What Is a Work Incentive?
Work incentives are rules that make it possible for people with disabilities to receive income from work and still receive Social Security benefits, Medicare, or Medicaid.
Maryland’s Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) Program
If going to work or working more hours puts your Medicaid services at risk, this program might be for you. The EID program allows increased income and resources for Medicaid eligibility. This is an incentive for you to go to work or to work more hours. To receive an application for this program, please call the EID hotline at 866-373-9651 (voice) or 866-373-9652 (TTY).
Social Security Administration (SSA) Work Incentives
The rules are different for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Both of these checks come from SSA. It is important to know which of these you receive. It is possible to receive both.
Some key work incentives to know are:
Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE)
IRWEs are deductions from your income based on the cost of items or services you pay for and need for work. You must need these items or services because of your disability. Some examples of IRWEs are assistive technology, job coaching, attendant services, wheelchair van service, medications and medical supplies. There are special rules for individuals who are blind. Contact a Benefits Counselor to learn more about Blind Work Incentives.
Continued Medicaid Coverage – 1619(b)
Under SSI rules, your monthly check is less when you work. If you make enough money, your check may stop. If your check stops, you may be able to keep your Medical Assistance (Medicaid) by using a rule called 1619(b). Under 1619(b), you can continue medical assistance. Your check can start again if you earn less money.
Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)
The PASS lets you set aside money to pay for items or services needed to reach a work goal. PASS expenses may include job coaching, education costs, job-related equipment (tools, uniforms, computers), or expenses to start a business.
If your SSDI or SSI check has stopped because of your income from work, and then your earnings drop below a certain level, Expedited Reinstatement may be helpful for you. This work incentive can restore your check for up to six months. Your case will be reviewed for eligibility requirements. The review will also decide if you should get your check back beyond the six months.
These are only some of the work incentives Social Security has to offer. It is best to work with a Benefits Counselor to make sure you are successful in your work effort.