Getting Back Social Security Benefits
The short answer to that question is yes—it may be possible to get Social Security benefits back after losing them. But like most issues related to SSA cases, there are a variety of factors that will ultimately determine if you’re able to begin receiving benefits once again. The most important factor to keep in mind is if you stop working within 5 years of losing your benefits, you may be eligible to restart your benefits without needing to go through the standard application process.
Getting Benefits Reinstated After Losing Them
At the core of every disability case is proving to the Social Security Administration that you have a condition preventing you from working at the substantial gainful activity level. If you are working and receiving SSI benefits, your monthly benefit rate will be offset by any income you receive. For 2013, the monthly maximum SSI payment is $710. After the first $65 of earned income is excluded, your monthly benefit amount will be the difference between your maximum monthly benefit rate and any countable income (including wages from work).
If you are receiving SSDI benefits, each month of earnings of at least $710 per month is counted towards a Trial Work Period. The Trial Work Period lasts for 9 non-consecutive months (within a rolling 60 month period) during which you will be paid your full benefit amount. Once your nine trial months are up, you can continue working for up to three years in an Extended Period of Eligibility. During this time, you won’t receive benefits for months when your countable income exceeds $1,040, but you will for any months when it falls below that amount.
A common scenario that may be very close to your own is after working at the same job for quite awhile, an individual has to stop because of an injury or medical issue. Because the problem is serious, this person is unable to return to work. As a result, he or she files for disability benefits and eventually begins receiving them.
At some point, the individual feels ready to go back to work. After he or she returns to work and exhausts his trial work period, disability benefits are stopped. Unfortunately, what makes this kind of situation especially stressful is when the ability to work eventually runs out again.
Even though these situations can be frustrating, the good news is you don’t have to go through the entire application process. Instead, as long as your situation meets some basic guidelines, you’ll be able to utilize expedited reinstatement to begin receiving your benefits again in less time.
How Does Expedited Reinstatement Work?
SThere are two main guidelines you must meet in order to qualify for expedited reinstatement. First, your original condition, or one related to it, needs to be the reason you stopped working again. Second, you need to prove your condition hasn’t improved since you were originally approved for benefits.
In addition to receiving a decision faster, another benefit of expedited reinstatement is you can receive provisional benefits in the form of cash payments for up to six months while you wait for approval. Also, if your reinstatement filing is denied, you can submit a Request for Reconsideration. And even if that’s denied as well, you can still ask for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
If you have any additional questions about reinstating the benefits you previously lost, be sure to get in touch with Lisa M. Ritacco today!