What Do I Do If I Start to Feel Better While Receiving Disability and Wish to Return to Work?

If you decide that you are able to work while receiving disability benefits, you are free to return to work whenever you like. However, know this: depending on what kinds of benefits you are receiving and how much income you will be receiving from work, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will reevaluate your case to determine if you are still disabled. Depending on their evaluation, your benefits may be changed.

  • If you are receiving Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI): The SSA will take part of your income and subtract it from your monthly benefits. If your income goes over a certain threshold, your benefits will be terminated.
  • If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): The SSA will look at your income and determine if it surpasses the limitation for “substantial gainful activity” (SGA). The threshold for SGA changes every year; you can visit the SSA’s website to figure out what the threshold is for this year. If you exceed the limit for SGA, the SSA will declare your disability ceased.

The SSA encourages people receiving benefits to return to work through several work incentives, including the “Plan to Achieve Self-Support,” “Work Expenses for Blind People,” and the “Trial Work Period.” Some of these programs will allow an individual to exceed the SGA limit for a given period and help beneficiaries find out if they are ready for the work force.

If you are considering returning to work after receiving SSDI or SSI benefits, you should discuss your situation with a disability lawyer. Your attorney can help you figure out the best course forward to ensure you still receive the maximum benefits while you transition back into the labor force.

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