Benefits Planning

Basics on Social Security Benefits, Earning Wages and Work Incentives

Individuals with disabilities can work, earn money, and retain the Social Security benefits they need for long-term services and support. Unfortunately, a person is often advised not to work or earn a regular wage for fear of losing their SSA benefits or accruing an overpayment. Trouble can happen when there is misinformation, lack of preparation and poor follow through. The fact is a person can work, earn competitive wage, and still keep their benefits. To achieve this the person with the disability, family and professionals providing services need to follow the basic ground rules, utilize the SSA work incentives, and get help when needed.

When a Social Security beneficiary goes to work they must submit monthly earnings reports. This report can include evidence of an approved work incentive. Ask for assistance to complete this required step from the local SSA office, a Work Incentive Planning and Assistance program (find help at or other knowledgeable source, such as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Quality employment services must include support for the worker with a disability to learn how wages will impact their benefits, identify the work incentives that may apply to their situation, and create an individual budget and reporting system to avoid problems.

ARE YOU ON DISABILITY BENEFITS AND WANT TO WORK? To review the direct benefit services offered by Imagine Enterprises, please click on the: