Trial Work Periods & SSD Benefits

If you’re currently receiving Social Security Disability, a program known as the trial work period will allow you to attempt to return to work without taking away your benefits. The trial work period allows you to continue collecting disability benefits during the first nine months that you return to work. But if you earn less than a gross income of $750 or if you work less than 80 hours in self-employment in a given month, that month will not count toward your nine month allotment. Gaps between your trial work months are also permissible; your nine trial work months do not have to be back-to-back. At the end of your nine month trial work period, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will determine whether you have been doing substantial gainful activity, generally earning at least $1,040 per month. If so, your Social Security Disability benefits will be discontinued.

Social Security Disability and the Trial Work Period

The SSA allows you nine trial work months during any five-year period. Generally, you will not be entitled to another trial work period once you have used these nine months. However, if your disability benefits end due to working and you later qualify for benefits again by submitting a new application or through expedited reinstatement, you may be allotted an additional trial work period. If you become eligible for benefits due to a granted application for expedited reinstatement, you will qualify for a new trial work period two years (24 months) after the reinstatement of your benefits.

Further, if five years or more have passed since a given trial month, that trial month is no longer counted. As a result, your entitlement to a nine month trial period may start over, and you may actually receive more than nine trial work months.

Social Security Disability Lawyers

If you’re attempting to return to work and have any questions about your disability benefits and the trial work period, contact our Social Security Disability lawyers today, or use our live chat to speak with us right away.




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