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Social Security

  • Writer's pictureStephanie O. Joy, Esq.

When Does Your TRIAL WORK PERIOD Start?

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

Note: This article/video is for general information only and is not legal advice to any particular reader or individual. For legal advice, you must specifically retain a lawyer who evaluates your specific situation.

You think it is not something to concern yourself with before win your claim? Think again! You could be using up valuable and triggering TWP months before you even prevail on your case. You must track this, and NOW. Because when it is over, you are in your EPE. You MUST learn the rules of your EPE if you are or did or could work, or else your benefits will be at risk.

As per the Code of Federal Regulations:

your TWP can begin with the month you become entitled to disability insurance benefits. Note that this means it pertains to Title 2 Social Security Disability but not SSI benefits. However, it cannot begin before the date of your application. So, that means if you apply on 6/1/2022, claiming an Alleged Onset Date of 1/1/2022, and the SSA determines on 1/1/2023 that you were eligible for DIB on the date you alleged, 1/1/2022, then your TWP can begin in June, 2022, if you triggered it by working and earning enough income while your claim was pending.

See this playlist of short videos explaining the Trial Work Period and what it means, how to lose it, keep it, etc. Take a watch/listen.

Note that the amount of TWP to be trigger using up one of yur 9 TWP months is lower than that of "SGA". In 2023 TWP is $1050, while in 2022 it was $970. SGA in 2023 is $1470 while in 2022 it was $1350. (See a soon to be published article on WHY that is important to you and why you need to keep track.)

Put another way:

The TWP begins:

The TWP begins no earlier than the latest of the following dates:
* The month the beneficiary files the application (or protective filing date).
* The month that a disabled beneficiary becomes first entitled, or is re-entitled, to a
Title II disability benefit.
. . .
Begin counting the TWP months when the beneficiary returns to work and has earnings that meet the definition of services as shown in DI 13010.060, “Determining Trial Work Period (TWP) Service Months and Evaluating Subsequent Work Activity.”

Other sources:

For consideration for Attorney SSD/SSI representation in an upcoming or pending SSDI/SSI disability claim, please fill out our free Attorney Evaluation form. We do NOT charge a retainer to serve you. If, on the other hand, you only seek an attorney level consultation/analysis of a particular situation, whether you are a company or an individual, or to discuss your own situation without representation, to learn information beyond that information you may obtain for free from the SSA itself, and you do not otherwise have a lawyer representing your before the SSA, you may order a scheduled consultation at affordable attorney rates. Contact the office at 201-317-0610 or email

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