The SSA Ticket to Work Program and Social Security Disability Benefits
If you or your loved one has suffered injuries on the job and have been put out of work due the resultant inability to perform your job duties, you may receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits to cover your financial needs while you are recovering. Your medical condition will undergo a periodic review to determine whether you should continue receiving benefits or not. As long as you are incapacitated and unable to work, you will retain your benefits.
What is Considered in a Disability Review?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts an evaluation of each and every disability case on a periodic timetable. In these reviews, they verify whether a beneficiary is still disabled and unable to work. If your injury subsides and you are able to resume your job duties, you will stop receiving SSDI benefits.
Review periods are based on the SSA’s evaluation of the beneficiary’s condition:
- The first review is conducted six to 18 months after the beneficiary starts receiving SSDI benefits if his or her condition is expected to improve.
- The first review is conducted at least three years after the beneficiary starts receiving SSDI benefits if it is possible that his or her condition may improve.
- A review is not conducted until seven years have passed since the disability date if the beneficiary’s condition is not expected to improve.
If a beneficiary suffers a long-term condition into retirement age, his or her disability benefits will covert to Social Security retirement benefits and disability reviews will cease.
What Happens to My SSDI Benefits Once I Return to Work?
You may remain eligible for SSDI benefits if your employment is not at a “substantial level.” As of 2014, the substantial gainful activity amount is $1070 per month.
You may also retain full SSDI benefits while working on a trial basis. You have to be disabled, however, and provide reports of your work activity to the SSA periodically. As of 2014, you may earn $770 or more per “trial month.” You may work for nine trial months over a 60-month period. For more information on how you can work through your disability while retaining benefits, read this official rules brochure provided by the SSA.
What Happens to My SSDI Benefits When I Go Abroad?
As a United States citizen, you may retain your Social Security benefits while travelling or living in most foreign countries. However, you may not reside in Cuba or North Korea without relinquishing your Social Security benefits due to payment restrictions enforced by the U.S. Treasury Department. Furthermore, visitation to any of the following countries may lead to your Social Security benefits being withheld, unless you fulfill certain conditions:
If you are not a citizen of the US and are outside of the country for six consecutive calendar months, you will stop receiving your SSDI payments; however, there are several exceptions in the law, most of which are based on country of citizenship and residence among other conditions.
What is the Ticket to Work Program?
If you are currently receiving Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, but wish to return to work for the purposes of regaining self-sufficiency and reducing dependence on disability benefits, then you should make inquiries about Ticket to Work, a program created by the SSA to return disabled people to gainful employment.
How Does the Ticket to Work Program Work?
The program is free and you can sign up for it voluntarily to access employment and rehabilitative services. The service providers are associated with the SSA-contracted Employment Network or State Vocational Rehabilitation.
If you are accepted into the program, your assigned agency may set up for you the following employment services:
- Career counseling
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Job placement
- Ongoing support services
The program allows disabled participants to formulate a personalized work plan that fits their needs. It also gives them the opportunity to try out working without losing their benefits. Under this program, if at some point you are unable to continue working, you may return to your benefits without difficulty. Additionally, your health benefits are not at any point revoked under this program, and no disability review is conducted as long as you progress toward work or educational goals.
Where Can I Get More Information about Ticket to Work?
You can download this helpful SSA guide on the Ticket to Work program if you wish to learn more about your work options. You may also directly contact the SSA to discuss eligibility at (866) 968-7842 (V) or (866) 833-2967 (TTY).
A Dependable Jacksonville FL Social Security Disability Lawyer
The legal team at Farah & Farah has helped many clients attain their rightful Social Security Disability benefits over their many years of practice in personal injury law. Issues pertaining to these types of cases can get very complex, and it may be extremely difficult to navigate the legal processes without the assistance of a legal professional. It is highly advised that you consult with one of our Jacksonville Social Security Disability attorneys today and avoid jeopardizing your claim. Call us at (904) 263-4610 and we will provide you with comprehensive answers to any of your questions.