Whether you're a disabled person entering the work force for the first time, or trying to get back to work, social security provides a number of incentives to help you. One such incentive is called the trial work period. For a total of nine months, you are allowed to earn as much as you can, without affecting your disability benefits. Though the nine months do not have to be consecutive, they must fall within the same five-year period. Any month in which you earn over $200 is counted as a trial work month. For those who are self-employed, a trial month is one with earnings over $200, or one in which you worked over 40 hours in your business. At the end of the trial work period, your work is evaluated to see if it is substantial. If your wages average less than $700 per month, benefits will usually continue. If you are earning more than $700 a month, generally, this is considered substantial work. In that case, your benefits would be paid for three more months, and then stop.