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Trial Work Period

May 4, 2020

If you are deemed disabled and receive benefits every month and would like to test your ability to work again, you may try a “trial work period.” This period of time will still maintain your disability, unless you work for a period of nine months. If you can work for nine months, even non-consecutive for a rolling 60 month period, Social Security will consider that your disability has ended, and that you can engage in substantial gainful activity. So anytime that the 9 month period is met, that may trigger an end to your disability.

If however, you are unable to work 9 months, you will still be deemed disabled and receive your benefits.

You may wonder if you'll still receive your benefit payments if you work. The earnings for trial work periods change every year and for 2020 the amount is $910. The amount of earnings necessary for consideration of substantial gainful activity in 2020 is $2110 for those who are blind, and $1260 for those who are non-blind.

What this means is that if you've been awarded disability by Social Security and you'd like to try working again you can and still receive the difference in your disability payment. For 2020, if you go back to work and make $910 a month, you'll receive the difference in your disability payment.

However, once you start earning at or over $1260 a month for a non-blind individual, or at or over $2110 for a person who is deemed blind, then you are considered working at “substantial gainful employment.”

Remember, if you feel good again, your treatment is improving your disability and you want to work, go for it! Disability payments are a penance. It's not a lot of money to try to live on. Work is good for the mind and we are social creatures. If you find that you tried and are not able to, then don't despair. You tried, and you can always try again if you like. If you are on disability benefits and want to try to work again, you always have “Ticket to Work” and other resources to contact for meaningful gainful employment. I am always happy to talk further with you about this and ways to get you back in the workforce. Besides, who knows who you may help along the way!

This blog is intended for information purposes only and does not establish legal representation or financial guidance.