Going to Back to Work on Social Security Disability Programs

Contrary to conventional wisdom of many in politic, the clear majority of those who are disabled are not sitting at home collecting a check when they could be working. It is really quite hard to prove to Social Security Administration (SSA), you are disabled within the very narrow regulations the law allows.  The reality is most people would much rather be working if they are able to do so.  The problem is when you try to go back to work, you run the risk of losing what benefits you do have, and somewhat more importantly in many cases, you will also lose Medicaid benefits, which are often critical to dealing with medical expenses.

Ticket to Work Program in Boston Social Security Disability Insurance Cases

Boston SSDI Lawyer There are several programs in place aimed at allowing those who are able to work, to get back in the workforce. One of those programs is the Ticket to Work program. This program allows those who are medically able to start working again to do so without facing an immediate loss of benefits. This can be a good thing for some in the program. But if things do not go well, it can result in a termination of benefits, and claimants will find themselves back in the same position as they were before they first applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. As our Boston SSDI lawyers can explain, this can be a very complicated process, and a termination of benefits can be appealed. But if you do not do so within the time allowed, you will find yourself back in a position where you must again file an application for new benefits, and possibly wait over a year or more to get a determination.  Regardless of whether you are thinking of returning to work, or you have received a termination of benefits letter from SSA, you should contact an experienced Boston Social Security Disability Insurance benefits attorney as soon as possible to see what you can do to avoid having all of your benefits terminated.

Many are Going Back to Work When Able to Do So Physically

A recent news article from USA Today discussed how many have started going back to work after being recipients of disability benefits under one or more federal return to work programs, which have helped reduce the number of Americans receiving Social Security disability benefits from around 9 million to 8.7 million.  While this may seem like a modest decrease, we are still talking about 300,000 people living with disabilities, and any meaningful decrease in the number of those on the disability rolls will hopefully make things better for everyone, including those who are on the wait list to receive benefits.

There are various reasons for there being such a long wait list, and much of it has to do with problems in the system and how benefits claims are processed. But it is important to keep in mind many of these problems did not happen by accident. Much of the wait is by design, which makes it very difficult to get a prompt approval or even response, and this was done out of necessity to discourage people from pursuing benefits.

For many of those political reasons discussed above, SSA has never had the funding it needs to justly and promptly pay benefits to all Americans who are disabled. This means SSA will delay claims when they can as a matter of survival. When it gets to the point where benefits cannot be paid, SSA and roughly 11 millions Americans find themselves facing what is often called a fiscal cliff.  If they do not get more funding, everyone falls off that cliff.  A couple of years ago, it looked like there would be a 20 percent reduction in everyone’s benefits, which would be devastating. But fortunately, Congress stepped in at the last moment and provided enough to push the edge of the fiscal cliff back a few years. While this is a good thing, fiscal emergency will happen again in the future if major chances are not made.

Business Are Taking a More Active Step in Hiring People of Disabilities

One of the reasons we are seeing more people going back to work is because companies are taking more steps these days to make it easier for disabled workers to reenter the workforce. This can come through technological adaptations and it can also come through restructured shifts, allowing those who cannot work a full shift to work in more part-time jobs. This is not always done out of compassion, as there are many grants and federal subsidies.  This may seem odd when the government is not willing to spend money on disability benefits. But it can help reduce the numbers, which is seen as a positive.

One of the major issues is to make sure people who are no longer disabled, and thus losing SSDI benefits and Medicaid coverage, are able to earn enough in wages, and also get insurance through work to make up for these benefits terminations. While Medicaid is not a benefits paid by SSA, it is a requirement to be on SSDI benefits for one year prior to getting Medicaid approval. If you lose your SSDI benefits, you will not have access to the Medicaid benefits. This is a problem since it was likely the medical treatment and drugs being paid for by Medicaid allowed you to be in a physical condition where you were able to return to the workforce.

As discussed in this article, there were programs to help workers before, but many of the jobs were entirely created through grants. Working for an actual for-profit company often means better pay and better working conditions. One worker interviewed as part of this process says she is much happier working in retail than in a warehouse moving boxes as she was before.

If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Willing and able: Disabled workers prove their value in tight labor market, March 5, 2018, By Paul Davidson, USA Today

More Blog Entries:

Establishing Medical Disability in Boston SSDI Cases, March 21, 2018, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog