For many people who receive Social Security disability benefits, returning to work is a goal that they strive for. However, the fear of losing their benefits can be a significant barrier. In this article, we will discuss how you can return to work while on disability and still receive the benefits you need.
Returning to Work While on Disability: Balancing Employment and Benefits
The first step is to understand the different programs and incentives that are available to help you return to work. The Ticket to Work program is a free program that connects people with disabilities to employment services, vocational rehabilitation, and other resources that can help them return to work. The program also offers incentives such as extended Medicare coverage and continued cash benefits while you work.
Another program is the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS). This program allows you to set aside money to pay for expenses related to returning to work, such as education or training, transportation, or equipment. By using PASS, you can reduce your countable income and still receive your disability benefits while you work towards your goal of returning to work.
It’s also essential to understand the rules regarding working and receiving disability benefits. Social Security has different rules for people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
For SSDI recipients, there is a trial work period that allows you to test your ability to work for nine months without losing your benefits. During this period, you can earn as much as you want without affecting your benefits. After the trial work period, there is an extended period of eligibility during which you can continue to receive benefits for up to 36 months as long as your earnings are below a certain level.
For SSI recipients, there is a similar program called the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE). This program allows students with disabilities to work and earn up to a certain amount without affecting their SSI benefits. The SEIE is available for students up to age 22 who are enrolled in a school or training program.
It’s important to note that if your earnings exceed the limits set by Social Security, your benefits may be reduced or stopped altogether. However, even if your benefits are reduced or stopped, you may still be eligible for other forms of assistance such as Medicaid, food stamps, or housing assistance.
Contact a Social Security Attorney For Guidance On Matters Related to Returning To Work While on Disability
Returning to work while on disability can be a challenging but rewarding process. By taking advantage of the programs and incentives available and understanding the rules regarding working and receiving benefits, you can achieve your goal of returning to work while still receiving the support you need. If you have questions or need assistance, contact your local Social Security office or a disability advocate for guidance.