2021 plannerThinking about your employment goals for the New Year? If you're working with a Social Security Ticket to Work service provider as you pursue work, you may have heard of Trial Work Period, Trial Work Period amounts, and Substantial Gainful Activity. In this blog, we take a look at these 3 topics and share the latest updates to them in 2021.

Read more ...

What's New in 2021

Jan 21, 2021

2021 plannerIf you've started your journey toward employment, you may have heard the terms Trial Work Period (TWP) and Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Today, we're highlighting the 2021 changes to the threshold amounts for these 2 disability-related provisions, as well as how Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program may be able to help you achieve your employment goals.

Trial Work Period

If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Social Security has a Work Incentive called the Trial Work Period (TWP), which allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months and still receive benefits. As long as you report your work activity and continue to meet Social Security's disability requirements, you'll continue to receive your benefits payments regardless of how much money you make. The TWP continues until you accumulate 9 TWP service months (not necessarily consecutive) within a rolling 60-month period.

Looking for a place to start?

Join us on January 27 from 3-4:30 p.m. ET for our next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar: Choosing the Service Provider That's Right for You.

Register now.

What's New in 2021?

Social Security adjusted the TWP amount in 2021 so that any month you earn more than $940 will count toward your TWP. If you are self-employed, any month that you work 80 or more hours in your business, or have net earnings from self-employment of more than $940 per month, will count toward your TWP.

For example, if you earn $1,500 in January 2021 and $700 in February 2021, only January will count toward your TWP. Find more information about the TWP in our Trial Work Period Fact Sheet. The fact sheet explains the process and highlights ways to make this safety net work for you.

Substantial Gainful Activity

Social Security uses the term "substantial gainful activity" (SGA) to describe a level of work activity and earnings. If you receive SSDI, Social Security uses SGA to decide if your eligibility for benefits continues after you return to work and complete your TWP. Social Security generally compares your monthly earnings to set amounts, known as earnings thresholds, to evaluate if your work activity is SGA.

What’s New in 2021?

Social Security has adjusted the SGA monthly threshold to $1,310 in 2021. The Social Security Act specifies a higher SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals, so for people who are blind and receive SSDI, the SGA monthly amount in 2021 is $2,190.

Stay up to date

As you think about what these 2021 updates mean for you, you may have questions. Working with a Ticket Program service provider, like an Employment Network or state Vocational Rehabilitation agency, that has a Benefits Counselor on staff, may help you find the answers and information you're looking for.

We share information about Work Incentives and employment resources for people with disabilities regularly. Subscribe to our emails and follow us on social media to stay up to date on the program and discover resources designed to help you on the path to work.

About Ticket to Work

There's a lot to consider as you plan your employment goals for the new year, and you don't have to do it alone. The Ticket Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI or SSI) and want to work. The Ticket Program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

By participating in the Ticket Program, you'll have access to a wide variety of services from Ticket Program service providers that offer free short-term and long-term supports to help you find and maintain employment.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, visit choosework.ssa.gov or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket Program, visit choosework.ssa.gov or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket Program Find Help tool.

Receive Ticket Program Texts

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 474747. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this new way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

Receive Blog Updates
  Opt in to receive information about the Ticket program via text. Text the word "TICKET" to 474747