The Social Security Administration believes in the importance of encouraging Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries to return to work if and when they are ready. However, the agency also understands that beneficiaries may be concerned about the risks of returning to work, including any potential loss of benefits. For this reason, the SSA has put numerous protections into place to support beneficiaries as they return to work and face the uncertainties of their first few months of employment. At Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C, our Social Security attorneys have helped many Massachusetts residents make use of the protections the SSA offers, including expedited reinstatement.Return to Work
In order to receive SSDI and qualify for disability, an applicant or beneficiary cannot be engaged in substantial gainful activity. This is generally defined as employment in which an individual earns $1,090 or more a month in income. Once an individual is participating in substantial gainful activity, he or she can no longer receive SSDI after a certain period of time. For many disability recipients, this is concerning, since it means that a possible return to work could result in the cessation of benefits, even if work ultimately becomes impossible due to renewed health issues. In order to ease the concerns of beneficiaries and encourage recipients to attempt to return to work, the SSA has instituted two programs to protect recipients: the trial return to work program and expedited reinstatement.Expedited Reinstatement
If you are an SSDI recipient who has already completed a trial return to work period and you are participating in substantial gainful activity, your SSDI payments have been or will be stopped after the trial return to work period is over. However, some individuals may find that a disability returns after a year or two, and they are again unable to work. In these circumstances, the SSA provides that recipients may re-apply for benefits at any time within five years after their benefits were stopped through an expedited reinstatement. This is an option even if you continue to work part time, as long as your earnings fall below the substantial gainful activity threshold.
In order to qualify for expedited reinstatement, the return of your disability must be related to the condition for which you were previously receiving SSDI benefits, and you must not have experienced a medical improvement in your condition.What Does Expedited Reinstatement Provide?
Under expedited reinstatement, a former beneficiary can receive provisional SSDI payments while waiting for an expedited reinstatement application to be approved. Once approved, he or she is also entitled to up to 12 months of retroactive benefits going back to the date that his or her request was filed. A beneficiary may also receive health care through Medicare during this provisional period. Once an application is approved, the beneficiary will return to receiving full SSDI benefits.Discuss Your Government Benefits Claim with a Massachusetts Attorney
For any individual who has previously been unable to work due to a disability, the return to a job can be a daunting prospect. After years of being out of the workforce, you may question your skills or ability to get a job, or wonder how potential employers will view your period of disability. You may also be concerned about the possibility of your disability returning. The government benefits lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., can guide SSDI applicants in Massachusetts through the process of ensuring that their benefits are protected while they work, through both trial return to work periods and expedited reinstatement. Contact us for more information at (800) 367-0871 or online. From our Boston office, we represent residents of Middlesex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, and Plymouth Counties, as well as the Merrimack River area.