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The Basics of Social Security Disability Benefits, and What One-Stops Should Know

What One-Stops Should Know

What You Should Know

Many people with disabilities that use One-Stop system services receive some type of Social Security disability benefits. Nationwide, over 8 million people with disabilities receive some form of these benefits.

When people with disabilities decide to seek employment, one of their key concerns is how employment will impact their social security benefits. Benefit regulations can be complex. One-Stop staff dont need to be experts; however, it is a good idea to have some understanding of the Social Security disability benefit programs in order to help recipients find employment.

People with disabilities often perceive employment-related regulations for Social Security benefits as insurmountable barriers to employment. However, in many cases, there is misunderstanding concerning the impact that employment will have on an individuals benefits. By providing information on basic Social Security Administration requirements, and assisting customers to obtain expertise in benefits management, One-Stop staff can help people with disabilities become more willing and confident in seeking employment.

Areas that One-Stop staff should be familiar with:

The Basics of Social Security Disability Benefits

Two Social Security Disability Programs:

Note: Some people receive benefits from both programs

Requirements to Qualify for SSI (Note: The SGA amounts are for 2003, and are adjusted annually for inflation)

Requirements to Qualify for SSDI (Note: The SGA amounts are for 2001, and are adjusted annually for inflation)

Medical Coverage for SSI: Usually Medicaid

Medical Coverage for SSDI: Usually Medicare

Effect of Income on Cash Benefits for SSI:

Gradual Reduction

Effect of Income on Cash Benefits for SSDI:

All or Nothing
Receive full monthly benefit until going over earnings limit of $800 per month ($1,330/month for people who are blind) 2003 figures. After exceeding earning limit for 12 months, check is completely stopped.

Effect of Income on Medical Benefits for SSI:

Even if cash benefit ends, individual keeps Medicaid coverage until going over the threshold limit, an annual income limit that varies from state to state (from $12,000 to over $25,000)
Note: The impact of employment on Medicaid benefits may be significantly reduced as a result of TWWIIA. Check with your local Medicaid or Social Security office for the most current information.

Effect of Income on Medical Benefits for SSDI:

When cash benefits end, Medicare coverage stays in effect for 7-1/2 years (this includes an expansion of 4-1/2 years under the new TWWIIA legislation, as of 10/1/2000).

Calculating the Impact of Earnings from Employment

How Income Affects SSI Benefits

If the person is working:

Step 1: (Gross Monthly Earnings from Job - $85) divided by 2 = Countable Income
Step 2: Benefit Rate (Standard SSI payment) Countable Income
= SSI Monthly Payment While Working

If the person receives SSI and SSDI:

Step 1: SSDI Monthly Payment $20 = Countable Income
Step 2: Benefit Rate (Standard SSI payment) Countable Income
= SSI Monthly Payment While on SSDI

How Income Impacts SSDI Benefits

Basic Guidelines

How the System Works

Written by:

Institute for Community Inclusion

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