According to a recent news article from Disability Scoop, there is a bipartisan effort among some in Congress to make some changes to the Achieving a Better Life Experience bill more commonly referred to as the ABLE Act, or simply as ABLE.
ABLE was passed into law in 2014, and it was something that had never been done before. It created a way for disabled Americans who receive government benefits to save a certain amount of money in special accounts without running the risk of losing their disability benefits. This includes Social Security disability as well as other types of benefits provided by the federal government. This program does apply to Medicaid in certain situations.Since the law went into effect, and more and more people started using the program, some members in Congress have been looking at ways to expand ABLE in a way that may benefit even more Americans. However, this can be a complicated process, and, if you are concerned about how any savings accounts my affect your Social Security benefits, especially in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which is specifically available for claimants in low-income households, you should first speak with an experienced Boston disability attorney.
One thing to keep in mind, whether we are talking about this program, the Ticket to Work program, or any other program that relates to do disability benefits, is that people may want to take advantage of these programs but may be too scared to do so. Contrary to what some politicians like to claim during their stump speeches, the clear majority of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries are not simply lazy people that like sitting at home and collecting a check. Most people would much rather be healthy and working than disabled and applying for or collecting benefits. One reason we know is that we are not talking about a ton of money. In fact, the government set up the program so it would be a fraction of what a person could earn if they were working.
Where issues arise is when a person is on benefits and is also undergoing medical treatment for both physical and mental illness. If their condition does improve to the point where they would consider going to back on some capacity, many are afraid to do so. What happens if they start working part time and then they are found not to be disabled? They could lose their benefit, but not really be able to work full time and support themselves. Another issue that can arise deals with Medicaid. After you have been found to be disabled and qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you will become eligible for Medicaid insurance after a set period of time. This program is why you are able to get the treatment and medication you need. This is why you are getting better and able to work. However, if you go back to work, even part time, you will lose these benefits and then may become disabled once again, but have lost your disability benefits. For this reason, some in Congress are trying to come up with better alternatives to help people more effectively transition back to work.
If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Congress Weighs Expanding ABLE Act, April 10, 2017, By Michelle Diament, Disability Scoop
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Acting Social Security Administration Commissioner Resigns, Feb. 6, 2017, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog