Overcoming the Urban Myth about Social Security Disability Benefits

Do you worry that if you go to work to earn additional income that your Social Security (SSA) disability benefit will be stopped?

 If you go to work while receiving SSA disability benefits will your medical coverage stop?

 What happens when you reach retirement age?

 What is “Ticket to Work?

 Have you discussed your concerns with others who receive SSA disability benefits and been told all of your benefits might be lost?

 Do you work and not declare your earnings because you are afraid of what might happen to your SSA disability benefit if you do?

 Well, here is the real story!

 Every SSA disability benefit paid is unique to the person receiving the disability benefit.  If you discuss your worries with someone receiving SSA disability benefits and they tell you their experience, it is not what will happen to you.  Why? Because your SSA disability benefit situation is totally different from theirs in many small but unique ways.

 So how can your find out what your unique situation is?

 Remember, your disability benefit is two parts:  monthly income and medical or health insurance.  Each of these pieces is affected differently when a person receiving disability benefits returns to the work place and earns income.  Earning income allows a person receiving disability benefits to begin the process of becoming self- supporting.  This may mean saving for a home, retirement, education or starting a business.

 Returning to work often means the disability stops being a major daily focus. The individual starts to develop a more rewarding life style. The opportunity to develop the basis for a better retirement is possible, both in savings as well as receiving a higher SSA retirement benefit. 

 If you are receiving SSA disability benefits, or know someone who is, discussing the specific SSA disability benefit may be the game changer for a better life.  Contact your area’s Certified Work Incentive Counselor (CWIC).  These individuals are trained to analyze each individual’s special situation and determine what changes might occur to the SSA disability benefit if that individual returns to work. Because your SSA benefit is protected information, you have to sign a release to work with a CWIC.  Contact your local SSA office to find the CWIC in your county.

 Good Luck!                                                                                       

 Colleen Moynihan  



Federal Contractors, are you ready?

How does Section 503 affect me? What is Section 503?  What happened with the final rule on August 27th, 2013?  There are a number of questions surrounding Section 503.  I’d like to answer some of them for you.

So who cares? Section 503 specifically affects Companies with government contracts of $10,000 or more.  This will also affect those subcontractors who work with these companies.  In addition, individuals with disabilities, their families, and their support staff will benefit from the Final Rule.

So what does it say?  Did you know that Section 503 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973?  In August of 2013, Section 503 was not written or added, it was updated and a “Final Rule” was passed.  In summary, the Final Rule states, “Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires federal contractors and subcontractors to employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities and prohibits discrimination against such individuals.”

What has changed?  The final rule has implemented a new set of regulations.  The most important changes are that Federal Contractors and Subcontractors must meet a 7% utilization goal.  That means that these employers must hire and retain 7% of their employees as self-identified individuals with disabilities (IWD).  They must collect data on the number of applicants with disabilities that have applied, were hired, and promoted.  The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) will enforce these rules, and can access these records at any time.

I’m an individual with disabilities, what is important to me?  What you need to know is that these contractors will be looking to hire individuals with disabilities (IWD) to fill their 7% utilization goals.  They will start to implement new programs to attract IWDs.  If you need a job (or a new job) it would be a good idea to know who these employers are, and how to apply to them.

I am a Federal Contractor/ Subcontractor what is important to me?  If you are not aware of these changes you need to contact the OFCCP.  If you are aware, but have not reached your 7% utilization goals, please contact me.  We are able to help you meet those regulations and can support you through the process of becoming compliant.

If anyone has more questions or comments, feel free to email me at heather.riley@nebaworks.com and have a wonderful day!

Heather Riley

Project Coordinator

New England Business Associates