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What is an 'Unsuccessful Work Attempt' for SSDI in New Jersey?

We have previously discussed the fact that the Social Security Administration (SSA) attempts to provide incentives to attempt to get back to work to those New Jersey residents who receive disability through its Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs. Because it is in the administration's, the individual's and society's best interest that people do productive work if possible, the SSA will do what it can to encourage those who try.

One way this is done for SSDI is by assuring those people who are disabled that if they attempt to work and find they cannot due to their disabilities, they will not necessarily lose their benefits. To implement this encouragement, the SSA defines certain short periods of attempted "Substantial Gainful Activity" (SGA) as Unsuccessful Work Attempts, or UWAs.

A UWA is defined as a period of time of six months or less when an applicant for or beneficiary of SSD benefits attempts to do substantial work, but then reduces such work below the level of SGA due to the person's disability or the removal of special conditions that allowed the person to work with his or her impairment. Basically, if the SSA is determining eligibility or continued eligibility for SSDI, it will not count the money earned during an applicant's UWA in determining whether to award or continue benefits.

It should be noted that for SSI, UWAs are only considered for initial applications, not when SSA is determining continuation of benefits. Hopefully, by creating exceptions such as Unsuccessful Attempts to Work, the SSA allows those with disabilities to attempt to begin to support themselves without fear that if they can't, they will lose their benefits or their chance to get them. For more information about UWAs or SSDI rules and concepts, disabled individuals may wish to consider reaching out to a New Jersey disability attorney.

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