Work Trial Period Frequently Asked Questions
In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must not be able to engage in the substantial gainful activity (SGA). The amount that is considered to be SGA varies and is largely determined by the nature of your disability.
If you are currently receiving social security disability benefits and are ready to resume working, you can enter into a work trial period.
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What Is a Work Trial Period?
A work trial period is a 60-month period in which disability beneficiaries can test their ability to return to work, while still being considered disabled.
How Does a Work Trial Period Work?
During a work trial period, you have a 60-month rolling window to work for 9 months. After 9 months have been completed, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will review your earnings and determine if you were able to maintain substantial gainful activity.
If your monthly income for those 9 months exceeds a threshold set by the SSA, then your benefits will cease, and you can resume working normally.
If your monthly income during those 9 months does not meet the threshold, then your benefits will continue.
Are Your Benefits Affected During a Trial Work Period?
Your benefits will not be affected during your trial work period, but they may be affected after your trial is over, but if you exceed the earnings limit SSA will cease your benefit. This may not be determined for years after the work period and result in an overpayment.