SSDI: Return To Work Incentives
Social Security provides incentives for people to return to work by minimizing the risk of losing SSDI and/or Medicaid benefits.
You may be entitled to take advantage of more than one work incentive program.
Incentives include the following. For information, see the following:
- Earned Income Exclusion
- Social Security does not count the first $65 of earned income, plus it does not count one half of the remainder. For example, if you earn $500: deduct the first $65 leaving $435.00 Divide the remainder of $435 in half = $217.50 which is all that Social Security counts as income. Students under age 22 can exclude an additional amount per month to a yearly maximum
- Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE) and Work Expenses For Blind People
- Social Security can exclude from your earned income out-of-pocket expenses you pay for certain items and expenses that relate to your disability and that you need in order to work. For example, the cost of a car service to take you to and from work.
- IRWE can be used to reduce your countable earned income. IRWE can also be used to reduce your earnings for purpose of determining whether you are engaged in a substantial gainful activity (SGA) which applies to eligibility but not if you return to work. To learn more about IRWEs, see: Impairment Related Work Expenses.
- If you are blind, the expenses do not have to relate to your disability.
- Plan To Achieve Self Support (PASS)
- If you have a disability or are blind, you may set up a plan to set aside income or resources to meet expenses for reaching an occupational goal.
- Unlike IRWE, PASS can be used to exclude unearned income and resources as well as earned income. To learn more, see PASS.
- Ticket To Work (TWWIIA)
- TWWIIA provides a ticket to take to a provider who helps with rehabilitation and other services to help you go to work and remain on the job. To learn more, see: TWWIIA.
- Medicaid Buy-In
- Another option allows states to permit working people with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 65 to obtain Medicaid and to working people who would lose Medicaid due to medical improvement but who still have a medically determinable severe impairment. To learn more, see: Medicare: Financial Assistance.
- Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits
- If your disability benefits are stopped because of work activity, you can request that your benefits be reinstated. You may receive benefits while Social Security determines whether you are again entitled to benefits if your inability to work is due to your original medical condition or a related medical condition. This request for reinstatement must be within 60 months (5 years) from the month your benefits stopped because of your work activity..
For more information about Work Incentive Programs, see: http://www.ssa.gov/redbook/eng/ssdi-and-ssi-employments-supports.htm