A 67-page downloadable step-by-step guide to SSDI and SSI work incentives
The work incentives used by the SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) and SSI (Supplemental Security Income) programs provide valuable opportunities for recipients with disabilities to re-enter the work force. Yet each individual with a disability who embarks on a journey to work faces myriad complex rules and regulations that make counseling and planning a must to ensure a successful transition from benefits dependence to financial stability.
Here is a downloadable step-by-step guide to the work incentives used by the SSDI and SSI programs that will enable you to get your clients started on the right path.
The SSDI and SSI work incentives differ substantially. This guide will give you an understanding of each with clear text, case studies, practice tips, and completed sample forms.
SSDI Work Incentives
- The 9-month Trial Work Period or TWP: When it begins, when it ends, which months are counted.
- The 36-month Extended Period of Eligibility: When it begins, when it ends, how it affects benefits payment and eligibility.
- Termination and expedited reinstatement: When to choose EXR and when to re-apply for benefits.
- Specific work incentives including unsuccessful work attempts, income averaging, subsidies and special conditions, and impairment related work expenses.
SSI Work Incentives
- How SSI eligibility is calculated.
- Income exclusions including the earned income exclusion, student earned income exclusion, and the exclusion for individual development accounts.
- Differing treatment of impairment related work expenses and blind work expenses.
- How the Plan to Achieve Self Support ( PASS) allows a recipient to “shelter” resources and/or income from the normal SSI resource and income rules to allow for savings necessary to achieve a vocational goal.
- How an SSDI recipient may be able to take advantage of the PASS.
- The TWP/EPE Tracking Sheet allows recipients to note which days saw work activity, the number of hours, when pay checks were received, and what the gross amount was.
- A Benefits Summary and Analysis (BSA) shows the recipient where she is currently in the return to work process and explains the phase of the process she is about to enter as well as all work incentives that can be used during that time.
- A Work Incentive Plan (WIP) indicates what action steps are necessary to implement the return to work plan, who is responsible for each step, and when that step is to be completed.
- The SSI Calculation Worksheet contains every exclusion and deduction available and treats income and exclusions in the proper order. Any other method used to determine SSI cash benefits payable to an eligible individual is wrong.
About the Author
Ray Cebula is a member of the faculty of the Employment and Disability Institute, at Cornell University’s School of Industrial Relations which he provides training and technical assistance concerning work incentive programming. He also serves and the primary instructor and developer of ediONLINE, the institute’s distance learning program for benefits planners and others interested in learning about Social Security disability and work incentive programming.
Ray began his career with the Legal Services Corporation of Iowa as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow. He also worked with the Southeastern Massachusetts Legal Services Corporation, serving as the Supervising Attorney of the Disability Benefits and Medicare units, until joining the staff of the Disability Law Center in 1987. While at the Law Center his duties included providing technical assistance and training to Massachusetts advocates and attorneys as well as engaging in impact litigation against the Social Security Administration.
Over time, Ray became a specialist in post-entitlement and return to work issues. He has written extensively on both topics and has provided training to local and national organizations.