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How does the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) help me?


During the 36-month EPE, you may receive your Title II payment any time your earnings fall below SGA without reapplying. This is especially helpful for people who need more than the 9-month Trial Work Period (TWP) to be sure they can succeed in a job. For example, a SSDI beneficiary who has not worked since s/he became eligible for SSDI starts a job earning above SGA. The first nine months would be his/her Trial Work Period, and s/he would keep SSDI payments. The next three months would be his/her Grace Period, and s/he would still keep SSDI payments. The next 33 months would be the remainder of his/her EPE, and s/he would not receive SSDI. However, if his/ her earnings fell below SGA any month during (or the month after) the EPE, s/he would get SSDI back without reapplying. In short, the worker would have 45 months (the 9-month TWP plus the 36-month EPE) to “prove” himself/herself on a job before risking the permanent loss of SSDI.