Social Security pays disability benefits to those who cannot work because they have a medical condition. To receive Social Security Disability Benefits, one must fully meet the disability definition and secure the work requirements necessary in jobs covered.
However, once receiving benefits, it’s important that those who can do some work eventually immerse themselves back into a working environment. The immersion process is encouraged through Social Security Work Incentives, special rules that incentivize people with disabilities to slowly head back to the workforce while still receiving monthly payments.
Work Incentives provided by the Social Security Administration include continued benefits, continued Medicare or Medicaid and educational or vocational training or help.
The first incentive available is the Trial Work Period. Trial Work is a 9-month period in which one can work and receive monthly benefits regardless of how much money he or she is earning. This 9-month trial can take place at any time within a 60-month period. In 2015, any month in which total earnings were more than $780 is considered a Trial Work Month.
An Extended Period of Eligibility is the second work incentive. This Period lasts for 36 months following the conclusion of the Trial Work Period. During this timeframe, people can work and still receive benefits so long as the monthly earnings are not substantial in the eyes of the Social Security Administration. Substantial earnings in 2015 were more than $1,090.