If I receive disability benefits, can I ever return to work?

You can work and earn income while you receive SSDI benefits. However, if your income exceeds the substantial gainful activity (SGA) thresholds (discussed above), you could lose your right to continue receiving those monthly payments. The SSA will check on your status through a Continuing Disability Review (CDR), which the SSA typically conducts every three years.

If you want to return to work and earn above the SGA threshold amounts, the SSA can provide help through its Ticket to Work program.

As part of this program, you will not be subjected to a CDR as long as you continue to make progress through the program. Also, if your benefits stop but you later on need to get them reinstated, you will not need to file a new application.

If you receive SSI benefits, you can continue receiving your monthly payments for up to nine months while you try to return to work.