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Can you test returning to work without losing SSDI?

On Behalf of | Mar 6, 2024 | Blog, Social Security Disability

Even though you receive Social Security Disability Insurance, you may be eager to return to the workforce. However, testing your readiness is key to ensuring a smooth transition without risking the loss of benefits.

Fortunately, there are practical steps for re-entering the workforce while maintaining SSDI support.

Know the rules

Familiarize yourself with the SSDI guidelines regarding work and income. Being aware of the specific rules and thresholds, such as Substantial Gainful Activity limits, provides a foundation for evaluating your readiness for employment.

Explore Trial Work Periods

Take advantage of the Trial Work Periods offered by SSDI. During your TWP, you can test your ability to work for up to nine months within a rolling 60-month period without affecting your benefits. This period provides a valuable opportunity to assess your readiness for sustained employment.

Consider part-time work

Opting for part-time work initially allows for a gradual transition. It can help you gauge your physical and mental capabilities without immediately reaching the SGA limits. Part-time employment allows you to ease into the workforce while maintaining SSDI benefits.

Monitor earnings

Keep a close eye on your earnings to ensure they stay within the allowable limits. These limits are typically adjusted annually, and staying within them during your TWP helps you maintain SSDI benefits while exploring your readiness for work.

Document impairment-related expenses

If you incur impairment-related work expenses due to your disability, keep thorough records. These expenses, such as assistive devices or accommodations, are excludable when calculating income, potentially helping you stay within the SGA limits.

Communicate with SSDI

Regular and accurate communication with SSDI is necessary. Report any changes in your work status promptly. Fulfilling reporting requirements ensures that SSDI can make informed determinations about your ongoing eligibility and benefit amounts.

Plan for the future

Consider the long-term sustainability of your work activities. Assess whether you can maintain employment beyond your TWP and continue to meet SSDI guidelines. Planning for the future helps ensure a stable transition back to work without jeopardizing your benefits.

By navigating these steps thoughtfully, you can assess your readiness for work while maintaining the important support provided by SSDI.

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