Can ssd and ssi beneficiaries work and still receive payments
Can SSD and SSI Beneficiaries Work
and Still Receive Payments?
Eligibility for SSD and SSI benefits is decided on the basis
of a medical evaluation and medical record review.
Beneficiaries can work and still receive payments under
SSA’s work incentive programs.
The answer is “yes” – there are special rules that allow you
to continue receiving your monthly payments and still
work. SSA calls these rules “work incentives,” and these
include but are not limited to monthly payments and
Medicare / Medicaid coverage. The rules are different
though for both programs. Whether you are an SSD
beneficiary or covered by SSI, you have to promptly inform
the SSA when you start or stop working and also when
some change occurs that may affect your benefits.
The following information is provided by the United States
Social Security Administration on their official website.
• You have a trial work period wherein you can test
your ability to work for at least 9 months. You are
entitled to your full Social Security benefits during
this period irrespective of your earnings, provided you
report your work activity and continue to have a
disability. In 2013, a trial work month is defined as
any month in which your total earnings are over $750.
If you are self-employed, you must earn more than
$750 (after expenses) or work more than 80 hours in
your own business. This trial work period goes on till
you have worked 9 months within a period of 60
Once your trial work period is over, for the next 36
months you can work and continue receiving benefits
for any month your earnings are not “substantial.” In
2013, SSA considers earnings more than $1040
($1740 for blind people) as “substantial.” During this
period you need not submit a new application or be
subject to a disability decision. (Usually, disability
decisions are made on the basis of a thorough medical
evaluation and a medical record review of your
• When your earnings are substantial and your benefits
stop, you are allowed 5 years during which period you
can always request the SSA to start your benefits if
you find that you are unable to work on account of
your medical condition. Your medical condition will
be reviewed to ensure you are still disabled, during
which period you don’t have to file a new disability
application. Neither will you have to wait for your
benefits to start.
• If your SSD benefits stop, but you are still disabled
you are eligible for your free Medicare Part A
coverage for a minimum of 93 months after a 9-month
trial work period. After that period, you can buy
Medicare Part A coverage by paying a monthly
premium. In case you have Medicare Part B coverage,
you have to continue paying the premium. To end
your Part B Medicare coverage, request in writing.
• Any work expenses you may incur in relation to your
disability such as transportation to and from work,
counseling services, co-payments for prescription
drugs, a wheelchair or any specialized work
equipment, a personal attendant etc., may be deducted
from your total earnings when determining your
eligibility for benefits.
Rules Pertaining to SSI
SSI beneficiaries are people age 65, blind or disabled and
have low income/resources.
• Your SSI benefits will continue if you work in spite of
your disability, until your earnings plus any other
income you have exceed the SSI income limits. The
SSI income limit is different in each state. Your
Medicaid coverage will continue even after your SSI
payments stop, provided your earnings are less than
your state level.
• You can always ask the SSA to reinstate your
payments if you become unable to work again on
account of your medical condition. You are not
required to file a new disability application provided
this request is made within 5 years after the month
your benefits stopped.
• When determining your eligibility for benefits, work
expenses related to your disability may be deducted
from your monthly earnings. If the SSA approves a
work plan you may have that will reduce your reliance
on SSI benefits, the expenses you incur in this regard
will not be counted when they calculate how your
current income and resources affect your SSI payment.
The Work Incentive Programs of SSD and SSI are clearly
outlined in their official publication, and are a great option
for disabled people wanting to try to return to work and yet
do not want to lose cash benefits or Medicare/Medicaid
eligibility during the trial period. These programs include
vocational training, continuing Medicare/Medicaid
coverage, continuing cash benefits, and reimbursement of
work expenses related to individual disabilities.
Posted by MOS Medical Record Review Company