The Social Security Administration (SSA) actually offers a number of incentives to those on disability looking to rejoin the workforce. If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Working can help alleviate the need to receive disability benefits, either fully or in part, and also allows the individual with a disabling condition to seek the personal fulfillment that can come with being able to go to a job. If you have been participating in an SSA incentive program, however, and lose your job, you may rightfully be worried about what will happen to your Social Security benefits now.
Do I Still Qualify for SSD Benefits If I Lose My Job?
If you want to try and go back to work, but you are Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, you may interested to know that the SSA has a number of work incentives as well as the Ticket to Work program to try and entice SSD benefit recipients to rejoin the workforce. In fact, the incentives include the fact that those receiving SSD benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments can still go back to work and receive their monthly benefit payments. So, your cash benefits will continue for a certain period of time after you begin working. Your benefit payments will continue during your work trial period. Furthermore, after your trial work period, you will still have 36 months of an “extended period of eligibility.” This means that, during that time, you can still receive benefits if your monthly earnings are not substantial.
In addition to SSD benefits, Medicare or Medicaid benefits will continue after you go back to work. There is also assistance available to help you with education, training, and rehabilitation should you be trying to begin a new line of work. Through the SSA ticket to work program, you can receive a variety of employment support as well as job referrals.
If you are worried about what would happen if you lost your job while receiving a continuation of SSD benefits, don’t. Should you lose your job during the trial work period, your benefits will not be impacted at all. If you lose your job during the extended period of eligibility, the 36 months following your trial work period, you can contact the SSA and have your benefits reinstated as long as you have a qualifying disability.
If your SSA payments stopped because you went back to work beyond the extended period of eligibility and your earnings were too high, you can also ask the SSA to restart your benefits if you once again become unable to work because of disabling medical conditions. Should you find yourself in this situation, you will not have to file a new disability application if you make this request within five months after the months you benefits came to a stop.
It is important, however, to keep the SSA updated on your work status. Contact the SSA if you start or stop working. Contact them if your work duties, hours, or rate of pay change or if you have to start paying expenses for work related to your disability. These changes can be reported to the SSA via phone or mail or, alternatively, in person at your local SSA office.
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