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2.1 What is BOND? What does 'benefit offset' mean?

The Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) is a new program created to help Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries return to work or work more hours, if they are able. BOND could help you earn a bigger paycheck and keep more of your SSDI benefits than would currently be possible.

The BOND project offers eligible beneficiaries a more generous treatment of earnings than under the current rules. An eligible beneficiary is provided an opportunity to work and earn more than $14,160 in 2018 (or $23,640 if your disability is blindness) and benefit from having only $1 of benefits withheld for every $2 earned over this amount. Under current Social Security disability rules, the same individual working and earning more than $14,160 (in 2018) generally has his or her benefits stopped.

Under current Social Security rules, if you earn more than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level for 12 months—that is, you use up your Trial Work Period (TWP) and Grace Period—your cash benefits will drop to $0. With BOND, you can work more than what the regular Social Security rules allow and still receive a monthly SSDI check. BOND only gradually reduces your SSDI benefits—by $1 for each additional $2 you earn above a specific dollar amount.