Returning To Work

What Are Your Responsibilities When You Return To Work?

If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you or your representative must promptly report any changes in work activity. You must tell us right away if:

  • You start or stop work;

  • You already reported your work, but your duties, hours, or pay have changed;

  • You start paying for expenses that you need for work due to your disability (see IMPAIRMENT-RELATED WORK EXPENSES).

You can report changes in your work activity by phone, fax, mail, or in person. Call our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit your local SSA office. You can find your local office by going to our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

When you report changes in your work activity, we will give you a receipt to verify that you have properly fulfilled your obligation to report. Keep this receipt with all of your other important papers from Social Security.

When Will We Review Your Disability?

We will review your case periodically to see if your condition has medically improved or if you can perform substantial gainful activity (SGA). We will also review your case if we receive information that you may have medically improved.

If you have received SSDI benefits for at least 24 months, we will not do this review just because you are working.

If you receive SSI benefits, we may review your case if you work and are eligible for Medicaid While Working or if there are changes in your work status. We will not review your case more often than once a year.

We will not perform a review to see if your condition has medically improved while you are using a Ticket to Work (see SSDI AND SSI EMPLOYMENT SUPPORTS).

 

When Will Your Benefits Stop?

If you receive SSDI benefits and we find that you no longer meet the requirements for disability due either to work at the SGA level or medical improvement, we say that your disability “ceased”. If we find that your disability ceased due to work at the SGA level, our decision is effective in the month shown by the evidence. If we find that your disability ceased due to medical improvement, our decision is effective in the month shown by the evidence, or the month we give you written notice, if later. In either case, we pay SSDI benefits for the cessation month and the following 2 months. We call these 3 months the “grace period”.

Your SSDI benefits may continue:

  • If we cease your disability due to your work at the SGA level and then your earnings fall below SGA within the Extended Period of Eligibility (see EXTENDED PERIOD OF ELIGIBILITY), or
  • If we ceased your disability due to medical improvement and you are participating in a program of vocational rehabilitation or similar services (see VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION).

If you receive SSI benefits and we find that you no longer meet the requirements for disability due to medical improvement, we say that your disability “ceased”. Our decision is effective with the month shown by the evidence, or the month we give you written notice, if later. However, your SSI eligibility continues for that month and the following 2 months if you meet all the non-disability-related requirements including the income and resources tests. We call these 3 months the “grace period”.

If we cease your disability due to medical improvement, your SSI benefits may continue if you are participating in a program of vocational rehabilitation or similar services, employment services, or other support services (see VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION.

You are not eligible for an SSI payment for any months you do not meet the non-disability eligibility requirements, for example, the income or resources tests.