How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

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.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

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Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

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Social Security Disability SSI definitions

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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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.