Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Can I Go Back to Work After Being Awarded Benefits?

The answer is YES! The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not discourage claimants from going back to work in San Francisco after they have been awarded benefits. Many people who are receiving monthly disability benefits attempt a trial work period. This is a 9-month period in which you may continue to receive your full monthly SSA award amount while working full or part-time as well, no matter how much you are earning. But you must report your earnings and work details to SSA.

However, if you continue to work successfully after your trial work period, SSA will more closely monitor your earnings. If you are earning more than Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which is $1,000 per month, then after nine months of working you will no longer be qualified for disability benefits. This is because your income is too high and you are no longer considered to be disabled (remember that SSA’s definition of disabled means not being able to work any job that exists in the national economy).

If you find that you can only work part-time after your trial work period and you are earning less than $1,000 per month, then SSA will still pay your full disability amount for a 36-month period while you work and earn under the SGA limit. If you are still working part-time after 36 months, SSA will then reevaluate your claim to determine if you still meet their definition of being fully disabled.

SSA understands that many people who apply for disability benefits are in dire financial situations due to their debilitating conditions. This is why they allow trial work periods once you are awarded. If you are looking for more information or have been awarded and would like to report any work earnings to SSA, you can click here.

Disability Group, Inc. was founded on the principles of dignity and respect. We are a national law firm focused exclusively on helping people receive the Social Security Disability benefits they deserve. For more information about Social Security, or to see if you qualify for benefits, visit us at

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