Benefits Empowerment

One of the biggest myths about benefits is:

“I can’t work. I will lose my benefits.”

This is commonly the response when an individual who is receiving Social Security benefits due to a disability is asked about going to work. The myth that employment will lead to loss of benefits, including health coverage, has long been reinforced.

This is simply not true.

There are programs and resources that offer beneficiaries of disability benefits greater choice in obtaining the support and services needed to help them go to work and achieve their employment goals. It is possible to maintain benefits while progressing toward increased self-sufficiency. Safety nets, resources, and support can be accessed that may allow individuals to continue receiving benefits, lessen their dependency on benefits, and increase their financial well-being. Being fully knowledgeable of and equipped with accurate information about benefits, work incentives, and resources to reduce employment barriers is vital in the employment exploration process.

To learn how work and benefits go together, explore our Impact of Employment on Benefits (PDF) document or choose a specific topic broken out from the document in the list below:

Disability Benefits 101

Disability Benefits 101 (DB101) provides community outreach, training, and web-based services that support employment in Alaska, Arizona, California, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, and Ohio. Each state’s website has benefits and work calculators, along with current information on health coverage, employment, and benefits that job seekers and workers with disabilities can use to plan employment.

In states where DB101 exists, trainings on how to best utilize the website to better understand the relationship between government and work are offered.

Click on the linked image below to go to the DB101 homepage where it will prompt you to choose your state from a checklist of the states mentioned above.

Link to the DB101 website; image of the homepage of the DB101 website, featuring the states listed out and a smiling woman in a wheelchair

A big thanks to WID’s DB101 partners, Eightfold Way Consultants and ECONorthwest!

To learn more about WID E3 Benefits Empowerment content or to schedule a training session, contact Paul Hippolitus, WID’s Director of the Employment and Disability Benefits Initiative, at paul@wid.org.

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