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Dispelling Myths and Fears about Accessing Employment: Understand How to Use Work Incentives to Choose Work!

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Presentation on theme: "Dispelling Myths and Fears about Accessing Employment: Understand How to Use Work Incentives to Choose Work!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Dispelling Myths and Fears about Accessing Employment: Understand How to Use Work Incentives to Choose Work!

2 We have reached a crisis in unemployment and underemployment of people with disabilities

3 The cost for excluding people with disabilities from taking an active part in community life is high. The cost for excluding people with disabilities from taking an active part in community life is high. Exclusion leads to diminished productivity and losses in human potential Exclusion leads to diminished productivity and losses in human potential Decent work is the first step out of poverty and social exclusion Decent work is the first step out of poverty and social exclusion 3

4 V ALUED R OLES 4 We know that given the proper combination of services and supports, people can work and assume valued roles in their communities.

5 5 People with disabilities have demonstrated their ability to work. There are thousands of occupations that people with disabilities can pursue in their communities based on their interests and skills.

6 F EARS AND M YTHS 6 We also know that fears and myths persist, and people with disabilities, especially those on Social Security Disability benefits are not always aware of their options or how it will affect their benefits.

7 T HE L ATEST R ESOURCE - TWWIIA The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act removes many of the disincentives to employment and provides new choices and opportunities for people with disabilities to achieve steady employment. 7

8 H OW CAN YOU HELP ? 8 With regard to TWWIIA - there are 8 general statements that a service provider/advocate can use to dispel myths and fears and begin to assist a SSA beneficiary in making an informed decision about working.

9 9 These are phrases that may MAKE a POSTIVE DIFFERENCE in a SSA beneficiarys decision to look further into becoming employed. But first, a service provider MUST understand the basics of the SSA disability programs.

10 A LL SSA B ENEFITS ARE NOT A LIKE SSA has two benefit programs Title II – Disability Insurance Programs including Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Disabled Widow/Widowers benefits (DWB) Title 16 – Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 10

11 Title II –SSDI -all or nothing with a 24 month waiting period for Medicare Title 16 - SSI -gradual reduction with Medicaid Some people with disabilities get both 11

12 Understanding how work affects benefits is necessary in order to help people attempt work or keep them from quitting a job due to their fear of the loss of their benefits. 12

13 S TATEMENT #1 13 If you work, you may maintain your benefits (SSDI), maintain your benefits for a period of time (SSDI), maintain some of your benefits (SSI), and/or almost always increase your monthly income.

14 H OW THIS WORKS - SSDI Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - 9 month Trial Work Period (TWP) - Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) other Work Incentives and Exclusions : Cessation and Grace Period Impairment Related Work Expenses Subsidy 14

15 H OW THIS WORKS - SSI Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - 1 for 2 offset – always better of working than not working because SSA counts less than half of the earning. Also: - SEIE - IWRE - BWE - PASS 15

16 S TATEMENT #2 16 If you work and earn enough money to leave the SSA benefits roles, and need to return to the SSA benefits roles again, you may be able to do this through a quick application process and be able to get your benefits again within a few weeks time.

17 E XPEDITED R E -E NTRY (EXR) - Must be unable to continue working - After the EPE for SSDI - After one year suspension from SSI - Must file a reinstatement application within 60 months of termination - May Receive 6 months of provisional benefits during the re-determination process 17

18 S TATEMENT #3 18 If you work, you may be able to keep your Medicare, Medicaid, or buy into the Medicaid Program.

19 H EALTHCARE C ONTINUES Medicare: Part A and Part B extended 4 ½ years beyond the current EPE Medicare: Part A and Part B extended 4 ½ years beyond the current EPE Medicaid 1619 (b) up to state threshold Medicaid 1619 (b) up to state threshold Medicaid Buy-In in States Medicaid Buy-In in States 19

20 S TATEMENT #4 20 Many students can earn money without impacting their SSI benefits.

21 T HE GREATEST GIFT – TRY WORK Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) (for SSI ): Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) (for SSI ): You can exclude $1, of gross earned income a month to an amount of $6, annually You must be under age 22 but no longer have to be unmarried 21

22 S TATEMENT #5 22 SSA may allow you to set aside some income for school or another vocational goal.

23 T HE GET OUT OF POVERTY PLAN Plan for Achieving Self Support) (PASS) - Plan for Achieving Self Support) (PASS) - Set aside income and/or resources to reach a specific work goal Can establish or maintain SSI eligibility and can maintain or increase SSI payment while working toward your goal 23

24 S TATEMENT #6 24 If you receive subsidized housing, your employment income might not increase your share of the rent for a period of time.

25 E ARNED INCOME DISREGARDS Earned Income Disregards are available for certain housing programs disregarding all income the first year, 50% the second year and 25 % the third year (while adjusting to work) Earned Income Disregards are available for certain housing programs disregarding all income the first year, 50% the second year and 25 % the third year (while adjusting to work) 25

26 S TATEMENT #7 26 It takes a while for SSA to stop or reduce your benefits check when you go back to work and it is very common for individuals to receive overpayment notices from Social Security. However, you can minimize the overpayment by reporting your income.

27 R EPORTING INCOME KNOW - When to report your earnings How to report your earnings and to Whom you report your earnings. Obtain a receipt for your wage report 27

28 W HEN ALL ELSE FAILS – ASK FOR HELP 28 There are resources to help you resolve an overpayment situation and keep working. Find out information on how to avoid an overpayment and who to talk to if you receive an overpayment notice.

29 W HO CAN HELP ? Social Security staff – AWICs and WILs Social Security staff – AWICs and WILs Benefit Planners (Community Work Incentive Counselors ) Benefit Planners (Community Work Incentive Counselors ) Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) 29

30 S TATEMENT #8 Even if you dont report your income SSA will find out about it !! Willfully choosing not to report your income could be considered Fraud and SSA can detect earning through FICA deductions, IRS records and Unemployment Insurance records 30

31 O THER T HINGS FOR C ONSUMERS TO K EEP IN M IND Become a Strong Self-Advocate! Know your rights in application and employment process. Think creatively about how the system could best work for you and others in your situation. 31

32 E DUCATE Y OURSELF Become your own best expert Become your own best expert Reach out to others with expertise in programs that can assist you. Reach out to others with expertise in programs that can assist you. Speak up about things that you need to be independent. Speak up about things that you need to be independent. 32

33 W HAT S P ROTECTION AND A DVOCACY ? (P&A) A network of legally based advocacy available in every state and territory. Collectively, the P&A agencies are the largest provider of legally based services to people with disabilities in the United States. Each program is funded separately and has its own criteria for eligibility and services. 33

34 Programs can be found at Cheryl Bates-Harris National Disability Rights Network 900 2nd Street, NE, Suite 211 Washington, DC


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