Myth #7: I don't need my benefits as long as I have a job, but if I have to stop working I won't be able to get my benefits back.

If you are not able to continue working, or if you need to work fewer hours, you might be worried about having to go through the long process of applying for benefits again. Luckily, there are some helpful rules that allow your benefits to be restarted without your needing to reapply for benefits.

If you are on SSI:
  • If you are on the SSI 1619(b) program and your income drops below a certain level, you will be eligible for SSI cash benefits again without needing to re-apply. For information on the 1619(b) program, click here.
  • Once you are no longer eligible for SSI and/or 1619(b), you may be eligible for Expedited Reinstatement (EXR). If your SSI benefits stopped because of your earnings from work, and you were eligible for SSI within the last five years, you can use EXR to begin getting SSI benefits again. Click here to learn about eligibility.
If you are on SSDI:
  • Once again, the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) can help you here. The EPE begins the first month after your Trial Work Period ends and it will continue for 36 months in a row. During this time, if you earn less than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level in any of the 36 months, you will get your SSDI payment that month. If you earn more than the SGA, you will not get an SSDI check. No new application is required to get your SSDI benefits if your earnings are less than SGA. Click here for more information on EPE.
  • You may also be eligible for Expedited Reinstatement (EXR). If your Social Security benefits stop because of your earnings, you can use EXR to get your SSDI benefits re-started, if you stopped working within five years of when your benefits terminated. Click here to learn about eligibility.