Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are for people who cannot work due to a qualifying injury, illness, or other type of medical impairment. Some people on SSD would like to try to return to the workforce at some point, but may have serious questions about the physical and/or mental capability to do so. The Social Security Administration has a specialized program designed for these cases. In this article, our North Carolina Social Security disability lawyers explain the most important things that you need to know about the SSA’s Trial Work Period (TWP) regulations.
Trial Work Period (TWP): Understanding the Basics
The Trial Work Period (TWP) is a crucial aspect of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits in North Carolina, allowing beneficiaries to test their ability to work without affecting their SSD status. During the TWP, recipients can earn income for a limited period without jeopardizing their benefits. The program aims to provide a safety net for individuals who want to return to work but are unsure if they can maintain employment due to their disability.
The Timeline: Ninths Months
In North Carolina, the TWP consists of nine non-consecutive months within a 60-month rolling period. A month counts toward the TWP if the beneficiary’s earnings surpass the designated threshold, which is subject to change annually. The nine months do not have to be consecutive, providing flexibility for those who may need to stop working intermittently due to their disability.
You Must Report Wages Earned During a TWP
It is essential to report all wages earned during the TWP to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Proper reporting ensures that the SSA can accurately track your TWP and determine your eligibility for ongoing benefits. Failure to report earnings could result in overpayments, which may need to be repaid to the SSA.
The Takeaways: Three Things You Should Know About TWP
The bottom line is that the SSA’s TWP regulations are designed to help people take a chance at returning to work if they think that they might be able to do so but they are not certain. Here are three of the main takeaways that SSD recipients should know about the Trial Work Period:
- You can use the Trial Work Period to return to the workforce without losing your Social Security Disability benefits.
- You do not lose partial benefits when on TWP. Beneficiaries through SSDI or SSI will still receive their full check during the trial work period.
- You have a maximum of 9 months of TWP benefits over a 60 month period. You do not have to use all of your work trial period consecutively.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer Today
At Social Security Law Group, our North Carolina Social Security disability attorneys fight hard to get the maximum benefits for our clients. If you have any questions about the SSA’s Trial Work Period rules, we are here to help. Contact us today for a free case review. We serve communities throughout North Carolina, including Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham, and Fayetteville.