How do I get back on disability after once having received benefits and having tried to go back to work?

Can you please inform me what is the process of returning to disability. I applied and was granted disability 14 years ago due to AIDS diagnoses. I returned to work about 8 years ago. First I returned part-time then full time; as time has progressed, work and the stress from it has impacted my health to the point that I need to go back on disability.

Can you please guide me to how I can go back to disability since I already had been approved and granted in the past.


Sorry to hear about your situation. This is why individuals who are receiving benefits but are considering a return to work should think very carefully about what they do because depending on the particulars of the situation it can be very difficult to receive benefits again. In fact, it is has been too long since you last received benefits, you will essentially have to start the process from scratch which can take years to get through.

First of all, you will have to stop working or reduce your earnings per month to below the current limit for earned gross income per month. The 2015 SGA limit is one thousand and ninety dollars per month (To see the current SSA earnings limit for disability beneficiaries).

Then you should set up an appointment with your local Social Security office to schedule a disability interview. They will handle one of the two following options at your disability interview.

I would guess your disability terminated due to your work activity a while ago. You may or may not be entitled to have an expedited reinstatement of your disability benefits. However, it depends on the termination date of your previous disability. Social Security allows this option if it has been no more than 5 years.

If you are able to do this, you will receive six months of provisional benefits while you wait to see if you are found to be disabled. If you are not eligible for an expedited reinstatement of benefits, you will have to file a new disability claim.

For either option, you will need to have your medical information (your treatment sources, including names of facilities, names of physicians, dates of treatment, and such) and information about the types of work you have done over the past 15 year along with the hours per week and rate of pay. Be sure to include dates of employment, job titles, and detailed descriptions of the work you performed. If you are prepared for your disability interview it will definitely go quicker. However, it will also help to ensure that the process proceeds more accurately.

I Hope things go well for you.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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You may get an reinstatement if you have stopped work because of the conditions that first got you approved