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The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers an extended period of eligibility that could help you if you have received Social Security disability benefits and then go back to work. During the extended period of eligibility, you may be able to collect your Social Security disability income in a given month if your income is less than the amount that the SSA has established for the substantial gainful activity (SGA). In 2017, the SGA was $1,170 per month for Social Security disability recipients who did not qualify on the basis of blindness. Social Security disability recipients who are blind can earn up to $1,950 month according to the 2017 SGA guidelines.

Do You Qualify?

The extended period of eligibility does not go on forever. Instead, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits pursuant to the extended period of eligibility in any of the 36 consecutive months after your trial work period ends. Benefits are determined on a month-to-month basis depending on whether you were able to earn the SGA in that month.

After the extended period of eligibility (or even during that time), you may be able to apply for expedited reinstatement of your Social Security disability benefits if you meet the requirements outlined by the SSA. An expedited reinstatement of benefits may allow you to start receiving benefits again without filing a new application. Additionally, the SSA can provide you temporary benefits for up to six months while the agency decides on your expedited reinstatement request.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Going Back to Work

Instead, understand your legal options if, at some point in the future, you are unable to work again due to your disability. To learn more tips about protecting your Social Security disability income, watch our free videos and peruse our extensive library of articles.

Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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