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SSDI Guide: Will My Benefits Be Cut Off as Soon As I Return to Work?

Illinois Social Security Disability InsuranceSocial Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides financial protection to people who have qualifying disabilities. If your disability or medical condition improves, you may want to consider going back to the workplace. This raises an important question: Will I automatically lose my Social Security disability benefits if I return to work? The answer is ‘it depends’ — in some cases, you may be eligible for a trial work period. In this post, attorney Harold W. Conick offers a brief guide to your rights if you are preparing to return to work.

SSDI and Returning to Work: Know the Implications

To start, it is necessary to emphasize you will not necessarily lose your SSDI benefits if you attempt to return to work. How going back to your job will affect your eligibility depends on several different factors, the most important being the nature of your claim. As a rule, SSDI claims fit into one of the following two (2) broad categories:

  1. 1. Vocational Medical Allowance: As described by the Social Security Administration (SSA), a vocational medical allowance is a determination allowing individuals to qualify for SSDI benefits even if their condition does not match any condition listed by the agency. If your claim was approved based on a vocational medical allowance, the SSA believes you are unable to work in any capacity. If you attempt to go back to work, your benefits may be cut off.
  2. 2. Condition Listed in the Blue Book: If your disability/medical condition is listed in the SSA’s ‘Blue Book’, then you generally have more options to return to work. Most SSDI recipients who have a Blue Book listed condition are eligible for a period of trial work or an expedited reinstatement. You may be able to go back to work on a part-time basis while still retaining your benefits.

Social Security Disability and the Trial Work Period

Under federal regulations, Social Security disability beneficiaries may be eligible for a nine-month trial work period. During approved trial work, an SSDI recipient can still receive their disability benefits even if they work more hours than is typically allowed by the agency. After completing trial work (assuming you can keep working), your claim may enter a status called ‘Extended Period of Eligibility’ or EPE. For 36 months, your benefits will be determined on a month-to-month basis. If you are suddenly forced to stop working, you will receive a check again — without the need to re-apply.

Call Our Greater Chicagoland Metropolitan Area Social Security Disability Lawyer Now

At Harold W. Conick & Associates Ltd., we concentrate our practice on Social Security disability law. If you have questions or concerns about returning to work, our legal team will get you answers. Want to learn more about how a top-rated SSDI attorney can help? Please contact us today for a free consultation. We represent people throughout the Greater Chicagoland Metropolitan Area.