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Working while disabled

Social Security has many incentives to make it possible to work and still receive benefit payments.

Ticket to work program

Ticket to Work is a program that offers free vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals, and other employment support. You won't undergo medical reviews while in this program and making progress towards returning to work.

  • Learn more: or call 1-866-968-7842 Mon-Fri, 5am-5pm

Trial Work Period

This program lets you undergo a trial work period for 9 months while still receiving full Social Security benefits. A trial work month is any month your total earnings are over $1050.


Extended Period of Eligibility

After 9 months, you will have 36 months during whch you will receive benefits for any month your earnings aren't over $1470 (as of 2023).

Expedited Reinstatement

If you have substantial earnings causing your benefits to stop, but are unable to keep working because of your condition you have 5 years to ask Social Security to have your benefits reinstated. You won't have to file a new application or wait for benefits to restart while they review your medical condition.

Continuation of Medicare

You will still have free Medicare Part A coverage for at least 93 months after the 9 month trial work period. If you have Medicaare Part B coverage, you must continue to pay the premium. You must request in writing to end your Part B coverage.

Work Expenses Related to Your Disability

If you require certain items in order to work such as transportation or other services, they may be deducted from your monthly earnings before deciding if you're eligible for benefits.

How Your Earnings Affect Your Social Security Benefits

During the trial work period there are no limits on your earnings. During the 36-month extended period of eligibility


From CalFresh is for people with low-income who meet federal income eligibility rules and want to add to their budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table.


  • 1 person - $2148 per month or $25,776 per year

  • 2 people - $2904 per month or $34,848 per year

  • 3 people - $3660 per month or $43,920 per year

  • 4 people - $4418 per month or $53,016 per year

Documents Needed

  • Identification

  • Social Security Number

  • Proof of residence (ways around this)

How to Apply

  • or


CalWORKs is a public assistance program that provides cash aid and services to eligible families that have a child(ren) in the home.


Documents Needed

  • Name, date of birth, and Social Security number of the individual interested in SSI.

  • Mailing address and phone number for the individual interested in SSI.

  • Your name and phone number if you are assisting another individual.

  • Optional: Email address for the individual interested in SSI

How to Apply

Social Security Disability Insurance


  • Meets the Social Security office's definition of disabled: Having a medical condition that's expected to last at least one year or result in death

  • Your medical condition must significantly limit your ability to do basic work activities for at least 12 months

  • You must have worked a certain amount of years before developing a disability in order to receive benefits, Use this table from Social Security as an estimate of how many years you must have worked.

social security years worked.png

Documents Needed

  • Your Social Security number

  • Your date and place of birth

  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of the doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics that took care of you, and dates of your visits

  • Names and dosages of all the medicine you take

  • Medical records from your doctors, therapists, hospitals, clinics, and caseworkers that you already have in your possession

  • Laboratory and test results

  • A summary of where you worked and the kind of work you did

  • A copy of your most recent W-2 Form (Wage and Tax Statement) or, if you’re self-employed, your federal tax returns for the past year.

How to Apply

  • Apply online at or call 1-800-772-1213 Mon-Fri 8am - 7pm to make an appointment to file a disability claim at your local Social Security office

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