Are you receiving disability benefits, but want to go back to work? Are you looking for guidelines to help you work while receiving benefits? Disability Attorney Rebecca Cervenak is here to help! Here is her advice:

Yes, you can go back to work after you start receiving Social Security disability benefits. You are responsible for understanding the Work Rules, but there are resources that can help. 

Reporting Work 

Remember to always report changes in employment and income to the Social Security administration (SSA), so you don’t end up with an Overpayment. For information on what to do if you receive an overpayment notice, click here

You should tell SSA if:

  1. You start or stop working
  2. Your duties, hours, or pay changes, or 
  3. You start paying for expenses that you need for work due to your disability: Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE)Certain expenses for things a person with a disability needs because of his/her impairment in order to work may be deducted when counting earnings to determine if the person is performing substantial gainful activity. The individual must 1) need the item or service because of an impairment, 2) need the item or service to work, and 3) pay for the item or service. 

Resources 

For general information about the work rules, you can consult SSA’s Redbook https://www.ssa.gov/redbook/index.html or Ohio’s Disability Benefits 101 webpage at https://oh.db101.org/

Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR)

BVR provides individuals with disabilities services and supports necessary to help them attain and maintain employment. You can find your local BVR office at https://ood.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/ood/individuals-with-disabilities/find-us

Ticket to Work 

Service providers offer Social Security disability beneficiaries (persons who receive SSI or SSDI) age 18 through 64 who want to work with free job support. Services offered may include job coaching, job counseling, training, benefits counseling and job placement. 

PASS Plan 

A PASS allows you to set aside income for a specified period of time so that you may pursue a work goal that will reduce or eliminate the SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits you currently receive. For example, if you receive SSDI, wages, or other income, you could set aside some of that money to pay expenses for education, vocational training, assistive technology used for employment–related purposes, or starting a business as long as the expenses are related to achieving your work goal.

SSA does not count the income that you set aside under your PASS when they figure your SSI payment amount or your continuing eligibility for SSI. You can find out more at https://www.ssa.gov/redbook/eng/ssdi-and-ssi-employments-supports.htm#a0=2 

Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) at Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) 

The PABSS program helps people with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and have a disability-related employment issue. PABSS advocates provide legal support, advocacy and information to assist beneficiaries to resolve employment-related concerns. You can find out more at https://www.disabilityrightsohio.org/ or by calling (614) 466-7264 or (800) 282-9181

Work Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) Projects

WIPA projects provide free benefits counseling to eligible Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries who have a disability to help them make informed choices about work. WIPA projects are staffed by Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs) who provide in-depth counseling about working, earning more money and how working may affect your benefits. For more information, visit  https://mha.ohio.gov/Schools-and-Communities/Employment/Work-Incentives-and-Benefit-Planning or call  800-282-9181.

Continue to follow our website, blog, and social media for more blogs from Rebecca! Rebecca is part of our team of Warren OH disability lawyers at Liner Legal. Our team serves all of Ohio, filling the need for Wooster OH disability lawyers, Medina, Ohio disability attorneys, Columbus OH disability lawyers, and more. If you have a question you’d like to see answered, click here.