7 must-know facts about employment and Disability

7 must-know facts about employment and Disability

As an individual with a disability and who is employed, I know the 7 must-know facts about employment and disability. Before getting fully started, I am a disabled individual who has worked with advocates for disability and worked with Disability Rights Iowa, a law firm in Iowa, to know more about this subject, but I am not a lawyer, social worker, social security employee, or expert. I am just a person with personal experience dealing with this situation and information.

To start, the 7 must-know facts about employment and disability are not explained well on most websites and brochures. Making it hard to understand the rules about working with disabilities. These are the topics I will cover.

  1. What do TWP, EPE, EXR, SGA, SSDI, SSI & MEPD stand for?
  2. Trial work period, before and after.
  3. What really happens after you pass the Trial work period?
  4. Real meaning of and regulations to the extended period of eligibility
  5. What if work is wrong for me after the extended period of eligibility
  6. To understand the grace period
  7. Insurance coverage af

What do TWP, EPE, EXR, SGA, SSDI, SSI & MEPD stand for?

For definitions of the acronym or letters that the government uses to make things more complicated.

  1. TWP = trial work period
  2. EPE = extended period of eligibility
  3. EXR = expedited reinstatement
  4. SGA = substantial gainful activity
  5. MEPD = Medicaid for employed people with disability
  6. SSDI = Social Security Disability Insurance
  7. SSI = Security Supplement I

Trial work period before and After

Any person with a disability can work if possible, but it depends on how much you make which can affect your disability income. You can make $940 a month with no problem and no effect on your disability.  

Don’t forget every year there are at least 2 months, if you work getting paid every 2 weeks there will be 3 paychecks. In 2022 that makes it to be safe not to make over $313 gross-wise in every paycheck. That will make sure you do not have to worry about your income affecting your disability. But they don’t tell you that.

See when you go over the $940 you are immediately put into the trial work period. In the trial work period, you can make over $940 as much as you want. But that only goes 9 months within 5 years. During the 5 years that 9 months can be any time you go over the income limit. Every time your income goes over $940 the 5 years start over again.

To be safe if you wish to go into that trial work period and make as much as you want. Only do 8 months, then wait six years after the 8th month, and start again. Because if you do the 9 months you start the next phase with no choice.

What really happens after you pass the trial work period

After you pass the 9 months in the trial work period, you are automatically put into a new phase called the extended period of eligibility. This phase goes for 36 months or 3 years. But do understand after the trial work period these next phases start and can’t be stopped unless you quit working for a health reason

The real meanings and regulations to the extended period of eligibility

During those 36 months, the income limit changes. Because you already have done the trial work period, now your income limit in 2022 is $1350. If you go over that income amount one month during the 36- months, you can lose your disability income for the next month. You still receive Medicare the whole time even going over the income limit.

To warn you again 2 months every year if paid bi-weekly you get 3 paychecks. This makes it to be safe during EPE to not go over $450 per paycheck in gross. Gross stands for before taxes are taken out. This means more than what you get from the check yourself.

During this period be careful of those regulations. As said earlier the 36-month countdown cannot be stopped unless you must stop working and this means not working at all or only working under the table and getting paid cash only. Once the 36 months have passed you start the expedited reinstatement.

What if work is wrong for me after the extended period of eligibility

After the extended period of eligibility, you start the expedited reinstatement. You must understand 2 things.

  1. if you must quit working for a health-related reason, social security will evaluate the reason you quit. This means for a period of around 9 months you still will receive your money while they make their decision.
  2. . You must understand if you file for this you must not work at all and even under the table is dangerous and may jeopardize your chance of reinstatement.

The catch to this is even if you don’t file for reinstatement, you are still in danger of losing all your social security income and insurance. What happens is when you go over the income limit of $1350 you then can be put into the grace period.

To understand the grace period

This is when substantial gainful activity gets involved. See substantial growth is referring to the income limit of $1350. Once you go over that limit and if you are on SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) the limit is 1 cent over. Unlike SSI (Supplemental Security Income) where you only lose all your income when you make twice the amount of income you get or more.

SSI is a program I have yet to really work with myself so don’t quote me. If you want more information, go to https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-income-ussi.htm again pointing out there is still probably loopholes just like SSDI that can affect you in a negative way that they don’t talk about, be careful.

After going over that income limit you are almost immediately given the grace period. What that means is you have 3 months before you lose all your social security from income to insurance. The month you pass that income limit is the first month of the grace period that leaves you 2 months to try and clean up and be ready to work with new insurance and depend fully on your work income.

Insurance coverage afterward

Now don’t lose all hope and go into fear if you work too much. If you only depend on SSDI mainly because of insurance coverages like me. There are a few key things you must know

  1. Because of being on disability you are now eligible for Medicare coverage but paying the premium as elderlies do. Instead of just co-pays, you are also now eligible for the co-supplements to health with medical bills.
  2. The ACA or (Affordable Care Act) Obamacare if the others don’t make sense. Makes it so we disabled individuals are open to personal insurance unlike it was in the 90s and early 2000s. Where we would be denied insurance because of are pre-existing conditions.
  3. If this is a good enough job that covers, you in insurance and works with you on paying your monthly bills. You should be okay. But always keep an eye open for loopholes in all insurances.
  4. And finally. I am on MEPD. The MEPD program still works with individuals after losing disability coverage. But this only works for certain individuals. And this is only Medicaid, not Medicare. Changing regulations on income limit etc. Just to let you know in Iowa MEPD has a much different and better limit to income than basic Medicaid. I am eligible because of a pre-existing condition that will never truly be gone or solved. I will depend on treatment of some kind for the rest of my life.

If you mean to get off SSDI with work always talk to your WIPA (Work incentive planning and assistance) in your state first. In Iowa that is the Disability rights Iowa attorney office located in Des Moines Iowa. They have helped me wonderfully in preparing for the change in life from being on SSDI to being fully independent.

.Always make sure you research, and talk to services, and people about your situation so you fully understand. And never expect social security to explain anything thoroughly and be easy to understand. There are always loopholes in what the website, brochure, and phone/office service person say that may affect you.

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