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JOB SEARCH TIPS

Click the image to download a PDF offering helpful tips for job seekers.

WISE Webinar – Medicare or Medicaid Coverage and the Path to Employment, Wednesday, October 26 at 3pm ET

Join SSA on October 26 for the next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar! If you receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI/SSI), you probably have a lot of questions about how earnings from work will affect your Medicare or Medicaid coverage. This...

WISE Webinar – Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits While You Work: What You Need to Know September 28, 3pm ET

Join SSA on September 28 for the next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar! Have you thought, “How will work affect my Social Security Disability benefits?” In September, the WISE webinar will help answer many of the most frequently asked questions about...

WISE Webinar – Reasonable Accommodations and the Path to Work, July 27, 3pm ET

Join SSA on July 27 at 3pm ET for the next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of people with disabilities in many aspects of their lives, including their rights in the workplace. This month, the...

Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) Program Expansion

The Maryland Department of Health has recently issued a Provider Update which includes expansion of eligibility requirements for the EID Program....

The Maryland Employment Network Paves the Way to Employment

The Maryland Employment Network proudly announces the first Diverse Abilities Job Fair was a tremendous success! Rooted in MD-EN’s implementation of county-based roundtables filled with leaders selected from the disability, employment, and community sectors, this...

WISE Webinar – Expanding Your Job Search with Ticket to Work – Wednesday, May 25

Join SSA on May 25 at 3pm(ET) for the next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar! In May, we’ll discuss hiring initiatives for job seekers with disabilities, including Section 503, Schedule A Hiring and apprenticeships. During the webinar, we’ll also highlight...

Wise Webinar – Debunking the Three Biggest Myths About Disability Benefits and Work, Wednesday, April 27

Join SSA on April 27 at 3pm(ET) for the next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar! Have you heard any of these myths? If I go to work, I will automatically lose my Medicare or Medicaid.If I use my Ticket to go to work, Social Security will conduct a medical...

The Campaign for Disability Employment Launches Workplace Mental Health PSA

This National Campaign Explores the Roles We All Play in Promoting Workplace Wellbeing. The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) has launched its latest public education campaign. Built around a public service announcement (PSA) called “Mental Health at Work: What...

Tips to Relieve Anxiety Before an Interview

Securing an interview is an exciting step forward in your journey toward work, but it can also be anxiety inducing. The pressure to make a great first impression, or to have all the right answers may cause extra stress leading up to the big day. 7 Tips to Relieve...

Choosing a Service Provider That’s Right for You, Wednesday, March 30, at 3pm (ET)

Join us on March 30 for our next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar! Choosing a Service Provider That’s Right for You Wednesday, March 30, 2022, 3pm – 4:30pm (ET) Our Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar will discuss how working with a Ticket to Work...

Assistance for Job Seekers

If you receive Social Security benefits, you are eligible for Ticket to Work! Ticket to Work connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job or maintain success while you are working. If you choose to participate, you will receive services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement and training from authorized Ticket to Work service providers, such as Employment Networks (EN) or your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. The service provider you choose will serve as an important part of your “employment team” that will help you on your journey to financial independence.

Download our Work and Benefits brochure!

Work & Social Security Benefits

Social Security benefits play an important role in the lives of individuals with disabilities. Because of that, it’s easy to understand why you might have questions about how earning an income through work will affect your benefits. Below are some of the questions we frequently hear.

Will I lose my cash benefit if I go to work?

Not necessarily. Most individuals are much better off if they are living on earnings instead of disability benefits. There are work incentives that will allow you to try working before losing all of your benefits. If you decide to move from public benefits to employment, you can work with a Certified Benefits Counselor who will look at your particular circumstances and help you use SSA’s work incentives and safety nets. Then you can make the best decision for your circumstances and preferences.

If your disability worsens or if you decide you are no longer able to work, Social Security has several built-in safety nets that can help you receive benefits again without the need to re-apply.

How much can I earn and still keep my benefits?

This is often the first question people ask. Part of the answer depends on whether you are receiving Title II Benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Social Security has set up different work incentives and safety net for each of these programs. For more information on work incentives, download our Work and Benefits Brochure.

If you are receiving both SSI and SSDI, you will be able to use both sets of incentives. A Certified Benefits Counselor can talk with you about your own benefits and work goals to help you understand more.

What is Substantial Gainful Activity?

The Social Security Administration defines “substantial gainful activity” or SGA as the performance of significant physical and/or mental activities in work for pay or profit, or in work of a type generally performed for pay or profit, regardless of the legality of the work. Within the context of this definition, each of the following words or phrases has a specific meaning:

  • “Significant activities” are useful in the accomplishment of a job or the operation of a business, and have economic value.
  • Work may be considered “substantial” even if it is performed on a part-time basis, or even if the individual does less, is paid less, or has less responsibility than in previous work.
  • Work activity is “gainful” if it is the kind of work usually done for pay, whether in cash or in kind, or for profit, whether or not a profit is realized.
If I go to work and lose my benefits, can I get them back if I can't continue to work?

The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) of 1999 created an important work incentive called Expedited Reinstatement (EXR). EXR is a way for a beneficiary to return more quickly to Social Security disability benefits when his or her work significantly reduces or stops. The former beneficiary must have the same or a related disability as the earlier entitlement, and the person must again be unable to perform SGA. EXR permits individuals to receive provisional payments while Social Security is processing the reinstatement request.

If you would like to receive individualized information on how your work goal will impact your Social Security benefits, we can help! The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) funds intensive, individualized benefits counseling services. Simply print this referral form and tell your DORS counselor that you would like to work with one of our benefits counselors!

Many people have concerns about the impact of work on their Social Security Benefits. For general information on how work impacts benefits, visit the Maryland Benefits Counseling Network website today!