A Ticket to Work and a Continuing Disability Review

By / January 9, 2017 / After You’re Approved for Social Security Disability & SSI / 18 Comments

Learn how a Continuing Disability Review affects your participation in a Ticket to Work or other vocational rehab programs, and where you can get aid if federal benefits cease.

Hello,

If you begin the Ticket to Work Program shortly after a medical review is initiated, presumably Social Security is then able to finish the review since it had already begun prior to beginning the program. Hypothetically if Social Security finds that you are no longer disabled or medically improved, but you had already started the Ticket to Work program prior to them reaching a decision, does that mean you can ask to finish the program and still receive benefits and Medicare in the interim? The hope being that you can still use the program to find work before benefits are withdrawn. I just want to make sure I understand this. Thank you.

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Anon

Dear Anon,

Social Security is likely to complete the review. If the claim is closed due to medical recovery, Medicare will stop. Your Ticket to Work will also terminate; however, if you had already started a vocational rehabilitation program you might be able to continue it or maybe even start one. The Ticket to Work sets up vocational services through your state’s Department of Vocational Rehabilitation. So, if you were already connected to the state and either receiving vocational services or being set up to, the state might allow you to continue.

When Medicare stops, you will be eligible for sixty-day personal enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act, where you may be able to get benefits with a government-subsidy to help with premiums. More information is available at www.healthcare.gov.

Sincerely,

The Disability Advisor

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A Ticket to Work and a Continuing Disability Review
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  • Dear Charlie,

    I do not know what “info” your daughter is threatening to give Social Security; but as you describe your condition, it seems very unlikely she would have any information that would change your benefit status. Your inability to participate in a cruise is would appear to be proof of your continuing disability.

    Unreported work activity or if you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) unreported income could have an impact on your claim or at least result in an investigation; but if you have neither, I can’t imagine what she could report.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Melissa,

    You should be successful in an appeal. If you appeal within ten days of the denial letter, you can receive benefits while the appeal is being processed. If you lose the appeal, you will have to repay the overpayment. When you submit the appeal, also submit proof from your employer and/or the long term insurance company to show what part of your compensation was disability benefits, not work earnings.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Quinton

    Hello my name is Quinton harrison I’m legally blind in my left eye I was born like this I get a disability income every month but I want to work so by me wanting to work 20 hours or 40 hours a week which one will damage my disability income and I won’t recover from this disability that I have either

    • Dear Quentin,
      To explain how working affects your check I need to know if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. Please post your question again and tell us what type of disability benefits you receive.
      Sincerely,
      Jane

  • Dear David,

    When your claim comes up for a continuing disability review (CDR), which eventually it will, depending on the type of illness you have and the likelihood of recovery, you will be sent either a short-form or a long-form to complete and send back. Both ask about your current medical condition, your recent medical treatment, and any work activity. One goes into more detail than the other. If yo receive a short-form and you have been working, you may be sent a long-form as a follow up. With either you could have benefits continued or be found to have recovered. If you are only able to work a few hours a week with low earnings, the work may not trigger an early CDR, but of course there are not guarantees.

    Regardless of whether you decide to work part-time, you do need to continue under the care of a physician appropriate to your condition because at some point you will have to prove continuing disability. A record of your actual condition will be more important than the doctor’s opinion, which may not even be solicited. You could also consider having a copy of your past medical records to your new doctors so they have your medical background.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear David,

    You do not have to keep a job once you start. Sometimes working will trigger a continuing disability review (CDR), but not always.If you have intentions to try to get back to work and off disability benefits, you can sign up for a Ticket to Work and be shielded from a CDR as long as you are making satisfactory progress toward increasing work hours and earnings over time according to the Ticket to Work rules.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear xoxojustme89,

    Yes, the payment should show up when it has been authorized and is ready for release. If you submitted direct deposit papers soon enough to be processed, the payment should go direct deposit; but watch the mail in addition to the account, just in case.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear xoxojustme89,

    Back pay is taking a long time–two months or more–and usually most of that time is taken up with the claim waiting its turn. Hopefully, the representative is giving you a worst-case scenario estimate, but in truth there’s no real way for the local office to say for sure when payment will be. What is being conveyed is to wait another sixty days before following up again. If you do have to follow up, I suggest asking for a manager-to-manager phone call from the local office to the payment center.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Deon,

    The claim may show active because of the appeal or because the determination of recovery set a current recovery date, which would allow two more months of benefits to be paid before closure. I suggest that your husband clarify the situation with the local office or by reviewing the closure letter for the closure date.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Inastazia.

  • You are welcome, Linda.

  • Dear Inastazia,

    Yes, if the application of two years ago is the one that is now under appeal and if the established disability date is also that long ago.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Inastazia,

    Benefits will go back to the date of the original application that is approved on appeal.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Linda,

    Based on the information that you have provided, I’d say that you have a reasonable chance of approval.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Linda,

    Eight hours a week likely would not have a negative impact on your disability claim, but you should report the work. You might also try to get some legal advice on your debt as to whether your disability would relieve you from some of the more vigorous collection efforts.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Morgan,

    Which back pay, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI), is larger depends on your earnings record. SSDI back pay is reduced by back SSI benefits payable for months that you have been eligible for SSI and SSDI, including months that are scheduled to be paid in future SSI installments. (Expect your Social Security back pay to take several months because seven years of benefits will likely result in a payment large enough that it will have to go through multiple approval reviews.)

    You can request release of additional SSI back pay now for urgent needs such as housing and some debts such as medical bills that impede getting medical care. When you make the request explain why you have to pay the debts now rather than waiting for usual payout and submit copies of documents to show the amount of money that is needed.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Kristan,

    Complete all the forms they send for the continuing disability review (CDR). If you are found not disabled, you can appeal the decision if you think you are working at maximum capability. If you appeal within ten days, you can request payment continuation during the appeal. If your benefits are stopped you can switch to early retirement benefits, which will be in a reduced amount and the reduction is permanent.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Maria,

    I recommend that you get crutches when you are released after the surgery and get to the hearing. You might let the judge know that you have a Ticket to Work and are involved in an IEP but are not now recovered and able to work and are unsure of your ability to sustain work given your periodic severe fatigue and your cognition problems. Explain how often the fatigue occurs and how long it lasts and what you are and are not able to due when it hits you. Describe the cognitive problems you have and indicate that you want to try to work using the IEP but even though you have improved, you don’t know that you can sustain employment and therefore want the advantage of a Trial Work Period. Answer questions honestly; if you don’t understand a question, ask to have it explained. If there is a vocational expert present and the judge does not do so, as the expert if you could do any occupations the he or she identifies with the limitations you have. (Limitations such as missing work frequently due to fatigue or types of cognitive limitations you have.)

    If you have not already reviewed your claim file and there is still time, it could be good to request the file and review it before the hearing to be sure that all of your important records are in file.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

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