How will working affect my disability benefits and health care coverage?
This is a complicated question and the answer varies by situation and individual. In order to address your specific concerns about how working will affect your disability benefits or health care coverage, we have Disability Resource Coordinators available in some of our One-Stop Career Centers around the state. All of our Disability Resource Coordinators are certified benefits counselors who can provide free benefits counseling and tell you about the Ticket to Work Program. Go to the Disability Employment Initiative , to locate a Disability Resource Coordinator near you.
What is the Ticket to Work Program?
Ticket to Work is a free and voluntary program that can help Social Security Beneficiaries go to work and become financially independent. Individuals ages 18-64 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may qualify for this program. To find out more about the Ticket to Work Program, go to the Disability Employment Initiative to contact a Disability Resource Coordinator.
Can I return to work while receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
Yes. Social Security is supportive of beneficiaries who want to work. The Ticket to Work Program, along with work incentives can help you enter, re-enter, or stay in the workforce. The Red Book is a general reference tool that contains information about these work incentives. A Disability Resource Coordinator can help you understand how these work incentives can help you.
If I go to work, will I automatically lose my Medicare or Medicaid?
You will not automatically lose Medicare or Medicaid if you return to work. Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – As long as you receive a benefit check of any amount, you will keep your health insurance. If you earn enough that your SSDI checks stop, Medicare can continue for up to 93 months.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – After you return to work, your Medicaid coverage can continue, even if your earnings become too high for an SSI cash payment. To be eligible for Medicaid while working (Section 1619(b)), you need to meet certain requirements, which include earning below a threshold amount set by your state. The 2015 threshold amount for SSI beneficiaries in New York State is $47,449.00.
If I use my Ticket to go to work, will the Social Security Administration conduct a medical review of my case?
If you are in the Ticket to Work program and are making “timely progress” toward an employment or educational goal, the Social Security Administration cannot perform what is known as a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) to see whether you still have a disability. Even if you would otherwise be scheduled to have a disability review, the Social Security Administration will postpone your review while your Ticket is in use and you are making progress toward your goals.
If my Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) checks stop because I go to work and then I have to stop working because of my disability, will I have to reapply for benefits all over again?
You can request that your benefits start again without having to complete a new application if your benefits ended within the past five years due to your earnings and you meet a few other requirements, including that you still have the original medical condition or one related to it that prevents you from working. This is a work incentive called Expedited Reinstatement. You may even be able to receive up to six months of temporary cash benefits in addition to the Medicare or Medicaid coverage while the Social Security Administration conducts a medical review to determine if your benefits can be reinstated. A full explanation is available by speaking with a Disability Resource Coordinator. Review the Disability Employment Initiative for more information.
What is the maximum number of hours in a week that I can work if I am receiving a disability check? Someone told me I can’t collect if I work over 20 hours in a week, or more than part-time!
This is a myth. The answer depends on how much is actually earned in monthly gross wages, not on the number of hours worked. Also, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) programs have different ways to calculate the gross wages and how it might affect benefits. If you are considering returning to work, you should contact a Disability Resource Coordinator to learn about the many work incentives that help you with that transition. Find one near you on the Disability Employment Initiative webpage.
How can the local One Stop Career Center in my county assist me with the Ticket to Work Program?
You can locate your local One-Stop Career Center and find out if they are a provider under NYESS by using our Career Center locator .
There are Disability Resource Coordinators available in some of the One-Stop Career Centers. Disability Resource Coordinators can provide information about the Ticket to Work Program and provide free benefits counseling. To locate a Disability Resource Coordinator near you, go to Disability Employment Initiative webpage.
Where can I find more frequently asked questions?
The Choose Work website is an excellent resource for beneficiaries and service providers. You can find the answers to additional questions that you may have regarding returning to work and benefits advisement.
You can also locate service providers in your area that can help you find free employment support including job coaching, job counseling, training, benefits counseling, job placement and advocacy.
Or call the NYESS information line at (new phone number).