When you are disabled, there might come a time where you are not sure whether you are still disabled or whether it is safe for you to go back to work. You may want to return to work because you believe you can make more money and you may not like having fewer responsibilities. Fortunately, you may be able to return to work for a trial period without losing your benefits. However, you'll need to understand the rules of the trial work period.
What to Expect from a Trial Work Period
Your benefit amount should remain the same when you enter the trial work period. You will continue to receive the same amount until you have exhausted your trial period. After you have exhausted the 9 month period, you will stop receiving benefits.
If you believe that you cannot continue to work and if you can prove that this is the case, you can leave the workforce and continue to receive benefits. However, you'll always want to speak with an attorney to find out if this is a good idea or not. For example, you might need evidence from an attorney to support the claim that you cannot work.
How to Enter the Trial Work Period
You are allowed to work a certain amount and receive benefits. If you're not sure about whether your work will affect your benefits, you'll want to speak with an SSDI attorney. Once your income surpasses a particular amount, you will automatically enter a trial work period.
During the trial work period, you can stop working if you believe you no longer can. Then, if your condition improves, you will still be under the trial period and you can go back to work. Regardless of what you do, you will want to always inform the SSA about the work that you're engaged in.
If you're not sure if you are reporting everything that needs to be reported, make sure to bring this up with an SSDI attorney. Otherwise, you might put your SSDI benefits in jeopardy.
When You are Struggling to Return to Work
If you really want to return to work, you should consider participating in something like the "Ticket to Work" program. This program is free and is not a requirement. It will provide you with resources that are designed to assist you in retraining financial independence. You can also work with a social security disability attorney to figure out your next steps.