At the conclusion of the Trial Work Period, a beneficiary will enter a 36 month (consecutive) Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE). It runs for 36 months whether a beneficiary works or not.

During these 36 months, a beneficiary will receive a benefit check if earnings are below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) threshold, and will not receive a benefit check if earnings are above SGA. Monthly SGA thresholds are shown below.

YearBlindNon-Blind
2015$1,820$1,090
2014$1,800$1,070
2013$1,740$980
2012$1,690$1,010
2011$1,640$1,000
2010$1,640$980
2009$1,640$980
2008$1,570$940
2007$1,500$900
2006$1,450$860
2005$1,380$830
2004$1,350$810

Basically, this means that during this 36 month period, “disability eligibility” is protected. Social Security will presume an individual still has a disability during all 36 months, even if gross earnings are over SGA in some months. Because of this “presumption of disability”, an individual will not have to reapply to receive SSDI when earnings fall below SGA, although he/she still have to notify SSA and provide pay stubs.

During the Extended Period of Eligibility, work incentives such as Impairment Related Work Expenses, Subsidies and Special Conditions can be used to reduce countable income below SGA.