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Rehabilitation options for Social Security disability recipients

After being injured on the job, it may be possible to obtain Social Security disability (SSD) benefits to help with everyday expenses. In addition to the other benefits provided by Social Security disability insurance, the program may also help disabled individuals return to work through vocational rehabilitation options. The Social Security Administration reimburses State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies for the costs of the services they provide to SSD recipients under certain circumstances.

The disabled individual and a vocational rehabilitation counselor will outline an individualized plan for obtaining employment and the services provided to that disabled individual will be based on the plan developed. The services must result in the disabled individual being able to perform substantial gainful activity which includes the disabled individual's return to work for nine consecutive months at a substantial earnings level.

Returning to work may be a goal and a concern for disabled individuals seeking or receiving Social Security disability benefits so it is helpful for them to be familiar with the impact of returning to work on their benefits because a trial period is generally permitted. Social Security disability benefits are typically available to disabled individuals who are unable to work because of a disability caused by a physical or mental medical condition that is expected to last 12 months or longer or result in death.

Because of the nature of Social Security disability benefits, and that they are available to disabled individuals who have paid into the program through their work history, it is important for disabled individuals who may qualify for benefits to be familiar with all of the benefits that may be available to them. The more the disabled individual knows about the benefits available, the greater help they can be to them.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Vocational Rehabilitation Cost Reimbursement Program," Accessed Sept. 5, 2017

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