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Social Security Work Incentives

Posted by Louis B. Lusk | Oct 19, 2012 | 0 Comments

Social Security Work Incentives

Special rules in the Social Security system make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security or Social Security Income to work and still receive monthly payments and Medicare or Medicaid. The Social Security Administration refers to these special rules as “work incentives.”ADA (Keoni Cabral).jpg Subsidies and Special Conditions Subsidies and special conditions refer to support you receive on the job that could result in your receiving more pay than the actual value of the services you performed. The Social Security Administration deducts the value of the subsidies and special conditions from your earnings when they decide whether or not you are working at the substantial gainful activity level. Impairment Related Work Expenses The Social Security Administration will deduct the cost of certain impairment-related items and services that you need to work from your gross earnings. The items will be paid for if they (1) enable you to work, (2) you need them because of a physical or mental impairment, (3) you are not reimbursed for the items from another source, and (4) the cost is reasonable. For example, impairment related work expenses include: · The cost of modifications to your vehicle needed to travel to work · The cost of driver assistance or taxis · Mileage for travel to and from work · Certain medical devices, like wheelchairs, pacemakers, respirators and braces · Prosthesis · The cost of ramps, railings or pathways outside your home to allow you to access transportation Unsuccessful Work Attempt An unsuccessful work attempt is an effort to do substantial work, either for an employer or self-employed, which you had to stop after six months or less because of your disability impairment or the removal of special conditions related to your impairment you needed to help you work. Trial Work Period Persons collecting Social Security Disability may begin a trial work period which allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During the trial work period, you will receive your full disability benefit regardless of how much you earn as long as you work activity has been reported and you continue to have a disabling impairment. The nine month period does not need to be consecutive and your trial work period will last until you accumulate nine months within a 60-month period. Extended Period of Eligibility If your Social Security Disability benefits stop after successfully completing the trial work period because you worked at the substantial gainful activity level, the Social Security Administration can automatically reinstate your benefits without a new application for any months in which your earnings drop below the substantial gainful activity level. You are eligible for this automatic reinstatement for 36 months after the end of the trial work period. It is important to note that in order to receive the automatic reinstatement, you must continue to have a disabling impairment. Medicare After premium-free Medicare coverage ends due to work, you may be eligible to buy continued Medicare coverage, provided you remain medically disabled. You may even be entitled to financial assistance with these costs if you have a low income or have limited resources. See Related Links: Four Reasons to Hire a Social Security Disability Attorney 5 Ways an Attorney Can Help With Your Disability Claim

About the Author

Louis B. Lusk

About Louis B. Lusk – Disability Attorney Attorney Louis B. Lusk has helped thousands of disabled individuals recover Social Security disability and SSI disability benefits.  He is an active member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), an organizat...


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If you have been turned down for Social Security disability call me at 1 (800) 407-1516. I look forward to hearing from you.