Working and getting disability benefits: a misunderstood concept

| Jan 2, 2014 | Social Security Disability

In the last few years, government-run programs that offer disability benefits to workers have fallen under scrutiny as the fear of fraud and scams continues to rise across the nation. But although some cases are proven to have been fraudulent in nature, media outlets often do not write about the thousands of other times where this isn’t the case. It’s because of this lack of information that the general public continues to be unaware of how disability programs work.

Our readers here in Texas can see a very similar reaction happening in Rhode Island this month where the state’s mayor has asked for someone to explain to him how one of the state’s fire fighters was granted a disability pension while still being able to work. The fact that a political figure does not understand the workings of his own government might not bode well for some people, but as majority of our readers know, the complexities of many disability programs can leave even the most educated person a little confused.

The crux of the complication lies in the fact that many people do not realize that a person who has received a disabling injury may be able to return to work while still collecting benefits, depending on the specifics of the program. With, for example, the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program, people ages 18 through 64 who have a disability and are currently receiving SSI or SSDI are provided with services that help a beneficiary find and maintain employment while still receiving benefits.

Unfortunately though, many people outside of the program do not know that this is allowed. And much like the case above, many people, including a state’s own mayor, might jump to conclusions and assume a person is committing fraud when in fact they might not be. And as readers of our blog know, this can create more problems than solutions in the end.

Source:  The Valley Breeze, “Lombardi to challenge board on Campbell’s disability pension,” Ethan Shorey, Dec. 31, 2013

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