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Social Security Disability Work Incentives

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides incentives for disability claimants who want to go back to work.

SSA is invested in helping disability beneficiaries enter back into the workplace. It does this by allowing beneficiaries a trial work period. This trial work period is for nine months, and it will allow beneficiaries to test their ability to return to work.

During this work period, you will continue to be eligible for Social Security benefits and continue to receive benefits. However, you must continue to have the disability, and you must report your work to SSA.

Once the trial period ends, you will have an extended eligibility period in which you can continue to work, provided your earnings do not increase beyond a limit. In 2015, the Social Security Administration will consider any income above $1,090 per month to be substantial income. That means that you are at risk of losing your disability benefits if your earnings exceed that amount. In the case of a blind person, the limit is $1,820.

If your benefits cease because you have begun to earn a substantial income, you may remain eligible to get your benefits reinstated in the future if you lose your job because of your condition. Say, for instance, you begin working and lose your benefits after reaching the substantial earnings threshold, you can apply for reinstatement of benefits if you lose your job. This process of filing for benefits, however, will not be as tedious and lengthy as the first time around.

Disability law surrounding work incentives is complex. It’s important to have the right legal counsel on your side anytime you are trying to navigate the social security disability benefits system.