Social Security disability insurance benefits help those who have a disability that prevents them from working and making a living. In general, once an individual is able to return to the workforce, the benefits cease.
However, the Social Security Administration offers work incentives, which allow those receiving SSDI benefits to continue getting benefits for a period of time when testing their ability to remain at a job.
Trial work period
One concern that you may have about re-entering the workforce is that your disability will prevent you from remaining in the position for an extended period and that your SSDI benefits will stop as a result of your efforts. The trial work period allows you to try out a job and continue to receive your full benefits for a minimum of nine months.
The TWP allows you to receive benefits, no matter how much money you earn. The nine months are not necessarily consecutive, and you can accumulate the nine months in a 60-month period. The SSA does not count it as a month of work if you earn less than the TWP threshold, which varies based on the year. If, during your TWP, you earned substantial gainful activity, your SSDI benefits end three months after the end of the work period.
Extended period of eligibility
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration discusses that if you did not earn SGA during your TWP, you enter an extended eligibility period. For 36 months, you receive benefits during the months you do not reach SGA. For the months that you do, there is a suspension of benefits.