WIP CEU Webinar Series: Why On Earth Should I Work My Way Off SSDI?: Why Losing Benefits Can Be Giving Yourself a Hand, Instead of Shooting Yourself in the Foot
One of a Work Incentive Practitioner's greatest challenges is to persuade Title II beneficiaries that they can be better off financially if they earn enough to stop their cash benefits. Because of the infamous "cash cliff" - the all-or-nothing nature of Title II benefits - most beneficiaries choose to keep their earnings below SGA. Unfortunately, this fear-borne practice condemns many beneficiaries to a life of poverty. In reality, almost every Title II beneficiary can be financially better off working their way off Title II if they can earn enough. And once a person's cash benefits have stopped, they can earn as much as possible, unencumbered by the need to keep earnings below SGA.
This session describes three categories of Title II beneficiaries based on their fears and motivations regarding benefits: "green" people who are eager to work full-time despite the impact on Title II; "yellow" people who are cautious about benefits, but who might consider performing SGA if their net income with full-time earnings (and without cash benefits) would be greater than if they worked part-time and kept Title II; and "red" people, who resist any action that could cause benefits to stop. The workshop features appropriate strategies to discuss the possibility of performing SGA with "green", "yellow" and "red" people.
The training also highlights some key "do's" and "don't's" about discussing the possibility of performing SGA. These include using an online tool to estimate the impact of income and payroll taxes on a person's net income, and always presenting beneficiaries with full-time earnings options that would yield higher net incomes, even without Title II, than working part-time and keeping Title II.