What is a trial work period for SSDI benefits?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2022 | Social Security Disability |

People who receive Social Security Disability benefits due to a medical condition or serious injury may decide that they would like to try working again. The Social Security Administration allows for this under a trial work period.

A trial work period allows you to work without losing your SSDI benefits. If you earn $970 per month or more in a rolling time period of 60 months, you must report your earnings to the Social Security office. Anything less than $970 per month does not qualify as a trial work period and will not affect your benefits.

Important information to consider

There are several factors that you should keep in mind when considering a trial work period:

  • The income considered “substantial gainful activity” refers to how much you earn in a given month before taxes are taken out of your paycheck.
  • The length of a trial work period is 9 months, but the months of work are not consecutive. For example, if you earn $1100 in one month, but only $700 the next month, you have only worked one month of your trial work period.
  • Once you have completed 9 months of a trial work period you may continue to work while still receiving an SSDI check for a period of 36 months. Following this time period, your benefits will be reviewed. If you have demonstrated that you are once again capable of working, your benefits will end.
  • People who receive benefits due to being visually impaired have a higher earning threshold for a trial work period. As of 2020 the amount they may earn per month without affecting their benefits is $2 110.

It’s important to understand that filing for Social Security Disability benefits is a complex process — and it isn’t easy to get approved. If you’re struggling to get your benefits approved, it may be time to seek experienced legal guidance.