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What is a Disability Expedited Reinstatement?

When an individual once qualified for Social Security Disability benefits and then is disqualified, such as an individual who decided to return to work and had benefits that ended due to their earning but was then unable to maintain employment due to their disability, the thought of re-applying for Social Security Disability benefits all over again can be very overwhelming. No one wants to endure a long and drawn out application and appeal process a second time around, especially when they know just how grueling it can be since they have been through the experience once before. Fortunately, a Social Security Disability applicant may not always have to re-apply for benefits in the same manner as their initial application if they qualify for Disability Expedited Reinstatement, or EXR.

The Disability Expedited Reinstatement program is a part of the SSA’s Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. This act is a safety net that was created for Social Security Disability recipients who wanted to return to work but were afraid to try for fear that they would lose their Social Security Disability eligibility. The policy allows for individuals who were receiving disability benefits prior to working to receive benefits more quickly later on (within 60 months) if their work attempt failed due to their disabling condition.

If your Social Security Disability benefits ended because you had earnings and then those earnings stopped due to your disability, you can request that the SSA reinstate your benefits again without having to actually complete an entirely new Social Security Disability application. While the SSA determines whether or not you can get benefits again without having to reapply, they will normally provide you with temporary benefits for up to six months.

For the most part, a person may be eligible for this type of reinstatement if he or she stopped receiving benefits as a result of earnings from work, is no longer able to work due to an impairment that is the same or is related to the impairment that initially qualified them for disability benefits in the first place and the request is made within five years from the month that the Social Security Disability benefits had ended.

When you request an EXR or Expedited Reinstatement of your benefits, provisional benefits will usually be provided. These provisional benefits will include both cash payments and medical coverage through the Medicare/Medicaid programs. If your request for EXR is not approved, you will usually not have to pay these benefits back.

Provisional benefits can last for a period of up to six months, however they may end sooner. If you are notified of the SSA’s EXR decision (whether in your favor or not) you will no longer receive provisional benefits. You will also stop receiving provisional benefits if you begin to engage in substantial gainful activity or reach full retirement age (at which point Social Security Retirement benefits would kick in).

If you decide after your benefits have been reinstated that you would like to attempt to work again in the future, you can be granted a new trial work period after receiving 24 months of benefit payments and you may then be eligible for a new Trial Work Period and Extended Period of Eligbility.