Social Security Observes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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.

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33 thoughts on “Social Security Observes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

  1. This years is my 30 years since i been suffering with episode manic depression after my mother died.i’m been denied multiple time for ssa disability even i’m been working in the passed.now my disability claim is an counsel review until
    April 2019 for finile decision.

    • This years is my 30 years since i been suffering with episode manic depression after my mother died.i’m been denied multiple time for ssa disability even i’m been working in the passed.now my disability claim is an counsel review until
      April 2019 for finile decision.

    • April i return my attention to your inquiry from my comment i would like you know i’m save buy the grace of Jesus Christ only My God for ever only think believe and in God we trust.Courage April.i am
      Your friend do not discourage.

    • Thank you, April! We’re pleased we can help. We will continue our efforts to meet your requirements and expectations in the years to come.

  2. We need to get some of these lazy people back to work. There is over 2 million applications denied each year which cost several hundred millions dollars. Those lazy people need to go to work. Instead, those lazy people apply again costing taxpayers several hundred millions more. Then the lazy people slip through the cracks and get approved because the SSA is tired of dealing with them.

    The lazy people caused the backlog. The ALJ tried to reduce the backlog by approving lazy people OTR without them even meeting the listing. If the lazy people need to get approved through the medical/vocational rules, then the ALJ must get the opinion of the vocational expert at the hearing.

    Don’t let these lazy people who created the backlog bamboozle the SSA to reduce and rush to make a decision in their favor.

    • How dare you. You are not only incorrect, but incredibly misinformed and cruel, as well. Everything you’ve said is false, incorrect, and nothing more than a repetition of the continuous lies the right wing politicians and ignorant, toxic talk show hosts whose only aim is to convince their uninformed and equally ignorant base that they should demand the termination of the most successful, efficient, and smoothly operated program our government has ever achieved: Social Security. Disability insurance is and always has been an integral part of the SS program, which was intended to ensure that Americans will have at least the basic minimum income to survive with some semblance of dignity when they cannot work any more, whether by retirement at the end of their working years or when disability renders a WORKER who has PAID INTO the system unable to work before their retirement age. Clearly you have no idea how Social Security works. Additionally, your own comment proves you wrong – the mere fact that so many people are being turned down after going through years of endless documentation and waiting and legal gyrations proves how incredibly difficult it is to be approved. Obviously that means nobody is receiving benefits just because they’re too “lazy” to work. But the stupidest part of your comment is that you’re demanding these “lazy” people should have to work when this post is about PUTTING DISABILITY RECIPIENTS BACK TO WORK. Did you even READ the TITLE of the blog post, because obviously you didn’t bother to read the article itself. You are clearly just a troll who doesn’t come to this site for information, but to post nasty criticism about the government. If you’re on Social Security retirement you should know that disabled workers are only receiving the SAME Social Security retirement they’d have gotten after retiring only MUCH LESS than they would have received if they’d worked until retirement. If you’re going to post a comment at least make sure your information is accurate and true. It’s all right here on this very site, by the way. Try reading more and shooting off your mouth less.

      • Do a few lazy people work the system, sure? But most disabled people on the rolls wish that they could return to work. The work incentives help them to so just that.

        • I’m currently disabled and receiving SSI and I would love to get off of SSI and get back to full time meaningful work, however my disability prevents me from doing meaningful work.

  3. I know a few lazy people in Alaska villages that work for gold mining companys. And also get their monthly disability checks in which they race to town to play bingo with. So how come social security can’t catch these people who are defrauding the system,can’t they tell who’s on it and why their still paying into it if their suppose to be disa bled

    • Hello Chris. The length of time it takes to receive a decision on your disability claim can vary depending on several factors, such as the nature of your disability and how quickly we obtain medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources. Also, there may be a high volume of claims in your area.
      Some claims can be randomly selected for a quality assurance review of the decision. See our Benefits Planner: Disability – How You Qualify for more information. Thanks!

      • Doesn’t matter 5 years for me and my case is a winnable one I need four points I’ve worked 35 years and paid in I’ve had five hip replacement, lymphoma, and diabetic neuropathy in feet legs and hands you guys have me as disabled so you only denied me because I’m a worker and you want me to stay working so you can get more money. you are a joke my 2009 taxes were amended and according to SSD handbook that’s forgivable so if I get the points due to me that’s all I need to get paid you don’t even take the time to look it up. You say right on your pamphlet, we are here help, bullshit.

  4. It’s not easy to get approved. I’m still waiting and the stress is only making it worse for me. I’m in constant pain & have tried almost everything to help it, short of heavy narcotics. It’s been almost a year now and it’s terrible that a person who really needs it has to wait that long! I’ve worked my whole life, I’m almost 63, I have CLL a type of leukemia, spinal stenosis, had 2 surgeries on my left ankle that still isn’t fixed & right knee issues after my surgery. I got fired from my last job because I physically couldn’t keep up with the demands of the job. It’s scary having to wait so long.

    • For those who are complaining about how long it takes for the Social Security disability process and demanding to know why, here’s your answer. All of you people who constantly scream about how we need “smaller government” got exactly what you called for. The Republican controlled Congress has slashed the budgets of all the social programs including Social Security for decades. Less $ meant closing hundreds of offices, cutting thousands of workers, cutting hours of operation to the bare minimum. Hundreds of rural counties have only one office, open only two days a week for 5-6 hours. Now divide shorter hours and fewer offices and employees by the increasing number of applicants NOT because so many “lazy” people are applying but because it’s because millions of baby boomers swelled the workforce for the past 60-odd years. More workers are applying because there are more workers, not a greater percentage of individuals applying for disability. It’s long past time for people to open their eyes and see that the government is NOT some evil entity out to get their money, nor are the benefits it provides Americans bad or “socialism.” The one and only purpose of government is to ensure the welfare of all the people; it’s all of us together contributing a share towards the good of us all (like sewers, roads, water filtration facilities, just basic survival stuff), not some government grab to hand over “your hard-earned money to lazy/poor/illegal etc people. As long as people keep voting in politicians who cut off vital funds for the average 90% of Americans, you’ll continue to experience longer and delays and even the elimination of the basic services you’ve come to rely on in your everyday life. If you’re able to navigate a computer enough to get here you can certainly Google this fact, or even just click around on this very website you’re on here. Stop believing everything self-serving politicians and ignorant, biased “news” anchors and talkshow hosts tell you and try Googling the issues for yourself, or even, God forbid, go to the website of the ORIGINALSOURCE of the information for the facts instead of opinion, sleazy innuendo, fearmongering, and outright lies.

    • If you are unable to create an account or encounter a problem with your my Social Security account, you may:
      •Call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or
      •Contact your local Social Security office.

  5. Lazy people on the disability website forums are telling each other that is is normal to be denied twice by the DDS and get approved at the hearing. Then other lazy people post how they got approved after being denied twice.

    Now the lazy people aren’t even phased by the DDS denial and asking for an ALJ hearing.

    Someone anonymously needs to post a bunch of negative posts. How they were denied after waiting years for a hearing on these disability forums. Then the lazy people might not want to appeal for a hearing knowing they will get denied.

    The lazy people with common disability associate with another. Just post how you have the certain type of disability and was denied. When they hear a bunch of people just like them got denied, then they might get frighten off.

    To reduce the backlog, the SSA needs to get the word out that people are being denied at hearing. Approving these lazy people at the hearing causes more of them to apply.

  6. The lazy people are using technology like the internet to gather information to bamboozle the SSA. They know how to fill out a disability application, but can’t fill out an employment application.

  7. Instead of sending people on Social Security disability a letter about the Ticket-To-Work program, the SSA should hold local work shop on the TTW program with representatives from the Employment Network answering people’s questions.

    • Thanks for your comment, Tony. We value your thoughts and will use your suggestion to explore how we can further improve the services we offer.
      Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

    • They do. If you’d look at more of this site than just this blog to bash innocent people and the government you’d have known that. May every one of you who posted about “lazy people” be stricken with a hideous, painful, incurable total permanent injury or disease and become 100% dependent on the government programs you bashed. Better yet pancreatic cancer so you’ll die sooner and in agony the whole time – with no health insurance or Medicare because you hated it so much.

  8. I have become disabled with severe arthritis an whole body pain I can hardly move my joints or raise my arms I can no longer do my job of 43 years missing work and only working a few hours a day what I need to know is I don’t have any medical ins. and I cant pay out of pocket to see a doctor I barley making ends meet where can I go to get the necessary records that you require to get disability please help me

    • Hello Yvonne. First of all, do not delay applying for benefits because you do not have all of the information. Some times we may be able to help you get it.
      The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition for disability. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death.
      You can apply online, which is quick and easy. You can also apply by calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or you can contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks!

  9. Ive had several serious health issues for years. I dont work because of these problems. I cannot afford Health Insurance. Ive tried going through the emergency room and they say to get a primary health provider, which I cannot afford. A couple of my health issues I had going on for nearly 20 years. I am 30 years old. Ive applied for disability, even got all of my health records from over the years, that were never looked at or considered nor did they let me see a doctor before I was denied. Im very scared I will die at a relatively young age. Justice is a false far away idea in my world. If I could go to law school ..I dont know how to finish that sentence without pleading a , what I feel, more and more everyday, a long long story of a lost cause. Unethical.

  10. Recent talk by some politicians about getting rid of Social Security and Medicare are scary to many people. People who have contributed with each pay check into this pool that was originally a lock box program for the later years in everyone’s lifetime. Both parties are responsible for pilfering money from SSI. SSI was not intended to cover the expense for wars from Vietnam through our recent and current conflicts. SSI is not a piggy bank for congress to squander as they see fit. SSI is simply a security account for those golden years after lifetimes of hard work and little gain.

    Possibly there could be a trade off that might be viable for some seniors. Let’s say I forfeit my SSI and my Medicare. I would want to live totally tax free for the rest of my lifetime. I would want free, unrestricted healthcare for the rest of my life. I would receive a card signifying that I would be exempt from state, local and federal taxation in any form. I could utilize any and all monies in my retirement savings such as 401K or IRA tax free. I would be able to work as much as possible without paying any taxes or contribute to any government programs without my consent. Let’s see …what else?

    I am sure that many seniors would give up their right to SSI if they could be freed up from taxation and health costs. Many take their SSI simply to try and get back some of what has been paid in over a lifetime. By allowing seniors to bow out of the SSI / Medicare programs we might be able to allow SSI to cease to exist over time. This talk of simply cutting off these taxpayer funded programs is not feasible. There has to be a weening process for removing SSI and Medicare from the retirement scene.

    I am certain that others will also have ideas on how this might occur over time. The process has to begin somewhere. Let’s make some suggestions that have merit and help congress hammer out a deal for amicable seniors.

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