Can I Return to Work if I Receive SSDI?

Yes, with certain limitations. If you are receiving SSDI, you can work so long as your earned income does not exceed substantial gainful activity ($1,180/month). So long as you earn below SGA, $1,180/month, you can still receive your full SSDI benefit.

Trial Work Period for SSDI Recipients

When you want to return to work, you can do so during a Trial Work Period (TWP) without immediately losing your benefit. During the TWP, you can work at or above substantial gainful activity for 9 months and still receive your full SSDI benefit. However, once those 9 months are over, you enter what is called an Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). During this 36-month period, you will not receive your SSDI benefit for any month you earned over SGA. For any month you earned less than SGA, you will receive your SSDI benefit.

There is a 3-month grace period that applies the first time your earnings are over SGA. During this grace period, you can still receive your SSDI benefits. However, after this grace period ends, you will not receive your SSDI check during any month in which you earn SGA.

Once the 36-month EPE is over, your benefits will terminate the first month in which you earn SGA.

Expedited Reinstatement for SSDI recipients

If you stop working or your income falls below SGA at any time within five years after your benefits ceased due to work activity, you can file an application for expedited reinstatement. When you file this application, Social Security will pay you benefits for six months while your application is processed.

However, if you stop working or your income falls below SGA more than 5 years after your benefits ceased due to work activity, you will need to file a new application for benefits.

Duty to Report

SSDI recipients have a duty to tell Social Security when they return to work. If you do not, and they discover that you were receiving a monthly benefit when you were ineligible due to your work activity, you will be required to pay them back.

Advertisements

Author: Kathryn L. Blevins, Esq.

Attorney. Small business owner. Military family. I am the owner and attorney at Blevins Law, LLC. My firm focuses on Social Security disability claims (SSI and SSDI), Veterans' Disability Compensation, Advance Medical Directives and medical and financial powers of attorney. I also assist veterans assessing other types of VA benefits they may be eligible for. I am licensed in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and am a VA Accredited Attorney. I am the proud wife of an Army veteran, and the proud mother of two amazing children and three rescued fur children.

One thought on “Can I Return to Work if I Receive SSDI?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s