Publication Date



This policy-to-practice brief will focus on issues related to benefits and work for the SSDI beneficiary. After first explaining what SSDI is and the differences between SSDI and SSI, we will explain two historical work disincentives: the substantial gainful activity (SGA) rule and the continuing disability review (CDR). We will then explore a number of work incentives or special rules that seek to encourage work by either allowing benefits to continue for limited periods while working (trial work period (TWP), extended period of eligibility (EPE)), or allow individuals to quickly return to benefits status when a work effort stops or wage levels dip below the SGA level (expedited reinstatement). We will also explain special rules for either ignoring some short-term employment efforts (unsuccessful work attempts) or reducing countable monthly wages to be measured against the SGA amount for the year in question (impairment related work expenses, subsidies, paid time off).


Suggested Citation
Sheldon, J. & Lopez-Soto, E. (2009). Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare and work: A review of the SSDI and Medicare rules related to work activity. Guidelines for proactively using the SSDI and Medicare work incentives to help individuals with disabilities maximize independence through work (NY Makes Work Pay Policy to Practice Brief #3). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Employment and Disability Institute

SS54_TXT.txt (61 kB)
Accessible Text Version