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To go beyond the information on this site, use these web resources about Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). The list is organized by tool.

Tool 1: SSDI Eligibility & Appeals

General resources:

  • How You Earn Credits (PDF): This brochure explains how your earnings history relates to your SSDI eligibility and your SSDI payment amount. It lists how many credits are needed at which ages to qualify for SSDI. Social Security Administration
  • Quarter of Coverage: This page describes how Social Security credits/quarters are earned. A table shows the by-year amount of earnings needed for a quarter or credit of coverage. Social Security Administration
  • Special Insured Status for Disability Before Age 31: These instructions detail how as few as six credits or quarters can be enough to qualify for SSDI. POMS RS 00301.140
  • my Social Security account: You can access your latest Social Security statement here. This statement shows how much your SSDI payment would be if you were eligible for it. Social Security Administration
  • Apply for Social Security Benefits: Start your SSDI application here. Social Security Administration

Resources about Childhood Disability Benefits:

Tool 2: Trial Work Period

  • The Red Book - A Guide to Work Incentives: The Red Book summarizes all key SSDI and SSI disability work incentives. It has a section about the Trial Work Period. You can download it as a PDF or explore it on the web in its HTML version. Social Security Administration
  • Benefits Planning Query Handbook (PDF): This handbook describes how to request a Benefits Planning Query (BPQY). It also describes how a BPQY can be used to verify a person’s current benefits, recorded wage history, and number of Trial Work Period months that SSA has verified. Social Security Administration
  • Myth Busted: Trial Work Period: This blog post has facts and tips about what really happens to your SSDI payment and eligibility during the Trial Work Period. Social Security Administration, Ticket to Work
  • The Trial Work Period (TWP): These are the official rules from the Social Security Program Operations Manual System. To read all these rules, use the Next link at the upper right of each page. POMS DI 13010.035 - .100
  • Determining Trial Work Period (TWP) Service Months and Evaluating Subsequent Work Activity: This page explains the exact rules for a Trial Work Period. What we call a “TWP month” on this site is called a “Service month” here. POMS DI 13010.060
  • TWP and EPE Provisions of the Law as They Apply to Statutorily Blind Individuals: Discover the rules for a Trial Work Period for someone who is statutorily blind. POMS DI 41001.025
  • Ticket to Work Find Help page: Find contact information for resources in your area. These may include:
    • Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Projects that offer free benefits counseling to Social Security and SSI beneficiaries who are pursuing work
    • State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies
    • Employment Networks (ENs) that provide services through Ticket to Work
    • Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) programs

Tool 3: Extended Period of Eligibility

Note: For an SSDI beneficiary, the BPQY will have been updated through the month and year of the “Last Work Review Action.” If the beneficiary has had substantial work since then, the BPQY will be less accurate in determining if a TWP has been completed, when the Extended Period of Eligibility started, and if there has been a Cessation Month.

Tool 4: Tools to Reduce Countable Income

  • The Red Book - A Guide to Work Incentives: The Red Book summarizes all key SSDI and SSI disability work incentives. You can download the PDF or view it on the web in its HTML version. Social Security Administration

Note: The Red Book does not discuss using Paid Time Off when determining if earnings were over the SGA level for a month.

Tool 5: Expedited Reinstatement of SSDI Benefits

Tool 6: Medicare & Medicare Savings Programs

  • Benefits Planning Query Handbook (PDF): This handbook explains how to request a Benefits Planning Query (BPQY), and how a BPQY can be used to verify many details about a person’s earnings history and SSDI benefits status. Social Security Administration

Note: Under the Health Insurance field, the BPQY will indicate: if the beneficiary is Medicare eligible; If they have Part A, B, or both (the BPQY does not document Part C or Part D coverage); when they first became eligible for Parts A and B; if they have been found eligible for a Medicare Savings Program to pay Part B premiums and possibly copays and deductibles (referred to in the BPQY as “Buy-In”)

  • Medicare & You: This annual publication discusses Medicare and its four parts, what is covered, steps for enrollment or opting out, and more. It is mailed to all Medicare beneficiaries each year. You can also request that new versions be emailed to you.
  • Questions and Answers on Extended Medicare Coverage for Working People with Disabilities: This page has several interesting questions and answers. Social Security Administration
  • Medicare Information: Find a general explanation of Medicare, including the Extended Period of Medicare Coverage. Social Security Administration
  • Costs: This page describes costs related to Parts A, B, C, and D.
  • Creditable Coverage: This page is about how a prescription drug plan must notify Medicare-eligible policyholders as to whether the plan is acceptable for avoiding a late-enrollment penalty for Medicare Part D.
  • Apply for Medicare Part D Extra Help program: Start your application here. Social Security Administration
  • State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Navigating Medicare: Each state has a SHIP program that provides free counseling and assistance related to Medicare. You can browse this site for general information. You can also click the orange SHIP Locator button on the home page to identify the SHIP program for your area. State Health Insurance Assistance Program National Technical Assistance Center

Tool 7: Medicaid Buy-in