While you’re participating in the Social Security Ticket to Work program, your Social Security benefits are still available. However, you still need to keep track of how much you actually make. If you’re blind and disabled, you can make up to $2,040 every month. However, if you are not blind while disabled, you can only make up to $1,220 per month.
Trial Work Period
Keep in mind SSDI recipients who earn more than the aforementioned amounts are earning what is called substantial gainful activity or SGA. Normally, you cannot earn over SGA while receiving benefits. However, you might be able to take advantage of a Trial Work Period and not lose those benefits. The nice thing about this Trial Period is that it gives you several months, nine total, to see if you can work while still getting all your benefits. That means that you can have income from your work while getting extra benefits.
Starting the Trial Work Period
Though you might not earn SGA while you’re working, you may have still triggered the Trial Work Period. If you made at least $880 dollars in one month, your trial period may have started. Your Trial Work Period isn’t necessarily nine consecutive months when you start working but an accumulation of nine months over a rolling sixty-month period. Consider contacting someone at the SSA to see if your Trial Work Period has already begun.
If you’re concerned about losing your benefits completely, take a deep breath. Even after you go through the nine months of the TWP, there’s a chance that you can still receive benefits. If you happen to find your earnings are below the SGA threshold, you can still get your disability benefits. That means that even after you start your job, you don’t necessarily have to give up your benefits. Perhaps you should start your job hunt by seeking an Employment Network to help you with the Social Security Ticket to Work program.
If this hasn’t been made clear yet, you can work while you’re disabled! You can use your Social Security Ticket to Work to return to the workplace or from the comfort of your own home! While you are working through your nine-month Trial Work Period, you will still qualify for your disability benefits. However, you should note that after that period, you may want to verify if your earnings are at SGA or not to continue to qualify for your benefits. Consider talking to a benefits counselor if you’re concerned about losing your benefits.
When you are returning to work, you may want to keep in mind when Social Security will review your case. SSA will periodically review your file to see if you are still medically disabled and eligible for benefits. In cases where medical improvement is expected, the case will be reviewed between 6 to eighteen months after you get benefits or your last review. If medical improvement was possible, the review will happen no earlier than three years. However, if medical improvement was not expected, SSA will not review your case any earlier than five years. By participating and being active in the Ticket to Work program, you can be protected from these reviews as you work towards self-sufficiency.
Find Your Place
Maybe you’ve already enrolled in the Ticket to Work program. Perhaps you’ve found that you can have benefits while you’re working. Perhaps your income is enough to sustain you so that you don’t need benefits. Whatever the case may be, find your place in the workplace. Don’t let your disability hold you back.