Programs that allow social security disability insurance beneficiaries to return to the workforce without forfeiting their social security benefits do exist. Among these systems are the trial work period, the extended period of eligibility, and the expedited reinstatement.
These programs encourage workers to return to the workforce, as they have a safety net just in case something goes wrong. This system, although not the most cost effective, plays a vital role in replanting injured workers into the American workforce. If you are currently receiving social security disability benefits and you are interested in one of these programs, you should contact a social security disability attorney to learn more.
Trial Work Period
The trial work period is a nine-month program during which an individual is allowed to return to work while still receiving social security benefits in full. When the nine-month trial period is over, the Social Security Administration will determine if the work that was performed met the substantial gainful activity standard.
As of 2017, the Social Security Administration places the dollar amount for substantial gainful activity at $1170.00 per month. This means that after the trial period if an individual is found to be making more than $1170.00 per month, he or she will stop receiving social security benefits.
Within the scope of the nine-month period, if an individual works less than 80 hours a month or earns less than $840.00 in a month, then that month will not be considered toward the tally of the nine months.
With that being said, the trial period does not need to be consecutive. There can be gaps in the timeline so that an individual can maintain his or her place through the trial period should they need to take a break from employment.
Within a five-year period, if you use all nine of your allotted trial work months, you will not be entitled to an additional trial work period.
Alternatively, if you do not use all of your allotted trial work months within five years, then you may be eligible for a new trial work period. Typically, trial work months that have been previously used and are over five years old are renewed, essentially creating a rolling renewal system. Therefore it is possible that an individual has 10 or 11 eligible trial work months at one time.
The Extended Period of Eligibility
Once an individual completes the trial work period, he or she will enter the extended period of eligibility. This 36-month program provides an additional safety net for individuals who are now back in the workforce after previously relying on social security benefits.
During this time an individual will continue to receive social security disability checks during each month in which his or her monthly income from employment is less than the substantial gainful activity threshold. If an individual earns more than the substantial gainful activity amount, he or she will trigger the grace period. During the grace period, even though a person earned more than the substantial gainful activity threshold, he or she will still a receive social security check.
The grace period lasts three months. However, at any point during the 36-month extended period of eligibility, should an individual earn less than the substantial gainful activity rate, he or she will again receive social security checks.
The expedited reinstatement process is designed to allow individuals who previously received social security benefits to reapply for the benefits, should they need it, within a five-year window.
To be eligible for expedited reinstatement, an individual must prove that his or her wages have fallen below substantial gainful activity amount. Additionally, if a person wants to apply for social security benefits after the five-year window is up, the individual must submit an entirely new social security disability application.
Once your request for expedited reinstatement has been submitted, you will immediately begin receiving social security disability benefits while the Social Security Administration reviews your application.
Fortunately, even if your request is denied, you do not need to give back the benefits you received during that period.
Typically, filing an application for reinstatement has a higher rate of success than filing a new application. Those who file an expedited claim only need to prove that their medical condition had not improved since the time when they were receiving social security benefits full time. Meanwhile, an individual who files a social security claim from the beginning must prove the presence of his or her disability altogether.
If you rely on social security benefits, it is critical that you are properly informed before making any decisions. The social security system is vast and complex, enlisting the help of a social security disability attorney will prove to be invaluable as you fight to protect the benefits you deserve. Here, at Krasno, Krasno, & Onwudinjo our experienced attorneys are more than happy to answer any questions or help you with the claims process. Contact us or call at 877-299-0779 to ensure your benefits are safe.