Trial Work Period (TWP)

SSDI work incentive only.

The Trial Work Period (TWP) is a 9-month period, which allows you to test your ability to work. When in your TWP, you can earn significant income and continue to receive an SSDI payment. This is especially helpful for people who want to return to work full time, but are not sure if they can.

Trial Work Period Features:

  • When you first return to work, you enter the Trial Work Period when you earn a minimum of $750 per month (2013 limit).  Prior to 2013, the Trial Work month limits in each year were:
  • $740 in 2012
  • $720 in 2011
  • $720 in 2010
  • $700 in 2009
  • $670 in 2008
  • $640 in 2007
  • $620 in 2006
  • $590 in 2005
  • $580 in 2004
  • $570 in 2003
  • $560 in 2002
  • $530 in 2001
  • $200 in 2000
  • Each month you earn above the Trial Work limit that was in effect during the year you worked counts as one Trial Work month.  
  • If you earn less than the Trial Work limit, the month does not count toward your nine, Trial Work months.
  • Trial Work months do not have to be consecutive. The Trial Work Period ends when you complete nine Trial Work months within a 60-month period.
  • During the Trial Work Period, you continue to receive your full SSDI payment each month.

Helpful Information:

  • Many people use Trial Work months without realizing it.  Contact your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office every time you start and stop work, and report your income regularly.
  • When starting a new job, always check with your local SSA office to see if you have any Trial Work Months remaining. If you have completed your Trial Work Period, different rules apply to your situation (Click here for information on the Extended Period of Eligibility, which comes after the Trial Work Period.) 
  • Save all of your paystubs and keep pertinent information regarding your work history. If the information kept by SSA is incomplete, you may be asked to provide information about your work record and earnings.
  • There are different rules for people who are self employed. Contact the Work Incentives Connection for more information.