Special Social Security Administration (SSA) rules make it possible for people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to work and still receive monthly benefits, as well as Medicare. Social Security calls these rules “work incentives.”
The Advocator Group℠ can help you better understand and take advantage of these work incentives to ensure that you maximize your income during your period of disability. Call (877) 261‑1947 to speak with an advocate to learn more.
|Trial Work Period||Extended Period of Eligibility|
The trial work period allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During your trial work period, you will receive your full Social Security benefits regardless of how much you are earning as long as you report your work activity and you continue to have a qualified disabling impairment.
In 2011, a trial work month is any month in which your total earnings are more than $720, or if you are self-employed, you earn more than $720 (after expenses), or spend more than 80 hours in your own business. The trial work period continues until you have worked nine months within a 60-month period.
After your trial work period, you have 36 months during which you can work and still receive benefits for any month your earnings are not “substantial.”
In 2011, earnings over $1,000 ($1,640 if you are blind) are considered substantial. No new application or disability decision is needed for you to receive a Social Security disability benefit during this period.
After the nine-month trial work period, most individuals will continue to receive at least 93 consecutive months of Medicare Part A coverage. Also, if already enrolled, they will continue to receive Medicare Parts B and D (Prescription Drugs) coverage. Although SSDI cash benefits may cease due to work, you will have the assurance of continued health insurance. The 93 months begin the month after the last month of your trial work period. To qualify, you must already have Medicare and be engaged in substantial gainful activityTo be eligible for SSDI benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA. The Social Security Act specifies a higher SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals; Federal regulations specify a lower SGA amount for non-blind individuals.
Monthly SGA amounts for 2011
• $1,640 for blind individuals
• $1,000 for non-blind individuals, but not be medically improved.
SSA periodically reviews disability cases to see if the person with a disability is still eligible for benefits. Two types of reviews are performed:
A disabled beneficiary will not have to undergo a medical continuing disability review based on work activity alone if he or she (1) has received disability benefits for at least 24 months or (2) is participating in the Ticket to Work program.