SSDI only employment Supports
|How does the TWP help you?||
The TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months. During your TWP, you will receive full SSDI benefits regardless of how high your earnings might be as long as you report your work activity and you have a disabling impairment.
|When does the TWP start?|
Your TWP starts when you begin working and performing “services”. In 2013, we consider your work to be services for the TWP if your gross earnings are more than $750 a month, or if you work more than 80 hours in self-employment in a month. Your TWP cannot begin until the first month you are entitled to SSDI benefits, or the month you file for benefits, whichever is later.
|How long does
the TWP last?
The TWP continues until you accumulate 9 TWP service months (not necessarily consecutive) within a rolling 60-month period.
|What happens when you complete your TWP?||
After you complete your TWP, you begin your Extended Period of Eligibility. During the EPE, we evaluate your work and earnings to decide if you can work at the SGA level (see How Do We Define Disability?).
|What else do you need to know about the TWP?||
Usually, we adjust the dollar amount of TWP “services” each year based on the national average wage index.
|Does the TWP apply to SSI?||No. A TWP does not apply to the SSI program.|
|What is the EPE?||
The EPE begins the month after the TWP ends, even if you are not working that month. The first 36 months of the EPE is the re-entitlement period.
|How does the EPE help you?||During the 36-month re-entitlement period, you get benefits for months your earnings or work activities are below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level as long as you continue to have a disabling impairment. We suspend benefits for months your earnings are over the SGA level. If your earnings fall below the SGA level in the re-entitlement period, we can start your benefits again. (This is a different rule than Expedited Reinstatement (EXR) that we describe on Expedited Reinstatement.)|
|What happens the first time you work above SGA?||
The first time that you work above SGA in the EPE, we will decide that you no longer meet the requirements for disability due to work, and we say that your disability ”ceased”. We will pay benefits for the month your disability ceased and the following 2 months. We call this the grace period. If your earnings fall below SGA and you are still in the 36-month re-entitlement period, we can restart your benefits without a new application.
|Can you continue to receive benefits after the 36-month re-entitlement period ends?|
If you are not working above SGA and are eligible for a benefit payment for the 37th month of the EPE, you will continue to receive benefits until you:
|What happens if
you work after the re-entitlement period ends?
|Your benefits will end if you work above SGA after the 36-month re-entitlement period. However you may be able to start your benefits again if you stop work within the next 5 years (see EXR on Expedited Reinstatement.)|
|Do you get an EPE under SSI?|
No. The EPE applies only to persons who receive SSDI cash benefits.
|What are unincurred business expenses?||
“Unincurred Business Expenses” are contributions made by others to your self-employment business effort. For example, if the state VR agency gives you a computer for your business, or a friend works for your business as unpaid help, these are “unincurred business expenses”.
We generally follow the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules to figure your net earnings from self-employment. The IRS only allows you to deduct expenses you actually paid or incurred debt. When we make an SGA decision, we also deduct unincurred business expenses from your net earnings because we want an accurate measure of the value of your work.
|What qualifies as an unincurred business expense?|
For an item or service to qualify as an unincurred business expense:
|Do unicurred business expenses affect your SSI payments?|
No. We do not deduct unincurred business expenses from earnings when we figure your SSI payment amount.
|What is Continuation of Medicare Coverage?||
Most persons with disabilities who work will continue to receive at least 93 consecutive months of Hospital Insurance (Part A); Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B), if enrolled; and Prescription Drug coverage (Part D), if enrolled, after the 9-month Trial Work Period. You do not pay a premium for Part A. Although cash benefits may cease due to work, you have the assurance of continued health insurance. (93 months is 7 years and 9 months.)
|When does this start?||The 93 months start the month after the last month of your TWP.|
|How do you qualify?||You must already have Medicare and be working at SGA, but not be medically improved.|
|Can you buy Medicare coverage?||
Yes. After premium-free Medicare coverage ends due to work, you can buy continued Medicare coverage, as long as you remain medically disabled. If you have limited income and resources you may be eligible for state assistance with these costs under various Medicare Savings Programs. Your state Health and Human Services agency makes the determination about whether you qualify for this help.
|Who is eligible to buy Medicare coverage?||You are eligible to buy Medicare coverage if:|
|What kind of Medicare coverage can you buy?||
Premium Hospital Insurance (Part A) is available at the same monthly cost that uninsured eligible retired beneficiaries pay. If you have less than 30 quarters of coverage, the premium is $441 in 2013. However, you may qualify for a reduction in this premium (see below).
Premium Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B) is available at $104.90 per month in 2013.
You can buy Part A separately without Part B. You cannot buy Part B unless you also buy Part A. Premium Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) is also available.
|Do you qualify for a reduction in your monthly Part A premium?|
You may qualify for a 45 percent reduction in the monthly amount of your premium for Part A. You qualify for the reduced premium of $243 in 2013 if you:
|When can you enroll?||You may enroll:
For Part D, you may enroll (or change plans) during the annual coordinated election period (October 15 through December 7 each year). The effective date for the enrollment is January 1 of the upcoming year. There also will be special enrollment periods for some situations.
|How does it work with an employer's group health plan?||
If you purchase Part A and maintain your employer group health plan, Medicare will be your primary payer if you are working. Your group health plan would become a secondary payer.
|When does the state pay premiums for Medicare?||
States are required to pay Part A premiums for some working persons with disabilities. You qualify if you:
SSDI employment supports can help you protect your cash and medical benefits while you work. When your benefits end because of your work and you have to stop working later, employment supports can make it easy to begin receiving benefits again. You should view all of the SSDI employment supports as a total package to fully appreciate the multiple levels of support available to help you achieve your goal of greater economic independence.
|Beginning the Process - The Trial Work Period (TWP)||
Your trial work period is a time when you can test your ability to work. During your trial work period, we pay you disability payments no matter how much you earn. Details on the TWP are on, SSDI Only Employment Supports.
For 2013, the monthly earnings amount that we use to determine if a month counts as a TWP month is $750 per month. The 2013 self-employment earnings or activity that we use to determine if a month counts as a TWP month is $750 per month or 80 hours per month.
|The Next Step - The Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE)|
Your extended period of eligibility starts the month after your trial work period ends. Details on the EPE are on, SSDI Only Employment Supports.
Your benefits will terminate if your work is substantial in any month after your extended period of eligibility ends.
|Your Safety Net- Expedited Reinstatement (EXR)||
Expedited Reinstatement is your safety net if your cash benefits end because of your work. If you make less money or you have to stop working because of your disability, we may be able to restart your benefits right away if
Details on EXR are on SSDI and SSI Employment Supports.
|What About Medicare||
If your disability payments stop because of your work, the Medicare coverage you have can continue if your disability still meets our rules. It can continue for at least 93 months after your trial work period ends. Details on Continuation of Medicare Coverage are on SSDI Only Employment Supports.