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WISE Webinar – Choosing a Service Provider That’s Right for You, Wednesday, November 17, at 3pm (ET)

Join us on November 17 for our next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar! Choosing a Service Provider That's Right for You Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 3pm - 4:30pm (ET) Looking for a job can sometimes be overwhelming, but you don’t have to go it alone. During...

WISE Webinar – Debunking the Three Biggest Myths about Disability Benefits and Work, October 27, 2021

Join us on October 27 for the next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar! Debunking the Three Biggest Myths about Disability Benefits and Work Wednesday, October 27, 2021 3:00 - 4:30pm ET Learn the answer to this question and others as we debunk the 3 biggest...

The Social Security Administration Announces Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Recipients for 2022

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will increase 5.9 percent in 2022, the Social Security Administration announced today. The 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits...

WISE Webinar – Debunking the Three Biggest Myths about Disability Benefits and Work, October 27, 2021

Join us on October 27 for the next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar! Debunking the Three Biggest Myths about Disability Benefits and Work Wednesday, October 27, 2021 3:00 - 4:30pm ET SSA's October WISE webinar will discuss the 3 biggest myths surrounding...

5 Tips to help your resume make it through resume-reading software

This article from CareerOnestop discusses tips on how to get around the issue of resume-reading software You've submitted your resume dozens of times and have not gotten a response. Resume-reading software may be the problem....

Getting to “Hired!”: Disability Tax Credits

Imagine you are a hiring manager interviewing three highly qualified job seekers for a single position.  You finish each interview and thank each applicant.  But then, the third applicant hands you two checks made out to your company and cashable over the...

WISE Webinar – “Ticket to Work – Support on Your Journey to Employment”, September 22

Join us on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 from 3:00 – 4:30pm ET for our next Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar! This month, we’ll offer an overview of how Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program and other Work Incentives can help individuals succeed...

During an Interview, How to Answer the Question….”What is one of your Weaknesses?”

The Choosework website discusses how to answer this question. Identifying weaknesses is an opportunity to show how you overcame past challenges and are working to improve. Preparing for an interview and practicing your responses will help you head into an interview...

WISE Webinar – Understanding Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program, August 25

Join us on August 25 for the next Social Security WISE Webinar, Understanding Social Security's Ticket to Work Program: How to Help Your Clients and the People you Serve This month, Social Security is presenting information specifically for individuals and...

WISE Webinar – Reasonable Accommodations and the Path to Employment, July 28

Join us on July 28 for the next Social Security Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar! This month’s webinar focuses on workplace accommodations. During the July webinar, the Northeast ADA Center will share details on how individuals can succeed in the workplace...

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!