There are many aspects of the process for which New Jersey residents get Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits for injury or illness that might be confusing. Some will impact their situation as the benefits’ requirements make it necessary that certain factors be considered when they are getting or retaining their SSD benefits. For example, if a person who is getting SSD tries to get back to work, there is something called the re-entitlement period. Those who have been unable to work and needed medical care because of their injuries or illness and try to get back on the job should know about this rule.

There is an extra nine months for which the person can take part in trial work to see if they can handle the rigors of employment and had a disabling impairment. When a person works while they are on the re-entitlement period, the Social Security Administration (SSA) might determine that the person is no longer disabled because they have reached the level of substantial gainful activity (SGA). Then the SSD benefits will stop. If, however, the SSA determines that after the month in which the disability stopped and the person was unable to continue working because of their condition, the benefits can restart and there does not need to be a new application.

There are rules with the trial work period and re-entitlement. If the person tries to work after the trial work period is over and they achieve SGA, the disability benefits stop. SGA determination is based on the law for deciding if an applicant or recipient is reaching the necessary levels. It will include average earnings, how many times they tried to work and were unsuccessful, the deduction for work expenses for the trial work period and any rules to evaluate the work if they were getting SSD for two full years.

If the SSA decides that the disability has ended during re-entitlement after SGA, the person will get the benefits after the first month of trial work period when they reached SGA and the next two months regardless of reaching SGA. After those three months, the benefits will stop. They can start again after a new application and it is again determined that the person is disabled.

Every case has different circumstances and many people are capable of and would like to try to get back to work. Understanding how that can impact their SSD benefits is a vital part of a case as the benefits can stop if they are not aware of the trial work period and all the federal requirements surrounding it. Having legal assistance with a Social Security Disability claim at any point in the process is essential.