New Information Available About Social Security’s Work Incentive Programs
Posted Apr 17 2013 12:08pm
Social Security disability programs are running out of money . As such Social Security executives are looking for ways to reduce the outflow of dollars.
One effort has been to tighten up eligibility standards. Claimant’s representatives throughout the country are reporting that ALJ approval rates are down. When cases are approved, judges are including directives in their decisions for SSA to review approved the approved claimant for medical improvement in one year or three years.
SSA has increased and will continue to increase the number of continuing disability reviews for approved claimants. For years, the CDR program was basically ignored by Social Security – as a result only a very tiny percentage of approved claimants were ever removed from the payment rolls and there was no inquiry into improved medical status. This is changing and I am starting to receive calls from my old clients asking about these continuing reviews.
SSA has also put more focus on its work incentive programs such as the ticket to work program. SSA has commissioned a website called ChooseWork.net , which contains extensive information about return to work incentives. In partnership with Cornell University, SSA participates in monthly interactive webinars that explain in great detail how these work incentives operate. The webinars are also recorded and available 24 hours a day. You can register for a forthcoming free webinar here.
The Ticket to Work program allows approved claimants to continue receiving their monthly benefits while they try to work. This means that you will not be cut off if you accept a job.
I have always advised my clients that they will earn more money and feel more personal satisfaction working as opposed to collecting benefits with a label of “disabled.” Obviously not all claimants with serious medical problems will be able to rejoin the workforce but for some claimants, access to Medicare and financial resources to seek medical treatment will result in a favorable improvement in their lives.
I encourage you to educate yourself about SSA’s work incentive programs and to consider participating if your medical condition warrants.