You may have initially applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because you are suffering from a physical or mental condition that makes you unable to work. However, if you experience a fortunate situation where your health has improved, then you may believe that returning to work is a great possibility. With this, you may be unsure of your full potential to return to work, so you may not want to lose your SSDI benefits in the process of finding out. Luckily, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a program in place for cases like these. Read on to discover what a trial work period is and how a seasoned New Jersey SSD attorney at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can work on your behalf in protecting your benefits.

What is a trial work period?

Put simply, the trial work period is one of the SSA’s work incentives for SSDI recipients. That is, this program gives SSDI recipients the opportunity to explore whether long-term employment is right and doable for them all while still receiving access to their benefits support. This program serves as a safety net for those interested in returning to work but hesitant about whether they are physically or mentally capable of doing so.

How does a trial work period impact my SSDI benefits?

If you decide to take advantage of the trial work period, then you will be able to test your work capabilities for up to nine months while still receiving benefits support. Importantly, this benefits support will be regardless of how much you are earning from your new employment. It is also important to note that these nine months of work need not be consecutive. This is so long as you correctly report your work activity to the SSA and continue to meet the eligibility requirements for SSDI benefits during your times of employment.

How do I apply my trial work period to my SSDI benefits?

The way in which the SSA will apply your trial work period to your SSDI benefits is by calculating the earnings you made in a month before taxes. If they compute that you earned $970 or more in a single month, then this month will count toward the nine months allotted for the period. And if you are self-employed, then any month you earn $970 or more or work more than 80 hours will count as a month of your period. For instance, if you earned $1,000 in the month of January, but only earned $900 in the month of February, then the SSA will determine that you only used one month of your trial work period.

Below are more important facts you should know about your trial work period and SSDI benefits:

  • The SSA will track your earnings, so there is no need to enroll.
  • The SSA may put a limit on anything that is considered to be a substantial gainful activity.
  • Your benefits will not necessarily terminate immediately after your nine months of work.
  • Your Medicare coverage will not necessarily terminate immediately after your nine months of work.

For more, contact our firm today.