Substantial Gainful Activity and Trial Work period

I was recently asked about the rules regarding work for people on Social Security Disability. If you are on SSD, you can earn up to $810, gross, per month, and not affect your benefits. You can make more than $810 per month, for a period of 9 total months in a 5 year window, without affecting your benefits. The 9 months need not be in a row, just 9 months in the 5 year period. This is called a “Trial Work Period.”

Once you have used up the 9 month trial work period, SSA will look to your earnings to see if you have been doing “substantial gainful activity” or SGA. For 2016, SGA means gross earnings over $1,130 or more per month. If you make $1,130 or more, your benefits will stop.

Social Security SSDI