Can I Work and still Receive SSDI?

Posted June 27, 2017 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

Many SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) recipients run into financial issues while their benefits are active. Regardless of whether the bills are not being fully covered by the benefit, or if the recipient wishes to have some additional income, Social Security has laws that support the recipient in trying to work.

Social Security allows a “trial work period”, during which the SSDI recipient may attempt to return to work for up to nine months in a 60-month period while still receiving full benefits. A trial work period starts any time the SSDI recipient’s total earnings exceed $840 dollars (in 2017). Social Security will not count certain income against the recipient if they are making necessary expenses to maintain their job. For example, if the recipient cannot drive due to their disability, and has to take a taxi to work, Social Security will evaluate the expense and determine if it is necessary for the recipient to keep their job. As long as the recipient has a disability and they report their work to their local Social Security office, their SSDI monthly benefit will still come in full.

If the SSDI recipient wishes to return to work and needs additional help, Social Security has a “Ticket to Work” program, where they assist the recipient with job referrals, free vocational rehabilitation, training, and other employment support. To inquire more about the program, one can call the Ticket to Work hotline at 1-866-968-7842 or visit their website at

At the end of the trial work period, when the SSDI recipient has been working for nine months or more within a 60-month period, Social Security provides an extended period of eligibility for their SSDI payments. During said period, which lasts for 36 months, the SSDI recipient may still receive benefits as long as their earnings are not considered substantial. Monthly earnings of $1,170 or more is considered substantial earnings in 2017. If the recipient’s payments stop, Social Security allows the SSDI recipient to contact Social Security to reinstate their benefits if they are no longer able to work, for up to five years after the payments stopped due to substantial earnings.

If the recipient was receiving Medicare when their payments stopped due to substantial earnings, the free Part A coverage will extend for up to at least 93 months after the trial work period has ended.  After that, the recipient may retain Part A Medicare for a monthly premium.  If the recipient had Part B Medicare, then they must pay the premium as usual.

Please contact us if you feel you’re unable to work due to a medical condition for a free case evaluation.


By: Nick Hansen of Premier Disability Services, LLC