How much can I work when I receive Social Security disability benefits?
Will I lose my health coverage if I go to work?
What if I go to work and then my disability gets worse?
Consumers, families, advocates and professionals:
Do you have questions about Social Security’s work incentives and safety nets?
We open our toll-free telephone line on Mondays from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and on Thursdays from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. to anyone. Call 1-855-384-2844.
You will speak with Shannon Smiles, a Certified Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC).
This is a free, confidential service to help you make informed choices about going to work.
What do you mean by mental health issues?
Approximately one out of every five Americans experience a mental health challenge at some point in their lifetime. A majority are individuals with anxiety and depression. A smaller number experience symptoms such as bi-polar disorders, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorders.
Are people with a mental illness history dangerous?
Because of movies and distorted news reports, many people think that people with mental health issues are dangerous. That simply is not true. Most people who have mental illness get treatment with medication and/or talk therapy. Their symptoms stay under control. They seek employment to have the same things that all of us want . . . a job, good relationships, safe housing and a desire to make a contribution.
Why hire someone with mental illness?
The primary reason is the same reason you would hire anyone else – in order to get the services of a good employee. Additionally, employers may hire someone with a mental illness because the support of an agency such as the MMHEN increases chances of success.
I need to know details about an individual’s mental illness before I hire him or her.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers cannot ask about a person’s disability or use medical examinations until after you make someone a conditional job offer provided you do this for everybody in the same job category. Many individuals with a mental illness will tell the employer about their illness. If needed, we will help you and the employee discuss any reasonable accommodations. This will help ensure that the new worker can perform the essential requirements of the job.
Do I have to give preference to a qualified applicant with a disability over other applicants?
No. An employer is free to select the most qualified applicant available and to make decisions based on reasons unrelated to a disability.
I worked with another employment program in the past and it did not go well.
We provide ongoing support to the worker and the employer and are available at any time to address and resolve concerns.