CAN I WORK WHILE ON DISABILITY?
Many people faced with disabilities wonder if later on, should their condition improve, or they are offered a good opportunity, can they work. That is a good question and Social Security has programs in place to help people get back in the work force if they are able. These programs are the Social Security’s work incentives and Ticket to Work programs. These programs allow you to work and continue to receive your disability monthly payments. As a rule, Social Security requests that you notify them any time you try to work.
The first program is the Ticket to Work. Under this program you can receive free vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals, and other employment support. You will not undergo any medical reviews while you are using the free ticket and making timely progress towards your plans for work. The Ticket to Work helpline is 1-866-YOURTICKET (1-866-968-7842) or you can visit the Ticket to Work website at www.socialsecurity.gov/work.
The second program available is the Trial Work Period. This program allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During this time you will receive your full Social Security benefits regardless of how much you earn as long as you report the work and continued to be disabled. SSA considers a month to be a trial work month if your earnings are over $840.00 gross. Your trial work period ends when you have worked nine months within a 60 month period. The nine months do not have to be consecutive. Example: you may work 3 months at one job, get laid off for 1 year, and then attempt another job for 6 months. This work would equal to 9 months of work within a 60 month period and would mean you have used your trial work period. Per SSA, your Medicare Part A coverage will continue for at least 93 months after the nine month trial work period. After that, you can buy Medicare Part A coverage. If you have Medicare Part B coverage, you must request in writing to have those benefits continued and pay the premium. After your 9 month period ends, there is a period of 36 months that SSA indicates they will pay you benefits for any month your earnings do not exceed $1,170.00 for the year 2017.
There are different rules for those who are blind, also different rules for those receiving SSI benefits. If you receive SSI benefits, your income can not exceed the SSI income limits. This limit is different in every state. If you attempt to work and your benefits are stopped because of your earnings, and you become unable to work again because of your disabilities, you can ask SSA to restart your benefits. You usually do not have to file a new application if your request is within 5 years from the month your benefits stopped. This is considered an expedited reinstatement and you can see a previous article written regarding this on the Gardberg and Kemmerly blog page at www.gardberglaw.com.
There are lots of rules to working while receiving Social Security benefits and you should contact your local Social Security office or visit their website. While our office does not help those looking for employment, if you become unable to work and need to file an application for disability, call one of the experienced disability attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free consultation. Gardberg & Kemmerly specialize in helping the injured and disabled in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana.