The Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) is a period of at least 36-months in which you are eligible to receive a SSDI (Title II) check for any month your countable earnings are below Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
The first 36 months of the EPE is called the "Re-entitlement Period." During your Re-entitlement Period you are entitled to receive your SSDI benefit for any month that you do not engage in SGA even if you have engaged in SGA earlier in your EPE.
If, in your 37th month, you are not engaging in SGA, you continue to receive your benefit until the first month in which your earnings exceed the SGA level. At that point, your eligibility for SSDI benefits is terminated.
Your EPE begins the first month after your 9th (and last) Trial Work Period (TWP) month.
During your EPE, the first month that you have earnings that exceed the SGA level will trigger the start of your 3-month Grace Period. You continue to receive your SSDI payment during those three months even though your earnings may continue to exceed SGA during the 2nd and 3rd months.
Once you have completed your Grace Period you should not receive SSDI (Title II) cash benefits for any month in which your earnings exceed SGA. (Note that your benefit in any given month reflects your situation two months earlier.) If you do receive a payment in error you should not cash the check and immediately contact your SSA Claims Representative. Otherwise you may be charged later with an overpayment and have to repay the mistaken benefit.
To avoid an overpayment or under payment of SSDI (Title II) benefits during this period, you must be consistent and accurate when reporting monthly changes in earnings between SGA and non-SGA levels.
SSDI Work Incentives
Work Incentives Overview
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