Trial Work Period

For people currently receiving SSDI benefits, the Social Security Administration has a program called the “Trial Work Period,” which allows you to work while continuing to receive your full disability amount.


What the Program Entails

The program is designed to allow people to test their ability to work without having work attempts result in ceased benefits.

The program allows people to work under certain restrictions:

  • Earn up to $850 monthly (before taxes)
  • Work up to nine months within a 60-month (five-year) period
    (The months do not need to be consecutive.)

If you are already receiving benefits, Social Security will count any month you earn $850 or more as one of the nine months in the Trial Work Period. Once these nine months have accrued, any month in which you earn over $1,180 (Social Security’s ‘substantial gainful activity’ maximum), will trigger a cessation of your benefits.


What to Document and Where to Get Advice

It is important to keep track of any earnings received from performing work after your claim is awarded and document the months in which you receive them. Working while disabled is a complex issue—if you have any questions, you should contact an attorney at our office who can explain how working while disabled could impact your benefits.

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