During the Trial Work Period (TWP), a beneficiary can earn any amount of money and still receive their full monthly benefit. The trial work period begins when a beneficiary has received benefits for one year and ends when nine Trial Work Months have been used. The months can be used consecutively or non-consecutively, within a five year window.

A month is counted as a Trial Work Month if the beneficiary earns over the Trial Work Threshold shown below.

YearTWP Threshold
2015$780
2014$770
2013$750
2012$720
2011$720
2010$720
2009$700
2008$670
2007$640
2006$620
2005$590
2004$580
2003$570
2002$560
2001$530
1990-2000$200
1979-1989$75

The Trial Work Threshold is based on gross income. A beneficiary cannot use work incentive rules such as Impairment Related Work Expenses, Subsidies and Special Conditions

Example 1: Trial Work Months Used Consecutively

Dana works continuously from February 2013 until October 2013. Dana uses his first Trial Work Month in February 2013 and uses his ninth Trial Work Month in October 2013, ending his Trial Work Period.

Nine Consecutive Trial Work Months

Example 2: Trial Work Months Used Non-Consecutively

Phil works from February 2012 to June 2012, then stops working for a year for medical reasons. In July 2013, he starts working again, until October 2013. Phil uses his first Trial Work Month in February 2012 and his ninth Trial Work Month in October 2013, ending his Trial Work Period.

Nine Non-Consecutive Trial Work Months

Example 3: Trial Work Months After Five Years

Chris works from March 2008 to July 2008, then does not work for 31 months. He works in April and May of 2011, then does not work for 25 months. He starts working again from July 2013 to October 2013. His earlier work in 2008, falls outside of the 5 year (60 month) window, and are no longer counted. He has only used 6 Trial Work Months.

Four non-consecutive trial work months. Five months fall outside of five-year window and are no longer counted.After the Trial Work Period is concluded, Social Security will conduct a medical review and the Extended Period of Eligibility will begin.