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How does attempting to work impact SSD benefits?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2019 | Social Security Disability

Georgia residents who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits might be under the mistaken impression that simply getting approved for SSD benefits means they cannot work, nor can they even try to work. In truth, many people who are classified as disabled and meet the federal regulations to get SSD benefits can do some jobs. It is not automatic that disability and an inability to work go hand in hand. In many circumstances, however, the claimant is not certain whether he or she can hold a job or not. This is when it is important to understand the work incentives available and to ensure benefits are protected if the person finds that work is impossible.

A trial work period gives the person a minimum of nine months to see if work is possible. They will have the ability to work and still receive their SSD benefits no matter how much they earn, provided they report to the job and still have a disability. Currently, the trial work month is any month where the person earns more than $880. For self-employed people, it is $880 per month or a month in which the person works more than 80 hours. The TWP continues until the person used nine consecutive months within a 60-month timeframe.

Expedited reinstatement allows the person five years for the benefits to restart if they cannot work. No new application is needed in such a circumstance. For people who are getting SSD benefits and earn too much to continue receiving benefits and remain disabled, the free coverage under Medicare Part A continues for a minimum of 93 months after the TWP has ended. The person can then purchase Medicare Part A. For those getting Medicare Part B, paying the premiums is required. With work expenses that are related to the disability, there are certain pieces of equipment or services that are covered. That includes transit costs, a wheelchair, counseling and more. This can be deducted from the earnings when it is determined if the person can keep getting SSD benefits.

People who are getting disability benefits and want to try to work need not worry about choosing one or the other. With the available options to make a work attempt, there is no reason to avoid trying because of the fear that the benefits will stop. For people who are getting Social Security Disability benefits and want to try to work, it is imperative from the beginning to ensure that they are protected.


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