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Social Security and Work 2018

This calculator is used to determine guide benefits counselors through the return to work phases for Title II beneficiaries. It also determines countable income for SGA determinations.  All figures should be calculated based on gross monthly income (earned and unearned). This calculator is designed to provide beneficiaries with an estimate of how work impacts benefits. Actual figures will be determined by the administering agency.

Step 1

Trial Work Period (TWP) - first 9 months of work (in a rolling 60-month period) earning over $850/month ($840/month in 2017, $810/month in 2016, $780/month in 2015, $770/month in 2014, $750/month in 2013; $720/month in 2010, 2011, 2012; $700/month in 2009; $670/month in 2008; $640/month in 2007; $620/month in 2006; $590/month in 2005; $580/month in 2004; $570/month in 2003; $560/month in 2002; $530/month in 2001; $200/month before 1/01/2001): Keep Social Security Disability checks.

Step 2

Substantial Gainful Activity Calculation used anytime after the TWP (steps 3-6).

After TWP

Minus

Subsidies and Special Conditions (2 Kinds):

Minus

Minus


Equals

*If countable earnings below $1,180 (for non-blind) or $1,970 (for blind), not doing Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): Keep Social Security Disability checks.

Step 3

Cessation month (First month of SGA after TWP) and two grace months that follow it - keep Social Security Disability checks.

Step 4

Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) - first 36 months after TWP. Each month not doing SGA, keep Social Security Disability checks.

Each month doing SGA, don’t get Social Security Disability checks (except during cessation and grace months).

Month 37 and on - If never do SGA, keep Social Security Disability checks. Do SGA any month, lose Social Security Disability checks for good (except during cessation and grace months). Must request Expedited Reinstatement or reapply to get checks back.

Step 5

Keep Medicare as long as keep Social Security Disability checks. If lose Social Security Disability checks due to work, keep Medicare at least 93 months after TWP ends. Then, may pay extra to keep Medicare if not medically improved. If income and resources low enough, may qualify for Qualified Disabled Working Individuals program, which pays the extra premium.

Step 6

Expedited Reinstatement (EXR) – Quicker, easier way to regain Social Security Disability if earnings drop within 5 years of termination due to SGA. Earnings must drop or stop due to same or similar disability. Receive provisional cash benefits and Medicare up to 6 months while awaiting determination.