When you are unable to make ends meet because you have a disability or serious medical condition, you may apply for Social Security Disability Insurance through the U.S. Social Security Administration. Typically, the administration gives these benefits to individuals who have conditions that are so severe that they are unlikely to improve over time. What happens, though, if your condition improves to a point where you want to attempt to return to work?
As a recipient of SSDI, you may be able to return to work on a trial basis for a limited amount of time while still receiving your benefit checks. However, whether you may do so depends on certain variables.
The Substantial Gainful Activity factor
Whether your returning to work disqualifies you from receiving SSDI benefits depends on whether your work constitutes “Substantial Gainful Activity.” How much money you earn a week determines whether your work falls under the Substantial Gainful Activity umbrella. If your income is higher than the maximum allowed, your benefits stop, unless you are participating in some type of work incentives program.
The Ticket to Work program
The SSA’s Ticket to Work program is one such program that may enable you to return to work temporarily on a trial basis while still receiving SSDI. You may return to work for up to nine months to see if it is feasible for you long-term. You also have the option of spreading those nine months out over a period of five years.
Keep in mind that the maximum amount you may earn while getting SSDI benefits changes from one year to the next.