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You can still work while receiving Social Security Disability benefits —€“ within limits

Thinking about going back to work but not sure if you will be able to?  Worried that you’ll lose your Social Security Disability benefits if you try to work, even if you can’t continue?


You should know that the SSA has special work rules that allow you to keep your cash benefits and Medicare while you try to go back to work.  During this trial period you can still receive your full benefits even if you earn a handsome salary.  All you have to do is report to work while you still have a disabling impairment.


Your trial period lasts until you work 9 months over a rolling 60 month period.  Your work time does not need to be consecutive, i.e. it can be broken up in to several time periods that all add up to 9 months.


If you earn over $700 a month at your job then the SSA considers the work you perform as “services”.  “Service” work is what counts towards this special work incentive program.


Once the 9 month trial period is over, your benefits will cease while you are earning a “substantial” amount from your services.  In 2009 “substantial” is defined as $980 a month, but varies depending on the type of disability you have.


There are more rules and restrictions pertaining to SSA’s disability work incentive program, which you can learn more about by visiting the SSA disability website or by talking with your SSD claims attorney.