Trial Work Periods – How They Apply to SSDI Benefits

Trial Work Periods – How They Apply to SSDI Benefits

How trial work periods Effect SSDI

The idea behind Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is that the benefits are meant to help individuals who are no longer able to work as a result of having experienced a disability, whether that disability is mental or physical. As such, if you’re on SSDI benefits, working is not an expected activity from you. That doesn’t mean that you can’t–or that if you do, that you’ll automatically lose your benefits. There are income limits in place as well as trial work periods that you can sign up for, which will allow you to work without losing your benefits.

Income Limits

Just because your disability prevents you from being able to perform the work required by your old job doesn’t mean that you can’t find part-time work elsewhere. Of course, the work you do can’t conflict with your disability. For example, if you’re collecting disability insurance due to a bad back but are working construction, the Social Security Administration may take this as a sign that you are no longer disabled.

To ensure that you’re not taking advantage of the benefits program, there is an income limit in place. This income limit changes every year to keep up with inflation. For 2019, the income limit is $1,220 for non-blind individuals. This only includes earned income and not passive income made from investments or from an inheritance. If you make more than the limit, you trigger a trial work period.

Trial Work Periods

Your disability may be long-term, but that doesn’t mean that it will last forever. Once your condition begins to improve, you might want to consider joining the workforce again. However, you may not want to risk losing your SSDI benefits by taking a job. The last thing you’ll want to do is work for a month. Then have your benefits taken away. Only to realize that you are still unable to work at an effective level as a result of your disability, thereby forcing you to quit.

Fortunately, the Social Security Administration has foreseen such situations, which is why it developed the trial work period. A trial work period provides individuals on disability insurance with a period of time that they can work during which they won’t have to worry about passing the income limits and losing their benefits. If they decide that they still cannot work by the end of that trial work period, then they can stop working and still receive their benefits.

One of the main reasons that the Social Security Administration implemented this is to encourage people to try to go back to work if they think that they are capable. A lot of people would be afraid to return to work if they knew they would automatically lose their benefits. Which could hinder their progress.

How Trial Work Periods Work

A trial work period allows you to go back to work for a period of nine months without it affecting your benefits. This should give you enough time to determine if your disability still hinders your ability to work. It doesn’t matter how much you make during this period, you will continue to receive your full benefits. It’s also worth noting that the trial work period doesn’t have to be consecutive. Instead, a rolling 60 consecutive month period applies.

A month of work will not count towards your trial work period unless your gross earnings meet the earnings threshold, which is currently $880 a month (which sees yearly inflation adjustments). If you work for yourself, then any work exceeding 80 hours completed within a month will count towards a month of your trial work period.

After the nine-month period is up, the Social Security Administration will assess your case. Your benefits will stop after a three-month grace period if you were earning above the limit. However, your benefits will continue if you were earning below the limit.

If you’re collecting benefits, then you can still work due to the trial work periods. Find out more about SSDI benefits by scheduling a consultation with Social Security Disability Advocates USA. Call us 24/7 at 602-952-3200, and don’t forget about our helpful LiveChat feature!

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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