Social Security Disability Resource Center

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Social Security Disability, SSI and work activity

Work activity is an important aspect of Social Security disability whether you are trying to be approved for disability or you are already receiving disability benefits.

If you are thinking of filing for disability, you should know that you are not allowed to be working and earning over the SGA limit. This means you must either be unemployed or working but earning under the limit.

If you are earning over the SGA limit, it really does not matter what your disabling impairment is; your disability claim will be denied without ever being sent for a medical determination. In fact, the definition of disability states that you must have a severe disabling condition that has either prevented the performance of SGA-level work activity for twelve months, or is expected to prevent work for twelve months, in order to be approved for disability with Social Security.

What if you are getting disability and try to work

If you are already receiving disability benefits, work will remain an important factor. You are allowed nine trial work months in which you are allowed to earn as much as you wish. As the phrase “trial work months” suggests, these are months during which a person may try working again.

These trial work months do not have to be consecutive; they simply have to add up to a cumulative total of 9 months in which a person can earn over the allowed earnings limit (SGA) and can really earn as much as they wish.

Here’s where it gets confusing

However, and this is extremely importance, if you earn over the SGA limit in the 10th month, your disability will be suspended and you will enter into a three year period of eligibility called the EPE (extended period of eligibility).

During the EPE, your disability benefit can be reinstated any month that you are no longer engaging in SGA due to your disability condition.

Once you have used the 36 month EPE period, your disability benefits will be terminated for the first month you earn a gross monthly income that is equal to or more than the SGA limit.

You may still be able to have your disability reinstated if you become unable to perform SGA due to the same disabling condition or conditions that caused you to be approved for disability.

Here’s where it gets even more confusing

This reinstatement of disability benefits is called an expedited reinstatement (EXR). You must file the EXR within a five year period beginning with the month your disability benefits were terminated due to work activity.

You will be awarded six months of provisional disability payments while your disability claim is sent for a disability determination. If you are approved, your disability benefits will continue; if not, you can appeal the decision or you can file a new disability claim.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved

    FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions

    The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Related pages:

    What happens when you apply for disability?
    When to file for disability
    Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?
    How to improve the chances of winning disability
    Can a letter from a doctor get you approved for disability?
    Get approved for disability
    How to get disability approved

    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    Do I need an attorney to win disability?
    Your Social Security Disability Status
    How do you find out if a disability claim has been approved or denied?
    How to check Social Security Disability Status
    Applying for disability, what medical conditions can you apply for?
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
    How much does disability pay?
    Can I get permanent Social Security Disability or SSI?
    How long will it take to get a disability decision letter?
    Social Security Disability and SSI Medical Exams
    How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
    How Long to get a Disability Hearing decision?
    How long to get disability benefits after you receive an award notice?
    Social Security Disability and Working
    What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?
    How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
    How Much Income Can A Person Earn If He Draws Social Security Disability?
    Partial disability benefits from Social Security
    Can I Qualify For Disability for Depression?