Learn How the Ticket to Work Program Can Work for You

Chapter 3 - Ready to Work

If you receive SSDI benefits, you are eligible for work incentives that include Trial Work Period, Continuation of Health Care Benefits,

Extended Period of Eligibility, Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS), Expedited Reinstatement and Protection from Medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR).

It is important to note that if you receive both SSDI and SSI, you can use the work incentives that are available under both programs described in the last two slides.

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Trial Work Period. If you receive SSDI and earn gross wages, that is, what is earned before taxes and other deductions per month

of more than $750, or work more than 80 hours in self-employment in a month, you can use what is called a Trial Work Period service month.

Social Security’s Trial Work Period allows you to earn any amount of earnings and continue to receive your full SSDI cash benefit.

This continues until you have used nine Trial Work Period service months in any rolling five year period.

Continuation of Health Care Benefits. When your 9-month Trial Work Period is over, if you continue to be eligible for SSDI monthly benefits

you will continue to be eligible for Medicare. If your cash benefits stop because of your earnings from work but you remain disabled,

you will continue to receive at least 93 consecutive months of Medicare Part A, at no cost, and Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D,

provided you are enrolled and make premium payments.

Extended Period of Eligibility. After the Trial Work Period ends, an SSDI beneficiary moves into what is known as the Extended Period of Eligibility, or EPE.

During this three year period, you receive full cash benefits for months where your gross earnings are below the Substantial Gainful Activity,

or SGA, level, which in 2014 is $1,070, or $1,800 if your disability is due to blindness.

You can also potentially earn more than that amount, since certain types of support or assistance one receives in order to go back to work

can possibly be deducted from the amount used to determine SGA.

Plan to Achieve Self Support or PASS. A PASS plan allows you to set aside other income besides your Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

and/or resources for a specified period of time, so that you may pursue a work goal that will reduce or eliminate the SSI

or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits you currently receive. For example, if you receive SSDI, wages,

or other income, you could set aside some of that money to pay expenses for education, vocational training,

or starting a business, as long as the expenses are related to achieving your work goal.

Expedited Reinstatement. If your benefits stopped because of your higher earnings level, but then you had to stop working because of your disability,

you can request to have your benefits reinstated without having to complete a new application. This work incentive is called “Expedited Reinstatement.”

To qualify you must request it within 5 years from the month your benefits stopped and your current disability must be the same as, or related to,

your original disability. While Social Security determines if you qualify for benefits reinstatement, you are eligible to receive temporary benefits

for up to six months and may be eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid.

Protection from Medical Continuing Disability Reviews, or CDRs. Social Security will postpone a medical CDR while you are participating in the Ticket to Work program.