If you need certain items to work, SSA may exclude those expenses if the cost is “reasonable” and you pay for them out-of-pocket.

Reasonable just means that the cost is the standard amount for the item or service in your community.

The expense must be out-of-pocket; meaning, if your insurance or family member covers the cost or later reimburses you, it doesn’t count. You must pay for them out of your benefits, savings, or earned income.

Some examples include assistive technology, special tools or software, counseling services, car modifications/ special transportation, or even attendant care services for preparing you for work, attending to you while you are at work, or getting you to and from work. It doesn’t matter if you also use the items/services outside of work, too, so long as you need them to work because of your physical or mental impairments.

~ Rebecca Cervenak

Rebecca is part of our team of lawyers fighting to get our clients disability benefits in Ohio. After graduating from Bowling Green State University, she went to law school and worked in San Diego before moving back to Ohio to join our team of Cleveland SSD lawyers. Watch Rebecca’s full video on this topic by clicking here.