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Does SSDI Have You Painted Into a Corner? “Return to Work” Policies Often Backfire


As a recipient of benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you probably face each day wishing you could once again work and earn a comfortable living. You don’t see your benefits as an easy way out of hard work—they are a necessary lifeline after an injury or medical condition took away your ability to perform your duties.

After some time recovering and healing, you wonder if you could return to work, but the threat of losing the only reliable income source you have is terrifying. Returning to work and losing your SSDI benefits is simply a risk that you cannot take.

Social Security Policymakers Have Made it Risky to Return to Work

When it comes to viewing a return to work as a giant risk, you are not alone. It has been widely publicized that SSDI recipients rarely return to the workforce, and many people are aware of the barriers that prevent their return. Lawmakers know that this barrier exists, and yet not much has been done to address the issue.

With recent news of the state of Social Security (if you haven’t heard, it’s a rough prognosis), it would seem as though the number one priority of lawmakers would be to improve the current return-to-work policies. As it stands now, recipients can test the waters of the workforce for several months without affecting their benefits at all (as long as they earn below $1,090 monthly), but many fear that this “work trial period” could be one of the first things on the chopping block when the funds begin to dwindle perilously low.

What Other Cuts Can Be Expected?

Another huge concern is the potential for cuts to the already meager benefits that recipients of SSDI see monthly. Much speculation over when and how the cuts will happen have surfaced over the last few months, but many seem to settle around a 20% cut. That doesn’t sound too bad, until you do the math—most SSDI recipients see just over $1,100 per month in benefits. A $220 cut could mean compromising further on necessities such as food, medical attention, or a place to live.

What’s the solution? It remains to be seen. What is nonnegotiable, however, is that lawmakers must act to ensure that those with disabilities receive more support and security in their efforts to re-enter the workforce.

Curious to learn more about Social Security disability law and other important factors? Browse through our helpful articles to find out more about SSDI, your rights, and the application process now!