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Working wITH SSI

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY BEEN AWARDED SSI AND WANT TO START WORKING: 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.

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. When you start working you must report it to Social Security right away, either by phone, mail, online or in person.


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, you can make no more than $1,470 a month in 2023 (unless blind) or your benefits will stop. Work expenses due to your disability are deducted from your counted earnings. Some work expenses may be things useful in your daily living such as copayments for prescriptions and counseling services.

Work Incentives

Continuation of SSI

  • You will continue to receive payments unless your earnings exceed the SSI income limits, $1,470 in 2023 for non-blind individuals.


  • A PASS is a written plan that lets you set aside your income, other than your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit, and other things you own for a specified time to help you reach your work goal. A PASS describes the steps you will take and the items and services you will need to reach your work goal.

  • To apply, fill out a PASS form and submit it to the Social Security Office

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