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SSDI: Return to Work Guidelines

Before You Return To Work While Receiving An Income From SSDI

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  • Make sure you understand the impact returning to work will have on your government and private benefits.
  • Volunteering can be a good way to test your readiness to return to work, sharpen or learn new skills, fill a gap in a resume, or even find a job.
  • Education (such as taking a course or obtaining a new degree), may help you prepare to return to work.
  • Vocational Rehabilitation may help update your skills or provide assistance if you need it to return to work.

For more information, see Return to Work, and Returning to Work, Impact on Your Benefits.

If you try to work, it is important to do the following:

  • Tell Social Security. You don't want Social Security to find out on its own that you returned to work. Social Security will learn about it through computerized quaterly employment tax records provided by the Internal Revenue Service. The government is on to tricks to hide working like setting up corporations or other entities, or working off-the-books, or under some one else's Social Security number. The penalties can be severe. See Sample Letter To Social Security Informing Of Your Intent To Return To Work.
  • Track your income and expenses and other information that will be requested in Work Activity Reports for employees and for self-employed people. It is far easier to put this information together while you are working than to try to reconstruct it later.  To learn more, see: Trial Work Period.
  • Submit pay stubs to Social Security.

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