After a person becomes eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the TWP allows the beneficiary to test his or her ability to work for at least nine months in a 60-month rolling period. The nine months do not have to be consecutive. During the TWP, a beneficiary will receive full SSDI benefits regardless of his or her earnings as long as the beneficiary reports his or her work activity and continues to have a disabling impairment.
The TWP starts when a beneficiary begins working and performing “services” and is earning at or above the amount Social Security designates as Trial Work Level (TWL) earnings. The TWP cannot begin until the first month a person is entitled to SSDI benefits or the month a person files for benefits, whichever is later. No Work Incentives apply while a beneficiary is in the TWP, although individuals may consider whether any Work Incentives apply during the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), the continuous 36-month period that follows the TWP.