A lot of people who are in receipt of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits worry about doing something to lose these. They often want to work, but are afraid that they will end up being penalized and be in a worse financial situation. The rules do state that any change in income must be reported to the SSA (Social Security Administration) immediately. However, since the goal of any type of welfare is to help people back into work, this does not mean that your benefits will change. In some cases, the amount of SSD you receive will actually be totally unchanged. This is done through two specific programs, being the Trial Work Period and the Extended Period for Eligibility.
The goal of the Trial to Work Period is to ascertain whether or not you are capable of working. You have nine months to try jobs and decide whether or not you are able to do it. During this period, you will continue to receive your full disability payments, regardless of how much money you earn. However, you do have to tell the SSA about your income, and you must still be classed as having a disability. The “month” is classed as the period in which you manage to earn $770 or, if you are self-employed, the period during which you have worked more than 80 hours. Furthermore, you can work these nine trial months in any 60 calendar month period, rather than having to work them consecutively. The Extended Period of Eligibility is also available to you. This is essentially a 36 month period during which your income can be supplemented if it is not classed as “substantial” enough. At present, the cap on earnings is $1,070 per month. If you are blind, then this amount is increased to $1,800.
Thanks to these schemes, nobody should find themselves in a situation where they are actually financially worse off if they work. These schemes are also in place for those who receive Supplemental Security Income. The important thing is that people know that they are able to make something better of themselves without landing in some sort of financial hardship as a consequence. However, it is very important to never assume a certain income if your situation changes. This is why it is so incredibly important that you always speak to the SSA before you decide to accept a job and have your benefits changed. Also make sure you don’t forget to inform the SSA about your income if you do take on a job. The most important thing is empowerment: you being able to find something to do that you actually like.