If you receive SSI or SSDI and want to work, find out what the PABSS Program can offer you.
What is the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Program?
PABSS is a Federal program awarded to the State Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities by the Social Security Administration. The program is designed to provide the following services to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries.
Information and advice about obtaining vocational rehabilitation and employment services.
Advocacy and related services that a SSDI or SSI beneficiary may need to secure or maintain employment.
The provisions under the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act are sometimes considered confusing and complex. It is expected that individual recipients of Social Security may need assistance in understanding and accessing their rights.
Work vs. Benefits?
With work incentives, the decision is easier!
Ticket to Work and the Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999
After several years of advocacy, Congress enacted this landmark legislation considered the most significant “return to work” development in years. Signed into law in December 1999 by President Clinton, it provides for large scale changes in the Social Security system. The purposes of the legislation are:
- to provide health care and employment preparation and placement services to SSDI and SSI beneficiaries with disabilities.
- to encourage states to allow individuals with disabilities the option of purchasing Medicaid health care coverage while employed. (Connecticut has such a program called Medicaid for Working Persons Program.)
- to provide SSDI beneficiaries the option of maintaining Medicare coverage while working.
- to establish a return to work “ticket program” which allows individuals with disabilities to select the vocational rehabilitation service provider of their choice in order to work.
Call PABSS if:
You decide to return to work. You may need advocacy or legal assistance with return to work issues.
You want to return to work but are afraid about what will happen to your state and federal benefits.
You are having trouble getting employment-related services or supports.
You are returning to work and need help obtaining accommodations from an employer.
PABSS can inform you about the different work incentives such as the incentive that allows you to keep your Medicaid or Medicare benefits while you work.
PABSS can help you make an informed decision about going to work.
Historically, people with disabilities who are eligible to receive Social Security benefits have faced difficult choices when deciding about whether to pursue employment. While the Ticket to Work and Work Force Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 increased vocational training and work incentive options, the Social Security Administration recognized that SSID and SSI beneficiaries would still need help navigating the questions and barriers inherent in seeking work. That’s why they worked with Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems to establish the PABSS program.
PABSS program staff:
Provide information, referral and technical assistance on employment related topics such as Ticket to Work, Work incentives, Connecticut’s Medicaid Buy-In, public an private vocational rehabilitation services, employment provisions (Title I) of the American’s Disabilities Act, and Social Security overpayments.
Provide direct advocacy assistance to SSI and SSDI beneficiaries in making informed choices regarding public and private vocational rehabilitation services, asserting their employment rights and negotiating the rehabilitation services system.
Collaborate with advocates, employees, direct service providers, Social Security beneficiaries and others to identify deficiencies and gaps in the system.
Advocate for systems change on behalf of SSI and SSDI beneficiaries to better meet their vocational rehabilitation needs and enforce their rights.
Provide public education and training about PABSS and the return to work service system.
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