Can you work while receiving SSDI?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2024 | SSDI

Receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has programs to help you return to work while still receiving benefits. Understanding these programs might help you make informed decisions about working while on SSDI.

Trial work period

The Trial Work Period (TWP) allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During this time, you will continue to receive full SSDI benefits regardless of how much you earn, as long as you report your work activity and continue to have a disability. The TWP provides a safety net, allowing you to explore employment opportunities without risking your benefits.

Extended period of eligibility

After the TWP, the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) begins. This 36-month phase allows you to receive SSDI benefits for any month your earnings are below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. In 2024, the SGA limit is $1,550 per month for people with a disability other than blindness. It is $2,590 for those who are blind. If you earn more than this amount, the SSA will suspend your benefits, but not terminate them.

Expedited reinstatement

If your benefits stop because your earnings exceed the SGA limit, you can request Expedited Reinstatement (EXR) within five years if you are unable to continue working due to your disability.

Working while on SSDI

Working while receiving SSDI benefits is possible and can be beneficial. Programs like the TWP, EPE, and EXR provide opportunities to return to work without immediately losing your benefits. Always report your earnings to the SSA and stay informed about program rules to avoid issues.

Take advantage of these programs

Understanding and utilizing the SSA’s work incentive programs can help you transition back to work smoothly. Explore these options to enhance your financial stability while maintaining your benefits.