SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home2173. What is the purpose of work incentives for the blind and disabled?

SSI payments provide a basic level of support for blind or disabled individuals with low earnings ability due to their impairments. A number of work incentive provisions have been incorporated into the SSI program. The purposes of the work incentives are to:

  1. Enable blind and disabled individuals to return to work;

  2. Increase their levels of work activity without the loss of SSI disability status; and/or

  3. Have their SSI benefits protected from reduction based on the increased earnings.

In most States, they also permit continued Medicaid coverage after cash payments end.

Last Revised: Oct. 7, 2004