back to work but failed?
SSDI and SSI are both government programs managed by the Social Security Administration. Both programs also provide support for people unable to work due to a disability. However, both programs also address the issue of recipients returning to work.
Your Responsibilities When Returning to Work
If you begin working, it’s important – and required – that you report the following information to the SSA:
- When you start or stop working;
- If your duties, hours, or pay change; and
- When you start paying for things that you need for your job that are impairment-related expenses.
You can report to the SSA in person, by phone, fax, mail, or through the website “my Social Security.”
What Happens Next?
The SSA will review your case every so often, but they already had a legal obligation to do that anyway. In addition, they will check to see if you can perform substantial gainful activity” (SGA) that might affect your benefits.
If you are using the SSA’s Ticket to Work program, they generally do not review your case to see if you are medically improved.
However, if they decide that you are no longer disabled, either due to your work or your medical conditions, your SSDI benefits may end. Your SSI benefits also may cease if you no longer can be considered disabled. You may qualify for a grace period of three months before your benefits end.
Benefits may continue, though, if you meet either of the following conditions:
- Benefits cease because of work, but your earnings fall below a certain level during your extended period of eligibility; or
- Benefits stop because of medical improvement but you are in vocational rehabilitation programs.
Get the Benefits You Deserve When You Need Them.
Learn more about your options if you return to work. Your case receives the attention and care of experienced Social Security Disability attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller. For your free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We are located in Anaheim, but we assist clients throughout Southern California.