Hi, it’s Bernard Nomberg with Nomberg Law Firm in Birmingham, Alabama and we handle workers’ compensation, personal injury and Social Security disability claims and I want to take a few minutes and talk about, in the Social Security world, what happens to benefits after the trial work period ends. First of all, an individual who’s approved for Social Security Disability may attempt to return to work. The Social Security Administration has provided what’s called a trial work period for those receiving disability benefits as an incentive to return to work. The trial work period lasts for a total of nine months and during that trial work period, you will continue to receive your SSD payments, your disability payments, as usual. Only at the expiration of that trial work period may the benefits could be affected. It’s important to note that the trial work period consists of nine months in total, but only those months in which you earn more than $880 count toward the trial work period.

That’s an important fact to remember. This amount is reviewed by the Administration and is adjusted each year. You should check the financial limits of before engaging in any type of work, however. You should also understand that the months that count toward a trial work period do not have to be consecutive. This means any month in a rolling 60 month calendar, which is what the SSA uses for calculating trial work periods, will potentially be counted toward those nine months.

Now after the trial work period has ended, the SSA will review your earnings to determine if you’re able to maintain SGA, substantial gainful activity, during that time. This is essentially it’s a determination of whether or not the work you performed is for gainful living. SGA is defined by the administration as any earnings at or above a certain threshold. The threshold is evaluated and potentially adjusted annually. For 2019, the SGA threshold is set at $1,220 per month for a non-blind single recipient of SSD benefits.

If your average earning during the trial work period hits or exceeds the SGA threshold, then your disability benefits will be terminated by the Administration. If, however your earnings during the trial work period remain below that SGA threshold, then your benefits will continue.

Now, there is also an extended period of eligibility and the definition for that is that if you’re still able to work and you enter what is known as the extended period of eligibility, this last for up to 36 months following the completion of your initial trial work period. You’ll still remain eligible for disability benefits during that period. During the EPE, the extended period of eligibility, the amount of your monthly earned income will determine whether or not you still receive a disability check.

If you’re confused about this, if you have questions about this, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. It can be quite confusing. Our office number is (205) 930-6900, we’re based in Birmingham, Alabama. Our website is Nomberglaw.com. If this video is of interest and you liked it, please give us a thumbs up and a comment or two is always welcome and if you didn’t, we also welcome those comments. Subscribing to our YouTube channel right here will ensure that you’ll get those future videos, which come out every week. We also can be found on YouTube and Facebook. Oh, and Twitter.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Steve Altmann has been assisting consumers and business owners with bankruptcy matters for more than 27 years. 

promo photo for bankruptcy faq video with attorney steve altmann and bernard nomberg
Scroll to Top