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Busting Down the Myths About Disability Benefits and Work

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Busting the Myths About Disability Benefits and Work
Presented by Gene Rada and Paula FitchThe Work Incentives Network
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Why work?
Benefits programs are only meant to provide for the basic necessities of living: food, shelter and medical careReceiving public benefits only often means povertySSI check ($733/2015) is 25% below the federal poverty levelAverage SSDI check ($1165/2015) is only 18% above federal poverty levelEmployment is a way out of poverty and allows people to THRIVE not just SURVIVEOther benefits to employmentSocial connectionSense of purposeBetter mental and physical health
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Bust the Myths
Combination of public benefits create a basic safety netEach benefit has it’s own set of work rulesComplexity of the rules create MYTHS!
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Know the Facts
Benefit programs have work rules that support working- Work IncentivesDon’t let the complexity and myths be a barrier to employmentKnow and Share the FACTS
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
The Basics:SSDI Payment and Medicare
SSDI – Cash Benefit:Meet SSA definition of disability, andBe “insured” or draw off “insured” worker who is disabled, retired, deceasedCheck amount based on work historyNo asset testSSDI – Health Insurance:Medicare (after 24 month waiting period)SGA is a consideration, but only sometimesSGA is $1090 per month for 2015
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
SGA Countable Income Summary
The Basic SGA Test$ Gross Wages (earned in a month)(-) $ Sick/Vacation/Holiday pay(-) $ IRWE(-) $ Subsidy/Special Conditions(-) $UnincurredBusiness Expenses/Unpaid Help(=) $ CountableEarningsSSA uses Countable Earnings to determine if earnings are above or belowSGAIncome counted when it is EARNED
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
THE BASICS:SSI AND MEDICAID
SSI – Cash Benefit:Meet SSA definition of disability;Little to no assets (less than $2,000-individual);Little to no income (countable income less than $733individual/2015);Check amount-maximum $733 (individual/2015), lower if other incomeSSI – Health Insurance:Medicaid (OHP+)SGA is NOT a factor AFTER SSI eligibility is obtainedIncome is counted when received
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
8 MYTHS AND THEREALFACTS
Myth #1: Benefit Program Rules Determine How Much I can EarnFACT #1: Combining Several Work Incentives can Support you in Reaching your Work and Financial Goals!What are the beneficiaries life goals? Financial goals?Determine your work goal (type, amount, wage)
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
8MYTHS AND THEREALFACTS
Myth #2: I will lose my SSDI if I workFACT #2: Work Incentives exist that allow you to maintain the SSDI check or eligibility status when you work:Trial Work PeriodExtended Period of EligibilityImpairment Related Work Expenses, Subsidy, Unsuccessful Work Attempts
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
8MYTHS AND THEREALFACTS
Myth #3: I’ll lose my Medicare if I workFACT #3: There are 2 Work Incentives that allow you to maintain Medicare indefinitely!Extended Period of Medicare CoverageMedicare for People with Disabilities Who Work
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
8MYTHS AND THEREALFACTS
Myth #4: I get SSI and have heard I will have less money when I workFACT #4: Work Incentives exist to make sure you financially get ahead when you workBasic deductions: General Income Exclusion, Earned Income Exclusion, One-Half DisregardAdditional deductions: Student Earned Income Exclusion, Impairment Related Work Expenses, Blind Work Expenses
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
8MYTHS AND THEREALFACTS
Myth #5: I have to keep a $1 of SSI or I’ll lose my Medicaid (OHP+)FACT #5: If EARNINGS cause SSI to drop to $0, you can KEEP MEDICAID!1619b- earn at least $33,098/year (2015) and keep MedicaidEmployed Persons with Disabilities- earn at least $59,870/year and keep Medicaid (2015 Estimate)
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
8MYTHS AND THEREALFACTS
Myth #6: There are not any resources to help me reach my work goal of self-sufficiencyFACT #6: There are work incentives that match funds you set aside to pay for work expensesPlan for Achieving Self Supportwww.passonline.orgIndividual Development Accountwww.oregonidainitiative.org/
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
8MYTHS AND THEREALFACTS
Myth #7: If I work I’ll end up with an overpaymentFACT #7: There are strategies to prevent overpaymentsReport regularly;Get a receipt from SSA to document you reported; andCreate a folder to save paystubs and SSA letters
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
8MYTHS AND THEREALFACTS
Myth #8: The SGA dollar amount limits the amount I can workFACT #8: Many work incentives exists to enable an individual to earn far more than the SGA dollar amount1619a eliminates SGA as a consideration for SSI beneficiariesTWP, IRWES, Subsidies, Sick Pay, Vacation Pay all act as “deductions” and reduce the countable income of SSDI beneficiaries
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Benefits Planning Programs in Oregon
The Work Incentives NetworkTo Refer:Referrals typically happen through local VR branchSelf referrals are OK, but must be a participant of VR servicesQuestions about program:Paula Fitch atpaula.fitch@state.or.us/503-947-5469Gene Rada ateugene.e.rada@state.or.us/503-945-6264Plan for Work (Disability Rights Oregon)To Refer:Call 1-800-452-1694, x227 or 1-503-243-2081, x227Email: pfw@DROregon.orgQuestions about program:Arlene Jones:ajones@DROregon.org
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program
Other Resources
The Redbookhttp://www.ssa.gov/redbook/index.htmlLegal Aid Services of Oregonwww.lawhelp.orgPublic Benefits Hotline: 800-520-5292Plan to Achieve Self Supporthttp://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-plans-self-support.htmPASS Cadre (Northwest): 866-235-8109
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Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Program

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Busting Down the Myths About Disability Benefits and Work