After months of receiving disability payments, you are finally ready to talk with your doctor about going back to work. While you are still considered disabled, there may be an alternate position for you at your previous workplace—and you’re eager to start earning a living again.
However, there is one thing that’s holding you back. What if going back to work causes you to re-injure yourself, undoing all of the hard recuperation you have done over the past long months? Will you have to sign up for disability all over again, and pay all of the medical bills from your new injury out of your pocket?
Thankfully, there is a way for you to return to work gradually without risking your health or your benefits. The Ticket to Work Program established by the Social Security Administration offers a trial work period in which benefits are still applied to allow disabled employees to slowly come back to work.
Here are a few things injured employees returning to work in NJ need to know about their trial work period:
- How long does it last? Since employees will be “testing” their ability to work, a trial work period may extend for a maximum of nine months within a 60-consecutive-month period.
- Are benefits still paid during the trial work period? As long as your disability does not improve and you continue to report your work activity each month, your trial period benefits should continue.
- Will I get my full amount of benefits, or will my earnings be deducted? Any work that you do and earnings you make during the nine month trial work period will not be deducted from your benefit payment.
- What if my condition improves during the trial work period? If you receive a medical decision that your injury or disability has improved during the trial work period, your benefits may end before you complete your ninth month of trial work.
If you or someone you love is having trouble returning to work after an injury, New Jersey social security lawyer Manfred F. Ricciardelli, Jr. can help you get the maximum amount of compensation for your disability and loss of income. Call our offices today at 877-360-0183 or click the link above to download our FREE informational guide, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide.