Automatic Determinations

Substantial gainful activity

Wage-indexed amounts

Earnings trigger a trial work period
During a trial work period, a beneficiary receiving Social Security disability benefits may test his or her ability to work and still be considered disabled. We do not consider services performed during the trial work period as showing that the disability has ended until services have been performed in at least 9 months (not necessarily consecutive) in a rolling 60-month period. In 2013, any month in which earnings exceed $750 is considered a month of services for an individual's trial work period. In 2014, this monthly amount $770.

Monthly earnings that trigger a trial work period
YearMonthly earnings
1978 & prior$50
1979-198975
1990-2000200
2001530
2002560
2003570
2004580
2005590
2006620
2007640
2008670
2009700
2010720
2011720
2012720
2013750
2014770
For more information, please see section 404.1592 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Method used to determine earnings that trigger a trial work period
Monthly earnings in 2014, used to determine whether a month is part of a trial work period, is such amount for 2001 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2012 to that for 1999, or, if larger, such amount for 2013 ($750). If the amount so calculated is not a multiple of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10. Below are details on how we determined the latest amount.

Calculation details
Amounts in
formula
2001 monthly earnings$530
1999 average wage index30,469.84
2012 average wage index44,321.67
Computation$530 times 44,321.67 divided by 30,469.84 equals $770.94, which rounds to $770
Higher amount$770 exceeds the amount for 2013, so the amount for 2014 is $770