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Are there incentives for SSD benefit recipients to work?

One of the most central parts of Georgia residents' lives is their career. Individuals often spend more time at their job than at home, and they work hard to earn a living and support their family.

All of this can be called into question when a person has an inability to work after suffering an injury or disability. Whether it be a work-related injury or one suffered elsewhere, the injury or disability may render the person unable to work for a given period of time, which, in turn, causes a loss of income and serious financial challenges.

Fortunately, the person may be eligible to seek Social Security disability benefits for injuries, which can provide a much-needed financial lifeline during this difficult time. At the same time, however, there are many misconceptions about disability benefits.

One of these misconceptions is the impact of disability benefits on a person's ability to return to work. Individuals often believe there is a disincentive to work when disability benefits are available. In reality, there is a specific program that gives an incentive for those receiving benefits to explore the possibility of returning to work. The "Ticket to Work" program provides individuals with choices in employment services, with the idea that the person can receive assistance to return to work. These services, including employment services, vocational services or other services, are aimed at helping the individual return to work.

As with every program, there are certain eligibility requirements that apply. A person may be eligible for the Ticket to Work program if medical improvement is not expected for his or her impairment. The individual may also be eligible if he or she has an impairment that is expected to improve and he or she has undergone a continuing disability review. Accordingly, those who are interested and able to return to work may want to inquire whether they fit the eligibility requirements for the program.

Source: Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, "Ticket to work," accessed Oct. 3, 2015

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