Social Security Q&A: What is a disability “trial work period?”

Also, how the visually impaired may sign up for or change a special notice option.
Published: March 10, 2013
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Q: What is a disability “trial work period?”

A: A trial work period is a work incentive that allows Social Security disability beneficiaries to test their ability to work without losing benefits.

People who receive Social Security disability benefits can work for at least nine months without losing benefits. During this trial work period, you can get full benefits no matter how much you earn, as long as you continue to have a severe disabling impairment and you report your work activity. The trial work period continues until you complete nine trial work months within a 60-month period. Find more information about this and other work incentives in our publication Working While Disabled — How We Can Help at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10095.html.

Special notice option

Q: How does a blind or visually impaired person sign up for or change a special notice option?

A: To sign up or change options, you can:

Call us toll-free at (800) 772-1213 (TTY (800) 325-0778);

Visit your local Social Security office; or

Contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate if you live outside the United States.

For more information about your choices for receiving information from Social Security, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/notices.

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213.