In order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you have to demonstrate that you have medical symptoms that impact your ability to do your job or take care of yourself. Generally, applicants will have conditions that limit their ability to function in one or more critical areas of their life.

However, life with a disability can become easier once you’ve acclimated to the condition and learned how to adjust your life to it. Through healing, occupational therapy and other supports, you may regain necessary functions or learn new ways to manage tasks that were previously impossible.

You may find yourself in a situation where you eventually would like to go back to work in order to regain your sense of independence. If that happens, will you immediately lose your SSDI benefits?

There is a grace period when you return to work

The Social Security Administration (SSA) encourages those with disabilities who are able to work to attempt to do so. In order to get as many people as possible to try to return to work, the SSA has a policy of allowing a grace period after someone receiving SSDI benefits tries to return to the workforce.

You will typically receive three months of benefits after you start working again. However, in some circumstances, you may have to repay some of those benefits. You can choose to voluntarily suspend your SSDI benefits while you attempt to return to work.

What if you can’t continue to work despite your hopes?

Some people are reticent to even try getting a job while receiving SSDI benefits because they assume that they will lose their benefits and be unable to qualify for them in the future. However, if you attempt to work and cannot do so, you can likely resume receiving benefits.

Simply going back to work won’t necessarily result in a medical review of your benefits determination, especially if you’ve received SSDI for several years or longer. Being unable to make work arrangements tolerable can help bolster your claim for resumed benefits. Depending on how long you went without SSDI benefits, you may have to reapply for benefits entirely.