Yes, you can work and still receive Social Security disability benefits (SSD) under the Social Security Administration’s work incentive programs. Learn exactly what each incentive entails, and your rights and responsibilities, so that you can keep your benefits while trying to get your footing back in the workforce.

The Trial Work Period Incentive

You can continue to receive your Social Security disability benefits while working during what’s referred to as a Trial Work Period (TWP). For 2014, if you earn more than $770 in any given month while receiving SSD, you will be automatically begin a TWP.

Under the TWP incentive, you can receive your full benefits for nine months in any five-year period while earning $770+ per month. If your income falls below $770 in any given month, it does not count toward your nine-month TWP.

The EPE and the SGA

After your nine-month TWP grace period ends, a three-year Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) begins. During the EPE, you can still receive your full SSD benefits so long as you’re earning less than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) threshold.

The SGA allotted monthly amount in 2014 is:

  • $1800 for blind applicants; and
  • $1070 for non-blind applicants.

If, at any point during your EPE, you earn more than the SGA cap, you will receive SSD for three more months, then your benefits will cease.

Fortunately, if you stop working within five years from the time your benefits were terminated, you can be quickly reinstated without having to go through the entire application process. This is called the Expedited Reinstatement work incentive, and allows you peace of mind knowing that if your health worsens or if you are unable to continue working, you can quickly have your benefits back without a wait period.

What to Do if Your Benefits are Wrongly Terminated

Many workers are leery of returning to the workplace for fear they will lose their much-needed benefits. That’s why the SSA began offering these work incentives. You have a right to benefits while exploring your work options, so long as you’re disabled and report your income every month. This can be a godsend for disabled persons eager to get out of the house and back into the workforce.

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for workers to slip through the cracks and have their benefits prematurely shut off. If you’re having problems with your benefits or have had them wrongly terminated, you can request an appeal. It’s highly recommended to speak to a Social Security attorney before starting the appeal process.

Markhoff & Mittman Help Disabled New Yorkers

If you live in New York City or the surrounding areas and are having problems with your SSD, call our attorneys at Markhoff & Mittman for help. Let us look over your case and see how we may be of assistance. Contact us today for a no-obligation, free case evaluation at 866-205-2415 or 866-205-2415 or set up an appointment by contacting us online.