How It Helps You

How It Helps You

Trial Work Period (TWP)

2013 Fact Sheet

How It Helps You:

The Trial Work Period allows you nine months during which you can initially test your ability to work to your fullest potential without restrictions on how much you can earn. During these nine months you can work and receive your full Social Security Disability Insurance benefit check no matter how much you earn.

How It Works:

The Trial Work Period months are nine months, not necessarily in a row, during a 60-month (5 year) rolling period. In 2013, each month you earn gross wages of $750 or more, you have used a Trial Work Period month. The amount of earnings for Trial Work Period can change each year. In years prior to 2013, the amount was less. It is important to consult with a Community Work Incentive Coordinator and the Social Security Administration to understand if you are using Trial Work Period months, or may have used them in the past.

Since these months are not consecutive, you may use them over an extended period of time. Social Security only looks at the past 60 months to see how many Trial Work Period months you have used, so it is possible for months to start dropping off if you have not yet used all 9 months from the start of your Trial Work Period. However, after all nine months of Trial Work Period are used, it is over—you cannot access the Trial Work Period a second time once the 9th month in a 5-year period is used. The Social Security Administration may contact you to review your work activity at the end of your Trial Work Period; this is called a Work Continuing Disability Review, and it is the process by which Social Security formally determines what your work level is. When you have used all of the Trial Work Period months the Extended Period of Eligibility begins, and there are other work incentives available during the Extended Period of Eligibility.

A Community Work Incentive Coordinator can help you understand the Trial Work Period, how to track your Trial Work Period months and other work incentives that are applicable to you.

The viewpoints of this fact sheet do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Social Security Administration. This fact sheet has been adapted from Indiana’s Benefits Information Network by Plan to Work for use in Washington State.

Working may be easier than you think--contact Plan to Work to learn more!

Plan to Work at Community-Minded Enterprises, 25 W Main, Suite 310, Spokane, WA 99201

Toll Free: 866-497-9443 • TTY: 877-676-4754 •