What are SSD trial work periods?

Nov 15, 2022 | Social Security Disability

If you pick up a disabling injury, you may be entitled to claim Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. Yet, if you improve enough to be able to work, you will lose your entitlement to them.

Hence, if you do begin to recover, you may reach a point where you face a difficult question – am I fit enough to work again or not?

As you will currently be relying on the SSD benefits, you cannot afford to take a risk and return to work if it costs you your SSD entitlement. Thankfully you do not have to take that risk. You can instead take advantage of what is known as a trial work period.

How does this work?

The trial work period allows you to make various attempts to work.

Only once you have worked nine qualifying months in a 60-month period can the SSA consider that you are able to work again and do not, therefore, need SSD.

For a month to qualify as one of your nine months, you need to earn over the stipulated amount, which is $970 in 2022 and will rise to $1.070 in 2023. If you work a month and earn less than that, it does not count.

The nine-month period only lasts 60 months. So, if you only managed to work eight qualifying months in the 60-month period, you start afresh with another nine months of work attempts.

SSD rules can be complex, and they will change over time. Be sure to get legal help if you are unsure of your rights and options.