Even with a disability, it might be possible for you to hold some form of employment. That is why the Social Security Administration offers work incentives, which allows people to work a certain amount of hours without losing their benefits.
Understanding work incentives is crucial to maintaining your benefits. This guide explains how the program works, as well as what you can do if you are unable to work or lose your job during the process.
Trial work period
During your first nine months of employment, you will receive benefits as you normally would. You can earn any amount of money during this time without it affecting your benefits. However, you must notify the Social Security Administration of when you start and stop work, what you do, how much you make, how many hours you work, and expenses you have related to work and your disability.
Extended period of eligibility
When the nine months are up, you may still work and earn benefits. You must not make over a certain amount of money, which is known as substantial earnings. Monthly work limits in 2021 are $1,310 or $2,190 if you are blind. The extended period of eligibility lasts 36 months.
Just because your earnings go over a certain limit does not mean your benefits will be revoked. You can earn a substantial living for a period of five years before you must submit a new application. This process is known as expedited reinstatement. After five years, you must submit a new application if you can no longer work.
In the event benefits are taken away in error, you do have legal options. An attorney can review the denial or revocation of benefits and take the right steps to get them reinstated. The process can be complicated, which is why it is best to receive professional assistance.