Office on Mental Health Logo
Contact Us

125 N. Main St., Rear 
Bel Air, Maryland 21014
Tel: 410.803.8726
Fax: 410.803.8732


You are here: Why work?

Call our toll-free telephone line
1-855-384-2844

How much can I work when I receive Social Security disability benefits?

Will I lose my health coverage if I go to work?

What if I go to work and then my disability gets worse?

Consumers, families, advocates and professionals:

Do you have questions about Social Security’s work incentives and safety nets?

We open our toll-free telephone line on Mondays from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and on Thursdays from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. to anyone. Call 1-855-384-2844.

You will speak with Shannon Smiles, a Certified Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC).

This is a free, confidential service to help you make informed choices about going to work.

Why work?

A warehouse worker folding his arms and smiling at camera

If you are a Social Security disability beneficiaries and go to work, you will probably find that:     

  1. You are better off financially with a job, especially if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
  2. There are safety nets so that you can keep SSDI checks for at least a year after you start work.
  3. If you complete a Trial Work Period and earn over $1070, your SSDI checks may stop. However, during the following 36 months, you can get them back again if your income falls under what Social Security calls Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). This work incentive is called the Extended Period of Eligibility.
  4. Even if your SSDI cash benefits stop, you can keep Medicare for years longer, sometimes permanently.
  5. You can qualify for Medicaid if you work under the Employed Individuals with Disabilities program. The income and resources limits for this program are higher than other forms of Medicaid. This allows workers an opportunity to put more money in savings and retirement accounts. This helps workers to build a more secure sound economic future.
  6. Some workers may get tax refunds or qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  7. By taking part in the Ticket to Work program or the state's public vocational rehabilitation program (Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services)