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Some people receiving disability benefits may want to return to work but worry about losing their benefits. There are some situations in which a person receiving benefits can return to work without losing those benefits.

When can you return to work without losing your disability benefits?

Trial work period

Some disability insurance programs include work incentives that make it possible for people to return to work without losing their benefits. One possibility is a trial work period. A trial work period allows a person to test the ability to return to work while continuing to receive disability benefits. The trial period lasts for at least nine months. During the trial, you continue to receive your full disability benefits, but you must report your work and continue to have a disability. The trial period ends when you complete nine total trial work months within 60 months.

Extended period of eligibility

Once you complete the trial work period, you can continue to work for 36 months while receiving disability benefits for any month when your earnings were not substantial. Once this extended period is over, if you lose your benefits because of substantial earnings, you are eligible for expedited reinstatement for five additional years, if you are unable to continue to work because of your disability.

Work incentives make it possible for people with disabilities who are unsure whether they can return to work to make an attempt without losing their benefits. By taking advantage of these programs you can avoid having to reapply for disability benefits if you attempt to return to work but can not continue because of your disability.