If you have been approved for disability benefits, you may have heard of the trial work period. You may wonder what is a trial work period? At Disability Associates, a social security disability benefits law firm in Towson, Maryland we can explain.

Explaining the trial work period

Once you’ve been approved for Social Security benefits, Social Security will allow you a test period or a trial period if you want to go back to work. Now it’s a little complicated how it works but these are the basics for every month that you work at any kind of job at all and you earn eight hundred and eighty dollars or more before taxes that counts as having completed one month of a trial work period.

Once you complete nine months over any five-year span, so when we say nine months, that doesn’t mean you’ve worked nine months in a row. You may work three months this year and three months next year and three months the year after that for nine months. Once you complete that ninth month earning eight hundred and eighty dollars or more before taxes well then, you’ve completed your trial work period and then Social Security is going to review your case to see what are you doing how much are you earning all together and do an evaluation whether you could return to work now.

Sometimes clients will ask well you know even if I earn over those eight hundred and eighty dollars a month if I’m still under what Social Security calls the substantial gainful activity limit, then I’ll be okay. Substantial gainful activity is the amount of money Social Security says if you’re earning that much or more than you’re not disabled okay and that amount changes every year goes up a bit. But Social Security is definitely going to be looking at how much are you earning. Are you earning at or above substantial gainful activity but they’re also going to be evaluating your entire case to see you know if you might do more?

So, the trial work period is something that’s available for you to use if you are going to return to work, even on a part-time basis. You need to notify Social Security and let them know that you’re trying to work and what you’re doing and how much you’re earning and they’re going to follow up on that. If you cannot do that when your case comes up for its regular review Social Security is going to know, of course, that you have been working and if you have been earning above a substantial gainful activity level and they determine that you’re no longer disabled you may actually owe them money. So, it’s really in your best interest to let Social Security know if you try to go back to any kind of work at all. You have the trial work period we would strongly suggest if you’re thinking about returning to work or trying it out while you’re receiving disability benefits that you talk to your lawyer or talk to someone at Social Security to go over the trial work period rules again because it can confuse and you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you lose your disability benefits because you just didn’t understand how it all worked.

About Disability Associates

Disability Associates, LLC, managed by attorney Tracey N. Pate, provides legal representation to disabled individuals who are seeking Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Our concentration is exclusively on Social Security Disability Law. It’s all we do! We know that filing for Social Security benefits can be a long and frustrating process. We are dedicated to taking the weight off of our client’s shoulders by simplifying this process for them. There is absolutely no charge unless we win your case.