Ohio Social Security Disability And SSI Legal Blog

What you should know about SSDI work incentives

While SSDI provides substantial support to its recipients, the SSA acknowledges the possibility of individuals returning to work despite their disabilities to explore their earning potential. This is why the agency offers work incentives to its benefit recipients.

What exactly are work incentives?

Work incentives refer to the benefit available to individuals with disabilities to work while continuously receiving monthly payments under the Medicare or Medicaid programs.

One of the features of work incentives is the trial work period (TWP). The TWP allows eligible individuals to work for a period of nine months to test their ability to go back to the workforce. The months rendered for the trial work do not have to be consecutive, as long as the worker completes it within a five-year period. During the trial period, they will continue receiving their disability benefits regardless of their income.

Who can benefit from this?

The work incentives are available to individuals who are also eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). This includes disabled and blind individuals insured under the Social Security trust fund.

What happens after the trial period?

Once the TWP ends, the individual will get a three-year extended period of eligibility (EPE). The SSA will continue its disability payments during this period if the recipient’s work and income do not reach the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level. The determination will be on a monthly basis.

Once the EPE ends and the worker reaches the SGA level at any month after the EPE period, the SSDI benefits will discontinue.

Dealing with a disability can impact an individual’s well-being and financial condition. Understandably, many people with disabilities still want to explore the possibility of working again. However, some may fear that they will lose the benefits they are already receiving while not knowing whether their attempt to return to work will be a success. Knowing that work incentives are available can help them take their next step in returning to work.