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1.3 What happens when I work while receiving SSDI benefits?

Social Security work incentives, as well as the Ticket-to-Work program, will support your efforts to re-enter the workforce, to the extent that you are able to do so. You can learn more at: http://www.ssa.gov/work/. There are two time periods the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses when you start earning income while remaining disabled according to Social Security rules. They are called the Trial Work Period (TWP) and the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE).

The TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During your TWP, you will receive full SSDI benefits regardless of how high your earnings might be as long as your work activity has been reported and you have a disabling impairment. After you complete your TWP, you begin the extended period of eligibility, unless SSA finds your impairment has medically improved. After the TWP ends, SSA takes into account your work and earnings to decide if you can work at the SGA level.

The first time you work above SGA and continue to engage in SGA, SSA will pay for the first month your benefits stop due to SGA and the following two months. This is referred to as the grace period.

Reporting earned income. You can report earnings promptly to the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 (voice) or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY). You will be issued a receipt for reported earnings.

Self-employment income. If you are self-employed, you can report earnings based on your most recent IRS tax return.