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The Trial Work Period and Social Security Benefits Eligibility

June 30, 2021 Social Security Disability

Get the Help You Need from a Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer

If you are disabled such that you qualify for SSDI benefits, then you may want to “test out” the possibility of returning to work.  This isn’t as straightforward a consideration as one might think, however — many claimants are (reasonably) concerned that they could lose their continued eligibility for benefits.

Under the Social Security Administration (SSA), a claimant is no longer disabled, and as such, no longer entitled to receive disability benefits, if they are able to work and earn more than a threshold amount every month.  Ultimately, the SSA evaluates whether a claimant’s disability has ended by looking into their ability to perform work.

So, how can claimants test their ability to work without putting their disability benefits in jeopardy?  Trial work periods.

Let’s take a closer look.

What is a Trial Work Period According to the SSA?

A trial work period (also known as “TWP”) is a form of work incentive offered by the SSA, designed to encourage claimants to attempt to re-engage the workforce and return to a productive capacity.

How does a trial work period operate?

Essentially, the SSA allows you to continue to receive SSDI benefits, even if you are working and earning beyond the income threshold (i.e., more than $940 per month).  The SSA imposes an additional limitation, however: you are only entitled to work for nine months within a given five-year period.

Those nine months are critical for evaluating whether you are capable of returning to work on a more long-term basis.  If your impairment is too disabling (and the trial work period reflects that), then you can simply end the work attempt and continue to receive SSDI benefits.  If you choose to continue working past the trial work period, then you will no longer continue to receive SSDI benefits.

What if Your Disability Returns?

The SSA does account for the possibility that your disabling condition returns, or is exacerbated in some way, thus preventing you from working — they don’t want claimants returning to work and then discovering soon after (i.e., a year or two down the line) that their body isn’t equipped to handle long-term work.  Under such circumstances, the claimant would be left in a no-man’s-land, without work income or SSDI benefits.

As such, the SSA offers an expedited reinstatement program that allows claimants to secure their benefits again within five years of working, so long as the impairment is the same (or related to) the original disabling impairment.

Contact Tampa Social Security Disability Lawyer Mike Murburg for Assistance

Attorney Mike Murburg has decades of experience representing a wide range of Social Security disability claimants, including those who may be feeling “well” enough to go through a trial period of working again.

Social Security disability eligibility can be a challenging issue.  Over the years, Attorney Murburg has helped clients navigate claim submissions, administrative appeals, and litigation in the event of a dispute — whatever is necessary to secure a favorable result.

If you’d like to speak to an experienced Tampa Social Security disability lawyer about your SSDI eligibility and how you can maintain it, call 813-264-5363 or submit a message through our website to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

We look forward to assisting you.