In the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, the determination of whether or not you are engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) is important both when you are applying for SSDI and after you complete your Trial Work Period (TWP).
SSA sets as the "Onset" date of your disability the first day that you meet the definition of disability; that is, the date of coincidence of:
· Absence of substantial gainful activity (SGA), and
· A medically determinable severe impairment, and
· Duration expectation of 12 months or death.
If you should engage in SGA before 12 months from the established onset date have passed, SSA may determine that you are ineligible -- even if you have received your final letter of determination saying that you are eligible. (If you have received SSDI payments, you may be required to pay them back to SSA.)
If you are a SSDI (Title II) beneficiary, then your SSDI cash benefits will stop during each month you engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) after you have completed your Trial Work Period (TWP) and subsequent 3-month Grace Period.
If you engage in SGA at the end of your Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), then you will be terminated from the SSDI program. (See Medicare - Continued Coverage for information about continuing your Medicare coverage after your EPE.)
Note that if you have disability related work expenses or a subsidy or special condition, the amount may be excluded from your earned income in determining if you are engaging in SGA by using an IRWE and/or Subsidy and Special Condition work incentive.
If you are self-employed and have business expenses that are reimbursed by another agency, you may be able to exclude those expenses by using the Unincurred Business Expense work incentive.
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