In October, we observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in the United States. For more than 70 years, NDEAM has promoted disability inclusion in the workforce and celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities. This year’s theme “America’s Workforce: Empowering All” is near and dear to us at Social Security.
We are with you throughout life’s journey and as we’ve said before, we understand that for millions of people, work is more than a source of income, it’s a part of who they are — it gives them purpose, pride, and another connection with their fellow Americans. While many of our beneficiaries have disabilities and are unable to work, we know that some may want to try. If you’re ready to return to the workforce or work for the first time, we can help. Our work incentives rules make it possible for people with disabilities to work and still receive monthly benefits and Medicare or Medicaid.
For disability beneficiaries, work incentives include a trial work period, an extended period of eligibility for Medicare coverage, and more. For Supplemental Security Income recipients, work incentives include work-related expenses if you are blind, earned income exclusions, educational training exclusions, and, in many states, continued coverage under Medicaid. Read our Ticket to Work blog— particularly our posts on “Work Incentives Wednesdays”— or The Red Book: A Guide to Work Incentives for more information.
Being prepared is the key to success. Our Ticket to Work program offers beneficiaries with disabilities access to meaningful employment with the assistance of employment service providers called employment networks. Employment networks prepare you for the workforce. Our beneficiaries get help finding a job and staying employed, as well as receive instruction on their wage-reporting responsibilities to Social Security. Learn more about our Ticket to Work program to see if it works for you.
Improving our work incentives programs to better support the work efforts of people with disabilities is important to us. We are collaborating with other partners like the Department of Labor and Department of Health and Human Services to test new programs that can help individuals remain in the workforce after acquiring a disability. We’re also testing simpler work options to our current work incentives to encourage disability beneficiaries to try work. These tests rely on volunteers — learn about these demonstration projects and look out for your chance to participate.
Remember that Social Security is here to help you secure today and tomorrow. You can help us empower all by sharing this information with family and friends.