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What are some work incentives when receiving SSD benefits?

While Social Security disability is meant for people in Florida and across the country to receive assistance when they're unable to work, some people who are receiving SSD benefits would like to try and get back into the workforce. The Social Security Administration has certain incentives for those who would like to work again. A common concern for recipients who have met the requirements to receive SSDI or SSI and try to get back into the workforce is what will happen if they are unable to work.

An unsuccessful work attempt is, obviously, when a person tries to get back into the workforce and is unable to do so as they can't perform substantial work and their earnings fall below the Substantial Gainful Activity level after six months. This might be due to the condition the person is suffering from or that the assistance and special services that the person needed to complete work were eliminated. This is applicable for SSDI and SSI. When a person fails at getting back to work, this is not factored in to SSI amounts that are paid.

People who recover from their medical problems and are entered into a vocational rehabilitation program can have the payments can continue as long as the individual participates in an approved program and it will assist the person in becoming self-sufficient. The payments for their particular benefit program will continue while the program is being completed.

A trial work period is available for a person who is receiving benefits to see if the person will be able to get back into the workforce. This is a test to see if the person can work for a minimum of nine months. There will be full disability payments made during this time no matter how much is earned. This must be reported and the impairment must still be in effect. These nine moths are not required to be consecutive and the trial period will go on until the nine months of work have been reached.

These rules and others linked to getting back to work can be complex and the last thing a person who has been approved for SSD benefits wants to do is sabotage their benefits by making a mistake in trying to work. Speaking to a legal professional with experience in Social Security disability can avoid a costly error and lost benefits.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Work Incentives - Detailed Information," accessed on Feb. 10, 2015

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