Written By Marsha Beede
(I often find myself dedicated to the needs of others, especially those on Social Security Disability because in this day and age it is difficult enough to qualify, but just as easy to lose. Therefore I dedicate this article to those with disabilities, friends, family and love ones whom have suffered through hard times.)
The “Ticket Back to Work Program” was designed to help workers who are “permanently and totally disabled,” and administration officials say that it is an important lifeline for many people who simply cannot work at all.
But Social Security officials can take into consideration a person’s age, skills and ability to retrain when determining eligibility. But the question remains: How many beneficiaries could work, given the right services and workplace accommodations?
It was estimated that at least 18 percent of recipients could work and earn at least the threshold at which benefits are suspended. This would imply the amount of social security per month, not yearly as some may say.
Other economists say that even among those denied benefits, a majority fail to go back to work, in part because of medical problems and a lack of marketable skills.
The benefits have no expiration date, unlike the current limit for collecting unemployment. Many people spend years appealing denials and building their medical case before being granted benefits, their skills often lag with gaps open on their resume, making it more difficult for them to get back to work.
Beneficiaries, who also fear losing health care coverage, may view their checks as necessity, next to nothing when receiving just $800 or $900 a month. However this applies to local government as well. Many states have county services for those on social security disability and sometimes these provisions can make finances more plausible when it comes to such impoverish conditions, having a monthly medical spenddown before qualifying for medical subsidies.
Let’s say for the moment your SSDI is $1150.00 a month and you receive notice that your income bracket prevents you from getting the necessary medical treatment you require, but rather one would have acquired a monthly $600.00 medical spenddown before qualifying for medical subsidies. This would leave a person $550.00 a month for living expense, food and necessities required to survive.
However a person may have opportunities to wave these spenddowns if they were to return or find employment. In many cases those on SSDI would qualify for other subsidies or medical premiums programs.
It is said Social Security offers disability beneficiaries some incentive to ease back into the work force. For nine months after starting a job, they can earn any amount without threatening their benefits and possibly another three years, if their income falls below $1,000 a month, they can immediately receive full benefits again with the possibility of keeping their Medicare coverage for possibly eight and a half years after going back to work.
In 1999, Congress passed a law authorizing the Ticket to Work program, which offers beneficiaries practical help with a job search. Social Security also waives medical reviews for those who participate, but not necessarily in some circumstances.
Some say “Social Security could make this program exponentially more successful, it wouldn’t be enough to dramatically improve the solvency picture, and you do it because work for some people gives them dignity and improve their economic condition.”
When a person’s claim comes up for a continuing disability review (CDR), which eventually it will, depending on the type of illness you have and thelikelihood of recovery, you will be sent either a short-form or a long-form tocomplete and send back. Both ask about your current medical condition, your recent medical treatment, and any work activity. One goes into more detail than the other. If you receive a short-form and you have been working, you may be sent a long-form as a follow up. With either you could have benefits continued or be found to have recovered. If you are only able to work a few hours a week with low earnings, the work may not trigger an early CDR, but of course there are no guarantees.
Someone once asked “I was sent a cessation of benefits. I appealed it and requested that my benefits continue. While waiting for the appeal hearing I received calls from ticket to work providers, I started an IEP with a provider and was told this will stop the process of the appeal. I recently received a letter that my hearing will be within 20 days. Lawyers that I have contacted won’t represent me because am already receiving benefits so they can’t get paid. All I want is to finish my IEP and have the trial work period after I complete it. I’m nervous of starting a full time job without the cushion of my benefits if something happens.”
If you have not already reviewed your claim file and there is still time, it could be good to request the file and review it before a hearing to be sure that all important records are in file.
Regardless of whether you decide to work part-time, you do need to continue under the care of a physician appropriate to your condition because at some point you will have to prove continuing disability. A record of your actual condition will be more important than the doctor’s opinion, which may not even be solicited. You could also consider having a copy of your past medical records to your new doctors so they have your medical background.
If a person’s medical review is initiated, presumably Social Security is then able to finish the review since it had already begun prior to beginning the program. Hypothetically if Social Security finds that you are no longer disabled or medically improved, but you had already started the Ticket to Work program prior to them reaching a decision, does that mean you can ask to finish the program and still receive benefits and Medicare in the interim? The hope being that you can still use the program to find work before benefits are withdrawn.
Social Security is likely to complete a review if the claim is close to due. A person’s Ticket to Work may also terminate; however, if you had already started a vocational rehabilitation program you might be able to continue it or maybe even start one. The Ticket to Work sets up vocational services through your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. If a person were already connected to the state and receiving vocational services or being set up to, the state might allow one to continue.
When Medicare stops, one may be eligible for sixty-day personal enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, where you may be able to get benefits with a government-subsidy to help with premiums.
Which leads me back to “sustainability”; employment that is attainable
Having written many articles on Recruitment Agencies and why agencies are seldom attainable income for those especially on SSDI. it would be vital to do research before engaging in options through an agency. Know your rights, be vigilant when it comes to protecting your SSDI. For further information follow “How Far Will You Go?” available on Amazon (eBook) and Barnes & Noble (eBook and paperback)
Amazon Author Central “View Author Description”
I would like to thank everyone who has shared my new book. It’s times like now where economic growth has been reshaped to modernize in ways where at times things do not appear as they may seem.
Clearly statistics show unemployment rates have fallen but in this book one will discover as to why more people don’t qualify for unemployment, how being employed by recruitment agencies factors into these problematic flaws.
In this book you’ll find various chapters with insight inserted within a collection of stories of individuals and their experiences working with recruitment agencies.
You’ll find written content regarding people with disabilities whom are losing their SSDI due to being employed by recruitment agencies without understanding certain criteria and/or facts on how “Ticket Back to Work Program” works for those on disability; a flawed system that leaves many prone to potential loss and vulnerabilities.
As ironic as it may seem many are referred to recruitment agencies by government unemployment agencies and/or vocational rehabilitation representation with little or no information on their “Ticket Back to Work Program” status and how it works. The downfall of basic knowledge within recruitment agencies leaves many with disabilities blindsided when referred to recruitment agencies. After all there are no guarantees for permanent job placements as many are told employment opportunities are possible temp to hire with merely the most plausible explanations of potential hire along with a collection of disclaimers and contracts to sign.
Sustainability; attainable stability and financial security must be achieved for one to be successful on “Ticket Back to Work Program” and this is seldom found through recruitment agencies.
Written by Marsha Beede
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