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Can I Still Work If I Am On Welfare or SSI Receiving Cash Benefits?

By Edited Mar 17, 2016 1 1

Cash Benefits And Medical Benefits While You Work

The Federal Government and State Government provide several social welfare benefits for the people who are in need of financial assistance. Most of the people who are receiving these benefits wish to work to gain confidence and to be a self-esteemed person.  If you are one among them and have a question,”Can I Still Work If I Am On Welfare Receiving Benefits?”, then this article helps you to find an answer.

The United States Social Security Administration has designed a voluntary program known as ‘Ticket to Work’. This program helps people who are above 18 and below 65 old and are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as they are physically challenged or visually impaired.  The Federal Government has introduced this program to expand employment opportunities and also to reduce the dependents of Social Security and SSI cash benefits. This ticket is a piece of documentation with evidence of the Commissioner’s agreement and provides a description of The Ticket to Work program.  The eligible beneficiaries will be issued a ticket for this ‘Ticket to Work’ program by mail. The participation is the individual’s choice. For voluntary participants, the ticket will be assigned to the nearest Employment Network or State Vocational Rehabilitation agency. These agencies help the participant by providing job training, and preparing essential materials such as a good resume, which helps to find a job. They also help in finding employers, educating on work incentives and any other employment services that the participant need to search, enter and retain employment.


Advantages of Using The Ticket To Work Assistance Program

There are several advantages of using the ticket under The ‘Ticket to Work’ program. The participant can safely explore work options that are suitable for him without losing his benefits. If there is a situation which arises and the individual is unable to continue employment for any reason, the individual can go back to their benefits easily through ‘expedited reinstatement of benefits’ program. Although the individual will not receive the medical continuing disability review while using their ticket, they will continue to receive their healthcare benefits. The Government keeps in mind that the individual needs a helping hand during the transition period. Therefore, the individual will be still able to receive benefits through other Social Security Administration programs and work incentives during their transition to work. Listed here are some of the other Social Security Administration programs and work incentives:

  1. TWP – Trial Work Period; Available only for SSDI beneficiaries; Receives for at least 9 months and this allows the individual to test their ability to work during that period.
  2. EPE – Extended Period of Eligibility; Applicable only for SSDI beneficiaries; Begins after TWP ends.
  3. Medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR); The participant in the Ticket to Work program does not need to under-go this review
  4. PASS – Plan to achieve Self-support for SSI beneficiaries to help them to return to work.
  5. Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) helps in SSA beneficiaries with disabilities to help them on job placements, business plans etc.
  6. Protection and Advocacy Program (P&A) protects SSA beneficiaries by giving advocacy that they may need to achieve their work goal. They also guide the beneficiaries on how to obtain vocational Rehabilitation and employment services.
  7. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is provided by State Vocational Rehabilitation agency helps an individual with disability in retaining their employment. These agencies also provide training for the individual to enter a different line of work of their choice and help first time working beneficiaries enter the workforce.
  8. Employment Network (EN) support- as discussed earlier this network helps participant to find a suitable job of their choice; also assist by giving training program and other needs for the participant to achieve their work goal.


So Will Going Back To Work Affect My Cash Benefits?

The most important question that a participant of Ticket to Work program may have is whether or not participation in the  Ticket to Work program affect their check benefits. The work incentive program allows them to retain their cash benefits along with their Medicare or Medicaid during the initial stage of your work. The trial work period benefits is a benefit for SSDI beneficiaries. You can find a short description of the  Trial work period above. The ticket to work program participant continues to increase his income until he earns enough to sufficiently support his needs with the combination of other work incentives such as TWP, EXR, CDR and PASS. Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) in their state can assist more on how the participant’s benefits may be affected during their participation in ‘Ticket to Work’ program.


How Will Going Back To Work Affect My Government Health Coverage?

The second most important question a participant may have is whether or not they will continue to be eligible for Medicare or Medicaid coverage. Medicare is an insurance coverage where the Medical bills are paid from the funds of the Trust. This serves people who are aged 65 and above and young disabled people or those recieving cash benefits because they live below the poverty line. Federal Government Medicare agency runs this program and it is same in all the States of the country. The premium fee coverage for Medicare is available beyond limit for 4.5 years for the disabled beneficiaries who work.  Therefore, there is a way of retaining their Medicare benefits despite working.

For beneficiaries who are into Medicaid assistance program, they can also retain their government  medical assistance while they work. Medicaid coverage is provided by the Federal, State Government and local tax funds.  Most states provide this coverage for the disabled beneficiaries who work. You will need to contact your state Medicaid office to find out the legal specifics in your state.

SSI or SSDI beneficiaries who want to re-enter the work force and earn a living should attend the  WISE program. The acronym ‘WISE’ stands for Work Incentive Seminar Events. These Events are conducted for the beneficiaries and their family members to learn on the work opportunities available for the beneficiaries with disabilities. These Events also teach disabled beneficiaries about the available Work Incentive program and learning opportunities available to them. Seminars are given by Employers, Employment Networks, Vocational Rehabilitation and Protection & Assistance Services. They share available resources and opportunities and services for the beneficiaries in order for them to achieve their job goals. The Department of Social Security Administration is the best place to go when researching your chances of receiving cash benefits while you work.






Apr 3, 2012 10:12am
Wow, very useful article. I am not on either of these programs, but I've tried to find these sorts of answers for other people online and it is not that easy to do. Thanks for sharing this! :)
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