October is here, and with it the presidential proclamation of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Initiatives are underway to help disabled Americans participate in the workforce and increase the quality of life that they and their families enjoy.
One of the common impediments to a return to work for Franklin residents with disabilities is actually not an inability to work due to a physical or mental disability itself. It’s the risk of losing social security disability benefits. While SSDI is calculated to take into account how much a beneficiary earned while working, SSI is only payable if one cannot work and experiences financial need. Some new programs Ohioans facing this dilemma might find interesting include the Plan to Achieve Self-Support and the Ticket to Work program.
The Plan to Achieve Self-Support allows participants on SSI to designate some of those funds for educational expenses, tools, work clothes, transportation and even equipment to start up a new business of their own. The program even provides a vocational counselor to help participants budget their SSI benefits towards their goals. Ticket to Work, on the other hand, facilitates connections between Americans on disability benefits and career resources. They can boost their job skills, look for employment and even transition into a job without the risk of losing their disability benefits.
Ohio residents with disabilities overcome many obstacles — physical, mental and financial. Federal regulations that restrict their benefits and limit their opportunities can seem insurmountable on top of everything they have already dealt with. But new programs like these can help, as can the guidance of a legal professional in protecting one’s rights and the benefits for which one is eligible.
Source: The Florida-Times Union, “Work Wanted: Goverment provides ways to work for people receiving Social Security,” Candace Moody, Oct. 7, 2014