SSDI and SSI employment Supports
|When do we consider Subsidies and Special conditions?||
We consider the existence of subsidies and/or special conditions when we make an SGA decision. We use only earnings that represent the real value of the work you perform to decide if your work is at the SGA level.
|What is a subsidy?||
A “subsidy” is support provided by your employer that may result in your receiving more pay than the actual value of the services you perform.
|What are special conditions?|
“Special conditions” refers to support and on the job assistance provided by your employer, or by someone other than your employer, for example, a vocational rehabilitation agency. Because of this support, you may receive more pay than the actual value of the services you perform.
|How can you tell if a subsidy or a special condition applies to you?||A subsidy or special condition may exist if:
Do subsidies or special conditions affect my SSI payments?
No, we do not consider subsidies or special conditions when we figure your SSI payment amount.
|What is an UWA?|
A UWA is an effort to do substantial work, in employment or self-employment, which you stopped or reduced to below the SGA level after a short time (6 months or less) because of:
|What is the benefit of a UWA if you receive SSDI?||
When we make an SGA decision to determine if your disability continues or ceases because of your work, we do not count your earnings during a UWA.
|Can a UWA occur during the Extended Period of Eligibility?||Yes. During the EPE (see the section on EPE), we consider a UWA as part of our SGA decision for months up to and including the month we decide your disability has ceased.|
|Can a UWA occur during the Trial Work Period?||No. We do not consider UWA during the TWP (see the section on TWP), or after we decide that your disability has ceased.|
|Does a UWA affect your monthly SSI payment?|
For SSI, we only consider a UWA at the time you file an initial claim. After that, we do not consider a UWA in figuring your SSI payment.
|How can IRWE help you?|
We deduct the cost of certain impairment-related items and services that you need to work from your gross earnings when we decide if your work is SGA. It does not matter if you also use these items and services for non-work activities.
|When will we deduct your IRWE?||We deduct IRWE for SGA purposes when:|
|How do we use IRWE to figure your SSI monthly payments?|
If you receive SSI benefits, we will exclude IRWE from your earned income when we figure your monthly payment amount if you meet the requirements above and you paid the expense in a month that you received earned income or performed work while you used the IRWE.
|Can IRWE be deducted during a non-work month?||
Generally, you must be working in the month you pay for an IRWE. However in certain situations, we can deduct IRWE amounts for expenses you pay before you start or after you stop work.
|What types of expenses are deductible?||
The following table outlines the types of expenses that are deductible as IRWE.
|TYPE OF EXPENSE||IRWE DEDUCTIBLE||NOT DEDUCTIBLE|
|Transportation Costs||The cost of structural or operational modifications to your vehicle that you need to travel to work, even if you also use the vehicle for non-work purposes.
The cost of driver assistance or taxicabs you need because of your disability rather than the lack of public transportation.
Mileage expenses at a rate determined by us for an approved vehicle and limited to travel to and from work.
The cost of your vehicle whether modified or not.
|Attendant Care Services||Services performed in the work setting.
Services performed to help you prepare for work, the trip to and from work, and after work; for example, bathing, dressing, cooking, and eating.
Services that incidentally also benefit your family, for example, meals shared by you and your family.
Services performed by your family member for a cash fee where he/she suffers an economic loss by reducing or ending his/her work in order to help you. This includes your spouse reducing work hours to help you get ready for work.
|Services performed on non-workdays or help with shopping or general housekeeping, for example, cleaning and laundry.
Services performed for someone else in your family, for example, babysitting.
Services performed by your family member for payment "in-kind", for example, room and board.
Services performed by your family member for a cash fee where he /she suffers no economic loss. This includes services provided by your non-working spouse.
|Medical Devices||Deductible devices include wheelchairs, dialysis equipment, pacemakers, respirators, traction equipment, and braces.||Any device you do not use for a medical purpose.|
|Prosthesis||Artificial hip, artificial replacement of an arm, leg, or other parts of the body.||Any prosthetic device that is primarily for cosmetic purpose.|
|Residential Modifications||If you are employed outside of home, modifications to the exterior of your house that permit access to the street or to transportation; for example:
If you are employed outside of home, modifications to the interior of your house.
If you are self-employed at home, you cannot deduct any modification-related expenses that will be deducted as a business expense when determining SGA.
|Routine Drugs & Routine Medical Services||Regularly prescribed medical treatment or therapy that is necessary to control your disabling condition, even if control is not achieved. This includes:
||Drugs and/or medical services used for your minor physical or mental health problems, for example:|
|Diagnostic Procedures||Procedures related to the control, treatment, or evaluation of your disabling condition; for example, brain scans, and electroencephalograms.||Procedures not related to your disabling condition, for example, allergy testing.|
|Non-Medical Appliances & Devices||In unusual circumstances, devices or appliances that are essential for the control of your disabling condition either at home or at work; for example, an electric air cleaner if you have severe respiratory disease. Your physician must verify this need.||Devices you use at home or at the office that are not ordinarily for medical purposes and for which your doctor has not verified a medical work-related need. These include:|
|Other Items & Services||Expendable medical supplies; for example, incontinence pads, elastic stockings, and catheters.
The cost of a service animal including food, licenses, and veterinary services.
|An exercise bicycle or other device you use for physical fitness, unless verified as necessary by your physician.|
Health insurance premiums.
|How can a PASS help you?||
A PASS allows you to set aside other income besides your SSI and/or resources for a specified period of time so that you may pursue a work goal that will reduce or eliminate the SSI or SSDI benefits you currently receive. For example, if you receive SSDI, wages, or other income, you could set aside some of that money to pay expenses for education, vocational training, or starting a business as long as the expenses are related to achieving your work goal.
|Who can have a PASS?||
If you receive SSI or could qualify for SSI after setting aside income or resources so that you may pursue a work goal, you could benefit from a PASS.
|What are the requirements for a PASS?||
Your Pass must:
Anyone may help you with your PASS; for example, vocational counselors, social workers, benefit specialists or employers. We will evaluate the plan and decide if it is acceptable. We can also help you put your plans in writing.
|Where can you get more information about a PASS?||
You can get a PASS Specialist’s telephone number by calling our toll-free number 1-800-772-1213
A Sample PASS (SSI ONLY)
Example 1 – Wages Being Excluded under an approved PASS
$665.00 - $20.00 = $645.00 - $65.00 = $580.00
$580.00 / 2= $290.00 in countable income.
A Sample PASS (SSDI ONLY)
Example 2 – SSDI Being Excluded under an approved PASS
|What is a Ticket?||
The Ticket to Work Program is an innovative program for persons with disabilities who want to work and participate in planning their employment. A Ticket increases your available choices when obtaining employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and other support services you may need to get or keep a job. It is a free and voluntary service. You can use the Ticket if you choose, but there is no penalty for not using it. You might not be subject to a continuing disability review while you are using your Ticket.
|How can I take part in the Ticket Program?||
This program is available in all 50 states and 10 United States Territories. Many SSDI and SSI disability beneficiaries are eligible to obtain services from a state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency or another approved provider of their choice. We call these approved providers “Employment Networks”. Employment Networks (ENs) are private organizations or government agencies that have agreed to work with Social Security to provide employment services to beneficiaries with disabilities. You can participate in the program by contacting an EN or by calling the Ticket Call Center at the number below. For a list of approved ENs, please visit https://yourtickettowork.com/web/ttw/en-directory.
|Where do I get
For more information on Ticket to Work, including a list of approved Employment Networks, call 1-866-YOURTICKET (1-866-968-7842) or for TTY/TDD call 1-866-833-2967 between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time (Monday through Friday).
You can find information about the Ticket to Work Program online at www.chooseworkttw.net.
|How do I qualify for continued payment under Section 301?||
If we find that you are no longer disabled due to medical improvement, your benefit payments usually stop. However, if you are participating in an appropriate program of vocational rehabilitation or similar services, your benefits may continue until your participation in the program ends.
|What is an appropriate program of vocational rehabilitation or similar services?||An appropriate program must be approved by us and includes:|
|How long may my benefits continue?||Under Section 301, your benefits may continue until you:|
|What is EXR?|
EXR is a safety net for people who successfully return to work and lose their entitlement to SSDI or SSI benefits and payments. If your cash payments ended because of your work and earnings, and you stop work within 5 years of when your benefits ended, we may be able to start your benefits again.
|How does EXR help you?|
If you have stopped receiving benefits due to your work, we may be able to restart them again. The EXR provision allows you to receive up to 6 months of temporary cash benefits while we conduct a medical review to decide if we can reinstate your benefits. You may also be eligible for Medicare and/or Medicaid during the provisional benefit period.
|Who can be reinstated?||You are eligible to request EXR if you meet all the following requirements:|