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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Can Applicants or Beneficiaries of Disability Benefit Work?

Applicants for disability benefits may be permitted to work during the application process. Beneficiaries of Social Security disability or SSI disability may as well be permitted to work even while they are receiving the benefits.

However, applicants and beneficiaries should, before working, must bear in mind the following points:

1. All work activity must be reported to the Social Security Administration.

2. Eligibility for social security disability or SSI will give the claimant nine trial work months. During these months, applicants and beneficiaries can basically work with no earning limitations. The nine month period need not be consecutive so long as it occurs within the five year period.

Multiple work experiences can operate to exhaust trial work months for a long time because of the rolling five year period.

3. Disability benefits will cease if the trial work months are exhausted and at least the SGA substantial gainful activity amount is earned.

4. If the beneficiary is only a recipient of social security disability and not of SSI disability, an extended period of eligibility or EPE will be given.

5. The cessation of the 36 month extended period of eligibility will operate to terminate the disability benefits if, in any month, the beneficiary earned at least the SGA amount.

6. If the beneficiary stops working due to the same medical problem he was granted disability benefits, he may apply for an expedited reinstatement of the disability benefit.

Reinstatement may occur during the five year period previous to the disability termination month. Upon reinstatement, the beneficiary is allowed to receive six months of provisional payments. In the meantime, Social Security will make a determination on the medical condition of the beneficiary. If beneficiary is found to be disabled, disability benefits will be reinstated.

Admittedly, people who have been placed under disability have still hope of joining the workforce. But considerations must be made to avoid benefit interruption and overpayment. A social security disability attorney may be hired to avoid conflicts.