Many people who feel they’re able to return to work after managing their disabilities have questions about whether they will lose disability benefits as a result. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has certain rules regarding what can happen to someone’s benefits when they earn a certain amount of money each month. These rules are maintained by the trial work period and extended periods of eligibility. However, many of the requirements and restrictions can be confusing. Talk to a Philadelphia individual disability insurance lawyer to see where you stand.
A trial work period is a process that starts once you decide to return to work. The trial lasts nine months. You will still receive disability benefits during these nine months, but may or may not lose benefits after the trial period has ended.
During the trial work period, your total income from your job will be assessed and recorded for each month. Whenever your monthly earnings exceed $880, this amount will be counted to your trial work period. However, it is a good idea to double-check this amount with an experienced attorney in your city because this number is usually adjusted each year.
A month is only counted as one of the nine months when the amount of your monthly income exceeds the threshold, so not every month of the trial period has to be back-to-back. By the end of the trial work period, all your data will be used to determine whether you maintained a Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). If your SGA was equal to or above $1,220 per month, then your disability benefits can be discontinued. At this point, the SSA deems you able to care for yourself despite your disability.
If you do not reach the SGA threshold, you will enter an extended period of eligibility (EPE). This period of recording your monthly income lasts much longer, with a total of 36 months. Just like the trial work period, you will continue to receive disability benefits and your monthly income will be continuously monitored by the SSA.
Your monthly income can affect whether you will still receive a monthly disability check. For example, if your income for one month exceeds the SGA threshold, you will not receive a disability check for that month. However, if your monthly income does not exceed the threshold in the following month, you will receive a disability check.
You run the risk of losing all disability benefits when you breach the SGA threshold in the month right after your EPE ends. However, this may not be permanent. If your disability worsens and your work income falls short within five years after your ESE ends, your disability benefits can be given back.
Consider hiring a Philadelphia disability lawyer if you are concerned about losing your disability benefits. Contact Edelstein & Nelson at 1-800-300 – 0909 for a consultation today. We can help you determine whether you run the risk of losing benefits if you feel ready to start working again.