After the Trial Work Period and Extended Period of Eligibility, a beneficiary earning over the substantial gainful activity amount ($800 or $1330 blind in 2003) who has exhausted the Grace period will not receive benefits even if he or she earns under $800 ($1330 blind) in the future. However, this individual may be able to apply for Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits. An individual may apply for Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits within the five year period that begins after the last month of the Extended Period of Eligibility or the last month in which the individual was qualified to receive a benefits check, whichever is later. In order to qualify for Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits, the beneficiary must prove that he or she can no longer work because of the original disabling condition.
When a former SSDI recipient files under this provision, he or she will immediately receive benefits while SSA determines if the person is eligible. These provisional payments will last for up to six months and if it is determined that the personís disability was not the cause for their reduction or cessation of work, he or she will not have to pay back these benefits, absent fraud.
Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits for the SSI Beneficiary
An individual who no longer receives SSI benefits because of income will maintain an open case with SSA until they earn income that disqualifies them from 1619 protection for over twelve months. Therefore, most beneficiaries of SSI who work need only report a change in their income to re-start their SSI checks. However, those individuals who earn enough income to disqualify themselves from 1619 status ($26,001 in 2003) for 12 months may be able to utilize the Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits work incentive to receive SSI again. An application for Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits must be filed within 5 years from the month in which your benefits ended.
Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits allows a former SSI beneficiary to qualify for benefits without going through the initial application process again. In order to qualify for this work incentive, the personís earned income must decrease due to their original disabling condition. In other words, simply losing your job because of lay-offs is not enough to qualify for this work incentive. Rather, there must be a connection between the decrease or loss of earned income and the personís medical condition that originally qualified him or her for benefits.
When a person applies for Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits, they receive provisional benefits for up to six months. If SSA decides that the person does not qualify for Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits, the individual will not be responsible for paying the provisional benefits back, absent fraud.