Fast Facts – SSDI

Trial Work Period – A period of 9 months (not necessarily consecutive, but must occur within a 60-month period) during which an individual will receive full SSDI benefits regardless of how high their earnings may be.  Only months during which an individual earns over $880 in 2019 or works over 80 hours in self-employment are counted as trial work period months.

Extended Period of Eligibility – The 36 consecutive months following a successful trial work period.  The beneficiary who is blind or disabled may receive a disability benefit check for any month that their earnings are below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level.  For 2019, SGA is $1,220 countable/month for a disabled individual and $2,040 countable/month for a blind individual.

Impairment-Related Work Expenses – Certain items or services that may be needed to work, related to the disability.  The cost of such items may be deducted from gross earnings to determine if the individual is performing at SGA.

Subsidy and Special Conditions – SSA’s name for support an individual receives on the job that may result in their receiving more pay than the actual value of the services performed.  A Subsidy is provided by the employer and Special Conditions are provided by an outside support (i.e. VR, Job Coach, etc.).  SSA uses the real value of the work performed to determine SGA.

Unsuccessful Work Attempt – If, within 6 months of the person starting work, the individual made an effort to do substantial work but stopped or, their income was reduced to below the SGA level because of the their impairment and/or the removal of “special conditions” related to their impairment but essential to their ability to do their job.