Federal Benefits Programs Work Incentives
The U.S. Social Security Administration administers two income assistance programs for individuals with disabilities: Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Individuals may be eligible for either one or both of these programs.
Two work incentives are automatically provided within the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program: the Trial Work Period and the Extended Period of Eligibility.
SSDI recipients may also have Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) and can use these expenses to reduce the amount of earned income that Social Security looks at when determining Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
In addition, some job supports provided to an individual receiving SSDI (e.g. special supervision, job coach, etc.) can be considered Subsidies and Special Conditions. These subsidies and special conditions can also reduce the amount of earned income that Social Security looks at when determining Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
For individuals who are self-employed, SSDI amounts are calculated differently than for other employees. The FACT Sheet on SSDI and Self-Employment explains these differences.
If you receive SSI based on disability, and are working and have resources under $2,000, the SSA will allow you to continue to be eligible for SSI and will gradually reduce your SSI cash benefit as your earnings increase. To read more details, click here.
If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can also claim Impairment-Related Work Expenses, or, if the disability is blindness, Blind Work Expenses. And the value of Property Essential for Self-Support can be disregarded when the level of resources or assets are considered for SSI eligibility.
A Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) allows individuals to use savings or income towards a work goal (e.g. purchase equipment for a business start-up, attend vocational training class, etc.) without reducing the amount of SSI the individual receives.
For individuals who are self-employed, SSI amounts are calculated differently than for other employees. The FACT Sheet on SSI and Self-Employment explains these differences.
Another work incentive that can benefit SSI recipients who regularly attend school is the Student Earned Income Exclusion.
This fact sheet summarizes the major work incentives in the SSDI and SSI programs.
New Hampshire State Benefits Work Incentives
Important work incentives provisions are included in New Hanpshire's Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled (APTD), APTD Benefits for Adults and the Aid to the Needy Blind (ANB) programs.
The NH Housing Authority also administers several programs to assist low and moderate income persons and families in New Hampshire to obtain housing. One of the work incentives under HUD is the Earned Income Disregard.