Clarify the TWP threshold - as long as a person doesn't earn more than $720 in that month, they do not trigger a month of the Trial Work Period?

That is correct; someone can be making less than $720 for a really long time and never use a month of the Trial Work Period (TWP)

When someone gets to retirement what happens to the SSDI?

When someone reaches retirement age the SSDI funds just switch over to regular Social Security retirement funds.

What is the $720.00?


This is the monthly amount that is considered a "threshold" dollar amount that triggers a month being used of the TWP. It is different than SGA which determines whether a benefits check is given or not.

If the adult who actually earned the SSDI goes back to work, and loses the SSDI for some reason, will the adult child beneficiary also lose his/her benefit check?


It depends on the disability status of the Childhood Disability Beneficiary (CDB). If the adult child remains single, the ongoing benefit depends on the same disability-related criteria that all other disability benefit recipients must meet. If a child received a benefits check solely due to relationship with the wage earner, and the status of that wage earner’s eligibility changes, it might affect the adult child. If a living worker isn’t due a check because of work or medical improvement, no one else is due a check. (Source: WIPA manual, Module 3, p. 15, 18)

If a person is married, does this affect eligibility for a person applying for SSDI? Does the spouse's income get weighed in?

With SSI, a spouse’s income would be considered. With SSDI, only the beneficiary's job earnings are counted.  

Does the childhood beneficiary benefit happen when he/she is a child or when they turn 18?

The disabled child must be 18 years of age or older to access Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB). The child must have a disabling condition that began prior to the time the child attained age 22. Those under 18 may be eligible for child’s benefits not based on disability (but based on the relationship with an eligible wage earner). (Source: WIPA manual, Module 3, p. 18)

Can SSDI recipients get a partial check?


SSA has a pilot project going on in northern tier of PA and southern NY area that may eventually lead to a new SSDI rule that recipients may get a partial check (like SSI). Until then, the SSDI rule will remain the same: "full check or no check at all", depending on whether SGA is met.

What should someone do who has received an overpayment notice or lost his/her medical benefits?


Contact agencies involved for other options. Disability Rights Network of PA can be contacted for overpayments. Local county assistance office should be consulted regarding medical programs.

With people who will never reach SGA, will they always receive SSDI?


Yes, as long as they continue to meet the disability definition as set by Social Security Administration; there will be ongoing disability reviews to determine this.

When kids turn 18, sometimes he/she would not get the full check; why are they getting less?


Could be a number of reasons - always best to check with SSA directly - each situation is unique. Many changes occur with young adults when they reach age 18. If the young adult is working, they should contact Work Incentives Planning & Assistance Program (WIPA) to understand changes in their benefits.

Is SSI or SSDI affected by paying child support? If they start to work, then might they be required to pay child support? Does working benefit them financially?


SSI recipients are required to report child support payments as unearned income. Whether someone is required to pay child support out of their SSI or SSDI benefits check depends on whether a court order is involved. Receiving disability benefits does not provide exemption from paying bills or child support or other legal/financial obligations. Mandatory withholding might occur with a paycheck or with a disability benefits check if a court system, the federal government or delinquent taxes are involved. (Source: WIPA manual, Module 3, p. 65)

With SSDI, can you get Medicare and have/pay for a private health insurance at the same time if the person is employed?


Yes, someone can be covered by both at the same time. Individuals who have other forms of insurance in addition to Medicare need to inform their healthcare providers to make sure that medical bills get paid correctly.  Rules exist about which insurance pays first, and are called primary payer rules. Individuals can read more about this is the pamphlet “Medicare & Other Health Care Benefits” at You can also call 1-800-999-1118; TTY 1-800-318-3782.  (Source: WIPA manual, Module 4, p.37)

If a child gets SSDI through the parent and the parent dies, does the benefit end for the child? If a child receives Medicare through parent's SSDI and the parent dies, does the child lose his/her health care? Essentially, if a child is receiving SSDI from parent, is it in their best interest for apply for SSI? Do they get one or the other, or can they collect both benefits? Which one would be better?

When a parent dies, the child may still be eligible for disability benefits. Someone can receive both SSDI and SSI benefits, if eligibility criteria are met for both programs. Income and assets are considered for SSDI but not SSI, and healthcare is dependent on review of income levels. It is not easy to determine which program would be best since there are many unique factors to consider. This is something to ask directly of a benefits counselor through the Social Security Administration. (Source: WIPA Manual, Module 3, p. 18)

What kind of person qualifies for SSI vs. SSDI?


The important difference is that for SSDI you have to have work history where you or a family member has paid into the system.  If someone’s work history does not have enough “credits” for SSDI, then someone can get SSI if they meet the disability and income criteria. The SSI benefit is for those who may need cash benefits to live; it is for food and shelter. There are income and asset requirements for SSI, whereas this is irrelevant with SSDI.