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Trial Return to Work Period

Lawyers for SSDI Benefits in Chicago

If your medical condition has improved such that you think you can work after a period of disability, you may go back to work and earn money for a grace period without endangering your ability to get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) gives a trial work period to disability benefit recipients who want to try to re-enter the workforce. This is a 9-month period that you can get in each period of 60 months. If you have questions about a trial return to work period, an experienced Chicago Social Security attorney can help. You’ll need to report your work, income and expenses to the SSA.

Trial Return to Work Period

After a period of being on SSDI, you may want to go back to work to try it out. To do this, you can get a trial return to work period. The SSA provides this period to incentivize returns to the workforce, and a skilled Social Security attorney can answer your questions regarding this process. The period runs for 9 months, but the months don’t have to be consecutive. Any month during a 60-month period can count towards the total 9-month trial. While a trial work period is underway, you’ll keep getting SSDI benefits as usual. Only after the trial work period ends will your benefits be impacted.

After the Trial Work Period

Once the trial period has terminated, the SSA will look at whether you were able to keep substantial gainful activity during the trial period. They are looking at whether you were able to earn a living doing the work you did. If you get earnings at or over a specific, periodically-adjusted threshold, your SSDI will be terminated by the SSA. If your earnings are below the threshold, your benefits continue.

In that case, you may enter an extended period of eligibility. That means, for 36 months following the trial work period, you can still be eligible for SSDI benefits. What you actually earn during that period will dictate whether you should get a disability check for the month. If you repeatedly go over the threshold, you will not be getting SSDI benefits. When your earned income falls under the threshold, you’ll receive your usual SSDI check.

After the extended period of eligibility, the first month at which you’re earning at or over the threshold is the month your SSDI benefit eligibility is terminated. This is important to be aware of, because you won’t be able to get SSDI benefits the next month, even if you didn’t hit the threshold amount that next month. The SSDI benefits will not go on indefinitely; instead they expire once you’re able to earn enough for the first month after the end of the extended period of eligibility.

Many people are rightly concerned about the possibility that they’ll be disabled again after their extended period of eligibility is over and their benefits have been terminated. You can apply for an expedited reinstatement of benefits, but there’s an important caveat. You can only apply for this reinstatement within five years of your last month of receiving SSDI benefits. If you haven’t been on SSDI for more than five years and you again become disabled, you’ll need to apply again and go through the analysis for whether you are disabled.

Consult a Seasoned SSDI Attorney in Chicago

If you have been on SSDI, and are concerned about a trial return to work period in Chicago, it can be helpful to seek out knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel. The rules surrounding SSDI can be complicated and difficult to understand. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our lawyers can represent claimants with their applications, hearings, and appeals in Aurora, Rockford, Quincy, Springfield, and Champaign, as well as Cook County, Sangamon County, Kane County, Winnebago County, and Adams County. We can also examine your situation to determine whether other remedies, such as workers’ compensation benefits or damages in a personal injury lawsuit should be pursued. Please call us toll-free at 312-724-5846 or contact us via our online form.