A picture of a woman.



Social Security Disability Insurance


Home / Indiana Resources / Glossary / Site Map

Social Security Program Information

Social Security Disability Insurance

Work Incentives

Trial Work Period

Extended Period of Eligibility

Substantial Gainful Activity

Subsidies and Special Conditions

Impairment-Related Work Expense

Extended Medicare Coverage

Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits

Supplemental Security Income

Self Employment



Tax Credits

Ticket to Work



Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE):

After you have completed the Trial Work period, you will enter into another work incentive timeline called the Extended Period of Eligibility .  This work incentive timeline allows for 36 consecutive months of continued eligibility of Social Security benefits while you work. During the Extended Period of Eligibility, you are eligible to receive your full benefit check in the months that you do not earn Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).

How it Helps You:

The Extended Period of Eligibility is an additional three years (36 months) of protection for your SSDI benefit check. It begins the month after your Trial Work Period ends and continues for the next 36 months, whether you are working or not working.

How it Works:

During the three years of EPE, you must carefully track your earnings and report them to the Social Security Administration (SSA). They will be evaluating whether your gross earnings (earnings before taxes are deducted) are above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). The first month your gross monthly earnings are over SGA you will receive your SSDI benefit check for that month and two more months. These months are called the Grace Period.

During the remainder of the 36 months, you will be entitled to your SSDI check when you are unable to work, or when your gross wages are below Substantial Gainful Activity. The Substantial Gainful Activity Amount changes annually, so it is important to keep updated on the SGA earnings limits. In 2012, SGA is $1010 per month. For individuals whose primary disability on record with SSA is blindness, the 2012 SGA amount is $1,690 per month.

But remember, no matter how much you are earning, if your disability causes you to either stop working or reduce your earnings below SGA during the EPE, your benefit check will start again during the 36 months of EPE when you notify your local Social Security Office of the change in your wages.

After your 36 month EPE timeline is over, you will need to continue to track your earnings and report these to SSA. They will be evaluating your work activity, earnings, and other work incentives that may be applicable to you. If you are consistently able to earn over SGA following the 36 month EPE timeline, your SSDI eligibility will end.

The Disability Benefits and Work website was funded by the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (CFDA # 93.768)

This site is intended for informational purposes only. Individual situations vary widely and must be evaluated on an individual basis by Division of Family Resources eligibility caseworkers, or Social Security Claims Representatives and/or Indiana Works-Community Works Incentive Coordinators. Links from this site are provided to help people research various topics and do not constitute endorsements by the State of Indiana or its partners.