A trial work period allows an individual in Pennsylvania, or elsewhere, who receives Social Security Disability Insurance benefits to attempt to re-enter the workplace. This situation is temporary, and there is a limit to the amount of income an individual can earn and still receive their disability benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is available for individuals who are severely disabled and not expected to be able to work for at least another year. You can continue to receive payments until you reach the Social Security full retirement age of 66 or 67, depending on the year you were born. If you want to attempt to resume working before then, you are allowed to participate in a trial work period during which you can receive employment income as well as your SSDI payments.
Trial work period
There is no application required to enroll in this work incentive program. However, there are strict income limits, and the Social Security Administration monitors the earnings reported on your annual tax return.
The maximum allowable income for 2022 is $1,350 per month for most disabilities and $2,260 per month for the legally blind. However, because income may fluctuate as you re-enter the workforce, the trial work period (TWP) makes allowances for this.
Nine-month grace period
The TWP allows you to make as much money as you want for nine months during a five-year period. The months don’t have to be consecutive. For example, if all or part of your income comes from commissions, some months can be more lucrative than others. Any month you make more than the cap counts as one month toward your nine-month cumulative total.
If you are receiving SSDI and want to attempt working again without losing your benefits, a trial work period gives you the financial freedom to explore your opportunities.