Trial Work Period – What is it?
Are you currently on disability and would like to re-enter the workforce? If so, you will need to learn about the trial work period. The term refers to a grace period of nine (9) months (not necessarily consecutive) provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for any individual who receives SSDI or SSI benefits and wants to go back to work. Read more below about why you might consider a trial work period.
What is it for?
The goal of the trial work period is to allow individuals on disability benefits to try re-entering the workforce. If you believe that you can work again, you will be able to do so and earn money. At the same time, you will not be jeopardizing your payments from the SSA, in the case that your disability causes you to again stop working.
SSA does not consider work performed during the duration of the trial as showing that the disability has ended until the work has been performed for at least nine (9) months (not necessarily consecutive) in a rolling sixty (60) month period.
When the Trial Work Period Ends
While you may be initially successful when returning to work, you could start to see your medical condition decline. In this case, you may have to again stop working. When this occurs prior to the nine (9) month limit then benefits will continue.
If you find that you have successfully returned to the workforce and your medical condition declines after the nine-month period then the benefits will not continue. However, if you are within five-years from when the benefits stopped, you are eligible for what is called expedited reinstatement. This means you do not have to complete a new application when you make this request to SSA. SSA may even give you temporary benefits for up to six (6) months while they make their determination.
In summary, you do have the option to return to work if you are physically and or mentally able to do so. The trial work period gives you a little leeway so that you can try to go back to work. And, if you find that you are unable to continue to work, you still have disability benefits at your disposal.
If you have any questions about this or anything else on disability benefits DSS is here to help. We work hard to ease the stress of filing for SSDI or SSI. Contact us today to see if you are eligible.