Working while disabled

If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income and want to work, there are important things that you should know about how working may impact those benefits.


The Social Security Administration has special rules called work incentives to help you maintain your benefits for a period of time while you work.  If you return to work for nine months, your earnings will not affect your Social Security benefit.  This is called a Trial Work Period.  If the nine months of trial work do not fall within a 60-month period, you may have even longer to test your ability to work.


The extended period of eligibility lasts for at least 36 months after a successful trial work period.  If you continue to work while disabled, you may receive a benefit for any month your earnings fall below the substantial gainful activity level,which can be found on Social Security’s website at, or by clicking here.


If you become unable to work again because of your disability within 60 months after your extended period of eligibility has ended, and your benefits stopped because of your earnings, you may request reinstatement of benefits without having to go through the application process again.  This is called Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits.


Certain disability related expenses for things that you need in order to work are called impairment related work expenses.  These expenses can be deducted when counting earnings to determine if you are within the substantial gainful activity level.


The Social Security Administration can help you determine which work incentives will help you.  You can call them at 800-772-1213, or visit them online at


Your local Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach organization can also help you.  In Wayne County, that organization is Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit, and they can be reached by calling 888-232-4140, or you can visit them online at


Phone code: 1807

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