If Social Security finds I am disabled, do I need to stay on disability for the rest of my life or can I return to work?

Absolutely not.  In fact, some people return work.  However to satisfy the durational requirement for disability, your impairment must last 12 months.

Special rules allow you to work temporarily without losing your monthly Social Security disability benefits.  For example, our trial work period allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months without losing benefits.  As long as you remain disabled, you can get full Social Security disability benefits during those nine monthly no matter how much you earn.

After your nine-month trial work period, we still provide a safety net that allows you to work another three years risk free.  During those three years, you can work and still receive benefits for any month in which your earnings do not exceed these limits:

$1,690 for blind individuals; or
$1,010 a month if you are not blind

However, if you receive benefits and decide to return to work, make sure to contact Social Security and inform them of your earnings. We recommend that you furnish copies of your pay stubs, communicate in writing with SSA, and keep records or copies  of your correspondence with SSA. and  For information about the trial work period call our office and ask to speak to one of the attorneys, Nebraska Disability Attorney at (402) 933-5405 or [email protected]  Whatever you do report your earnings to Social Security.

Timothy J. Cuddigan
Omaha Social Security and Veterans Disability Lawyer With Over 40 Years Experience