Can you work and still receive Social Security disability benefits?

Those who receive Social Security disability benefits can still receive these payments and seek employment through the Ticket to Work program.

When those in Missouri experience a serious impairment, they often rely on Social Security disability benefits to meet their basic needs. After receiving disability benefits, however, many recipients desire to establish their financial independence by going back to work. The Social Security Administration makes this possible through their Ticket to Work program.

The purpose of the Ticket to Work program

Adults between the ages of 18 to 64 who receive disability benefits are eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work program. Through this program, disability benefit recipients gain access to services and support designed to help them earn more money and move back into the workforce. While what type of training and support recipients can gain varies, the primary goal of this program is to help those receiving benefits become financially independent.

Incentives to participate

Besides moving towards greater financial independence, there are many reasons why disability benefit recipients might want to participate in the Ticket to Work program. These benefits can include the following:

  • While working, those receiving Social Security disability benefits for a medical condition may still be able to receive their benefit payments in full for a certain period of time.
  • Benefit recipients can still receive Medicaid or Medicare while working.
  • Those who participate can receive assistance with rehabilitation, training and education to enter a new line of work.

Additionally, if benefit recipients decide that they cannot continue working because of their medical condition, they can restart their benefits once more. In some cases, a new application may not be needed.

The trial period and what it entails

Once disability benefit recipients decide to go back to work, they are able to test their ability to do so for nine months while still receiving payments. During this period, benefit recipients continue to receive full payments regardless of how much their total earnings are. Once this initial trial period expires, an extended period of eligibility begins that lasts for 36 months. At this point, disability benefit recipients can work and still receive benefits as long as their earnings are not "substantial."

Contact an attorney

While the Ticket to Work program can help disability benefit recipients learn new skills, get back into the workforce and earn extra income, many guidelines must be followed to participate successfully. Those in Missouri who are interested in enrolling in this program should contact an attorney who can provide them with legal guidance and assistance.