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Definition: A Trial Work Month For Purposes of Social Security Disability Insurance


The definition of a "Trial Work Month" for purposes of Social Security Disability is the same whether you are an employee or self employed. However, Social Security looks at the number differently if you are an employee or if you are self-employed. 

Self Employed

Social Security will look at your earnings after business expenses are deducted. If your net income during a month exceeds the threshold of $770 during 2014, that month counts as a Trial Work Month.

Knowing that "net income" can be manipulated, Social Security will also look at the number of hours you spend working. If you spent more than 80 hours working during the month, Social Security would consider that a Trial Work Month regardless of your net earnings.


Once you go back to work, any month in which your income exceeds the threshold of $700 in earnings during 2009, counts as a Trial Work Month.  (The number varies from year to year).

There is no effect on your Social Security Disability Benefits until you've used the 9 months allowed. See Trial Work Period.

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