You may have heard that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has an income limit for individuals who collect social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. Though, this should not deter you from returning to work if you are ready and willing to. Continue reading to learn about the trial work period and how an experienced New Jersey SSDI benefits lawyer at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can help you take advantage of this program.

What is the income limit for SSDI benefits?

The SSA has ruled that an individual’s physical or mental condition must make them unable to engage in substantial gainful activity in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits. So, in 2023, a statutorily blind individual must not earn more than $2,460 per month, or $29,520 per year, if they are collecting SSDI benefits. And a non-blind individual must not earn more than $1,470 per month, or $17,640 per year, if they are collecting SSDI benefits.

What is the purpose of the trial work period when collecting SSDI benefits?

Say, for instance, that you are slowly but surely recovering from your physical or mental condition and are interested in returning to your job or otherwise the workforce. However, you are hesitant to do so because you are unsure if you will be able to sustain a job in the long term. And you are worried that you are going to lose out on your SSDI benefits after realizing that you still need them. This is where a trial work period comes into play.

Specifically, a trial work period is an SSA program that allows SSDI recipients to explore the possibility of long-term employment all while still receiving access to their benefits support. This program is essentially a safety net, in addition to being an incentive, for these individuals.

How does the trial work period function?

With the trial work period, you are allowed to test your working capabilities for nine months. As a note, these nine months need not be consecutive, but they need to be within a 60-month rolling period.

The SSA will determine whether a month of work counts toward your trial work period by looking at how much you earned. More specifically, in 2023, a month of work will count toward your trial work period if you earned $1,050 or more. This is an increase from the $970 limit in 2022. So, for example, if you earned $1,100 in the month of January in 2023 but $900 in the month of February in 2023, the SSA will only count one month toward your nine-month trial work period.

With all that being said, we recommend that you consult with a skilled New Jersey SSDI benefits lawyer as soon as possible. Schedule your free initial consultation with us today.