12/22/11 CHIIP Webinar Transcript - SSI Work Incentives

 

Good afternoon everyone my name is Karla Bell and I would like to welcome you to today's webinar entitled SSI work incentives making disability benefits work for you. Brought to you by the California health incentives improvement project and San Diego State University interwork Institute. I'm the program manager for California health incentives improvement project. And I want to thank you for taking a break from your hectic work and holiday schedules to join us today. So before we get started with the presentation I just want to introduce you to information on how to use the captioning window. If you'd like to use close captioning today click the window pulldown menu and select show close captioning. A captioning window will appear at the bottom of your screen and you may resize and move the window to meet your viewing needs. Now we will take questions today at the very end of the presentation so please jot down any questions that you have as I'm going through the presentation. At the end we are going to open a chat window for questions as I complete the presentation. Also we will be offering certified rehabilitation counseling credits, so CRC credits and they will be available for this webinar. To receive CRC credits you will need to complete a survey and a short quiz. And at the end of the webinar we will provide links to the CRC quiz in the survey. We will also follow-up with an e-mail so everyone who registered with the links to the CRC with the cuisine survey and an archive to the webinar if you need to listen to it again. So, today's training will provide information on the following topics. We're going to talk about some it's about SSI and work, an overview of the different Social Security disability benefits, however and income affects SSI or supplemental security income, a look at the working incentives available for the SSI program and ways to maximize SSI benefits while working with some calculation examples. Keeping Medi-Cal and IHSS well working will also be covered in tools and resources available for benefits and employment planning. Many people with disabilities get cash disability benefits from Social Security. But most do not realize that getting these benefits could be a bridge to greater independence. Receiving Social Security disability benefits like SSI does not necessarily mean a lifetime of living in poverty. All too often myths such as if I go back to work I will lose my cash and health benefits Oracle might be able to get back on benefits of my disability gets worse are preventing people from getting work a try. Many people do not realize that you can work while you receive those benefits. In fact there are a lot of work incentive programs out there that can help you find work, allow you to try to work and not worry about losing your benefit payments and you can keep your health care benefits when you go to work. Disability benefits can be a bridge to employment and building a future. There are also many resources available online and in the community. One of the first steps for planning for your future is understand what benefits you receive. So before we get started talking more in depth about SSI and work let's do a brief review of the differences between the two Social Security disability benefit programs. Social Security disability insurance and supplemental and security income. These two programs are similar in that to be eligible you must meet Social Security disability criteria. Other than the one basic similarity, these two programs are very different. On the right side of the table we have a list of some of the key characteristics of the SSI program. SSI is a needs-based program, not an insurance program. Social Security has very strict and income and resourced guidelines for SSI. An individual and SSI cannot have more than $2000 resources. If they want to continue being eligible for SSI. The resource limit for a couple of $3000. A person's SSI payment can fluctuate from month to month especially if they have other income or if they are utilizing other work incentive programs. The SSI check is paid from the general tax revenues and once you are on SSI you are also immediately eligible for Medi-Cal health insurance which is California is named for Medicaid. Social Security disability insurance or SSDI is very different. To be eligible for SSDI a person has to have had enough qualifying work history so they have to have worked a certain amount of time and paid into the Social Security trust fund in order to be eligible. Another way to qualify is to be related to someone such as a spouse spouse or parent retired or deceased who has work history. The payment of a person's SSDI check is based on the average lifetime earnings that are covered by Social Security so it is going to vary from person to person. The SSDI check separate from the disability trust fund and there's a five month waiting period before benefits can begin. Also if you receive SSDI you will also qualify for Medicare health insurance after a two-year waiting period. I want to emphasize that SSDI and SSI are two very different programs that have very different work incentives associated with them and today we are going to focus on the SSI program. Now the amount of SSI each person receives will depend on where they live, whether they pay their fair share of food and shelter. Social Security will need to know about your income which is income which is money you get from anywhere such as wages at from a job or money from a family member and will also ask about your resources which are things that you own such as bank accounts, cash, stocks and bonds. No, SSI does not count everything you own. For example the home that you live in and your car are exempt and do not count as a resource. Some of the 2012 SSI payment rates for California are listed on the slide and these are new rates that will be effective January 2012. Please note that SSI payment periods can change year-to-year and we've even had in the state to change multiple times during the year with budget cuts affecting the state supplemental portion of the payment. For example a single person living in their own apartment or a person that lives with their parents or roommate and pays their fair share of food and shelter well received and SSI monthly payment of $854.40 in January 2012. Now the first step in benefits planning is to know your current situation. As part of meeting with a benefits plan or or to prepare to use the disability benefits benefits to work calculator I recommend that you request a benefits planning query or ABP queue I from the Social Security Administration. This is a brief report that gives you a wealth of information including details about your SSDI and SSI benefits. Your work history earning history and health coverage. There are a number of different ways to request a benefits planning query. You can call Social Security's toll-free number which is on the slide here 1-800-772-1213. And tell the representative that you are talking to that you'd like to request ABP queue I or benefits planning query. Also if you are getting benefits planning to the work incentives planning and assistance program that fights free benefits planning to people on SSI and SSDI they will request at the peak UI as part of the started process of your benefits counseling. Okay we are on to slide eight now. And we're going to start talking about the SSI work incentives. Now if you receive SSI going to work can increase your overall income. A person's SSI payment is adjusted when they have other sources of income such as earnings or if they receive say for example Social Security disability insurance that will also adjust the SSI payment many people have both SSI and SSDI payment benefits. The work incentives can be used that allow income to be excluded order to maximize the SSI amount when a person returns to work. To use most work incentives you just need to tell Social Security that you've gone to work and report the changes in your earnings. It's best to report in person at the local Social Security office or in writing. Some work incentives I will talk about today do require that you ask Social Security to determine if you can use them such as impairment related work and send expenses blind, student income inched exclusion and the plan to achieve self-support and we will go over all of those. So let's talk more about how earnings affect a person's SSI payment. Social Security counts less than half of a person's earned income. So it is not a dollar for dollar reduction to the SSI payment when a person has earnings from work. Social Security uses gross earnings to decide how much to subtract from the SSI check. The first $85 of earnings are not counted because of the $25 general income exclusion and the $65 earned income exclusion. After subtracting these amounts from gross earnings, Social Security divides the remaining earnings by two. The remainder called countable income is then subtracted from the amount of the original SSI check. Just a note about the $20 general income exclusion, it is first applied to any unearned income that a person has such as for example Social Security disability insurance. So let's take a look at an example of the steps that are used to adjust and SSI payment for person receives SSI only when they go to work. So, here we have an example showing how the amount of an adjusted SSI check is calculated when someone has earnings from work. In this example this person has been receiving $854.40 a month in SSI and please note this is a California specific SSI rate. Their job will be paying them $885 gross earnings each month. So here's the calculation step that Social Security uses to adjust the SSI check based on their earnings. So, step one is taking 885 of gross monthly earnings from work and first subtracting the $20 general income exclusion and then followed by subtracting $65 earned income exclusion and then dividing that by two. So even though this person started out with 885 gross earnings, all before hundred dollars of that is considered countable earned income for SSI. Now, step two they're going to take the person's SSI payment of $854.40 and they're going to subtract the countable earned income. Well they are working they're going to keep getting and SSI payment that is adjusted and is going to be $454.40. But just remember that in addition to getting that adjusted SSI payment of $454.40 they also have their monthly earnings from work and so the total available monthly income is approximately $1339.40. So this person is definitely better off while they are working. If they weren't working they're all beginning $854 a month but since they are working they are getting over $1000 a month now that is available income. Now we're going to take a look at some of the work incentives that can be used to maximize the person's SSI benefits while they are working and that includes impairment related work expenses or higher WP, blind work expenses or be WP, student earned income exclusion and the plan to achieve self-support. The work incentives allow persons to subtract certain work-related expenses from income in order to maintain SSI eligibility and/or reduce the amount of money taken out of a person's benefit check. Now impairment related work expenses are documented expenses for services or items related to a person's disability. They are needed in order to work and they are paid out of pocket and not reimbursed. So the person is paying for them themselves and nobody else's reimbursing them. The cost also must be reasonable. Now Social Security will deduct the cost of IR WP when they calculate the monthly SSI payment. Is it a requirement from them and you pay the expenses in mind that you receive earned income or perform work well use the impairment related item or service. Now if the expense is quite large the cost may be prorated over a 12 month period. And also for large expenses and also for not reoccurring expenses. So once again they can. The cost over a 12 month period. So some examples of the impairment related work expenses include assistive technology if someone is paying for any medical supplements or supplies, cost related any cost related to service animals, cost of food, grooming. Training, the Trinitarian appointments. Just some examples of those costs related to service animals. Also prescription drug payments as well. And there is not a fixed list of impairment related work expenses. You can negotiate these with Social Security. You just have to show that they meet the IR W he criteria that I mentioned. So here's an example, let's see how Jack can reduce the impact of his earnings on countable income by reducing excuse me by deducting IR WE from his gross monthly wages. Jack is 24 years old and he is living in his own apartment so he's receiving $854 a month from SSI. He's going to be getting a new job that's going be paying him $1000 in gross monthly earnings. He has a physical disability so he is not able to use public transportation and he cannot drive himself and he pays a driver to take him to his job. He's also paying out-of-pocket for various medical supplies and supplements. So the services and the items are costing him about $300 a month out of his pocket. And they qualify as impairment related work expenses. Let's take a look at the calculations again. Jack starts out with $1000 gross earnings a month and then they are going to subtract the $20 and $65 income exclusion so that is a total of 85 general and earned income exclusions and since he does have impairment related work expenses that you can apply the next step they will subtract the $300 value of the impairment related work expenses. His remaining earnings so far $650. The next step is to take that 615 and divide by two. So now is countable earned income is $307.50. So without the $300 impairment related work expense Jack's countable income would have been $457.50. So by deducting the $300 are we from his gross earnings it helps Jack reduce the impact of his earnings on countable income. So then, let's take a look at how his SSI check is adjusted. So Jack's SSI payment if your policy hundred $54.40. They're going to subtract $307.50 of the countable earned income from that so his adjusted SSI payment while working is going to be $546.90. So Jack's available income is the $546.90 in SSI plus the $1000 and work earnings and subtracting that $300 that he pays out of his pocket each month for the IR WE. So the total available income is approximately $1246.90. So Jack has more money in his pocket because he's working and also because he's able to get a higher adjusted SSI payment due to the impairment related expense deduction. Now, and SSI beneficiary whose primary diagnosis is blindness can use what are called blind work expenses. To deduct the cost of a really large list of items. Blind work expenses do not need to be related to blindness or any impairment. Examples include service animal expblind work expenses are there for the entire blind work expenses deducted from a person's income dollar for dollar. This can mean a larger SSI check and sometimes a person's blind work expense deduction is so great that the SSI check is not reduced at all. So, here we have an example of Jill. She is 30 years old and Jill is blind and she lives in her own apartment. She's getting $909.40 from SSI. With the $2000 excuse me, 2012. For an individual with his blind for SSI. So $1800 in gross monthly earnings, and she's going to be able to deduct the cost of transportation to our work regardless of whether or blindness required any specialized arrangements. And then also cost related to blindness are also included so she can deduct expenses for adaptive computer software or her service dog. Now she also is going to be able to deduct income taxes, union dues and meals at work as well. So so far expenses costs are about $500 a month and qualify as a blind work expense. Let's take a look at the math again for the blind work expense example with Jill. So, Jill, we are starting at step one with the gross monthly earnings of $1800. Subtract the $85 from them for the general and earned income exclusions, divide by two and so are we meeting earnings so far 800 be $7.50. The next up we're going to take the $857.50 and subtract the $500 in blind work expenses. So the total countable income is $357.50. So without the $500 blind work expense Jill's countable income would have been $857.50. So by deducting the $500 blind work expense from the gross earnings a really helps to reduce the impact of her earnings on countable income. And become the blind work expense is subtracted later in the calculation steps that the impairment related work expenses are then Joe will get higher SSI about using blind work expense that she would've the deductions were applied as impairment related work expenses. So let's take a look at Jill's bottom line. So the next up is there going to adjust her SSI payment based on the countable earnings. As you recall she was getting $909.40 in SSI. And from that they are going to subtract $357.50 countable income so the adjusted SSI payment while she's working his $551.90. So add that to our work earnings of $1800 to that, subtract the $500 in blind work expenses that she's paying out-of-pocket so the total available income is approximately $1851.90. So with Jill's earnings from work and with that BW we deductions her total earned income has doubled. So that is a pretty sweet deal for Jill. Now, for impairment related work expenses and blind work expenses those must be verified by the local Social Security office. And to do that a person will need to provide proof that they did pay out-of-pocket for these items or services that they need to provide original receipts or canceled checks of the expenses to their Social Security claims representative. Then Social Security will take a look and see if it meets the qualifications for IR WE or WE and see if that expense can be deducted. It's always best to request in writing when they are asking you're asking them to consider IR WDs or BW reasonable help determine if they turn a person down or you don't agree with that if you have to appeal the decision anything you have in writing will help your case. Now you don't have to do all this by yourself. There is assistance out there for folks to develop their IR WE and PWE expenses for Social Security and you get three benefits counseling from the work benefits planning and assistance program that has certified benefits planners that can assist recipients of SSI and SSDI with these work incentives, these and all the ones that I'm mentioning today. So in the resource section of the slide there's a link to all the work incentives planning assistance sites nationally and you can search for California on their but another place you can also cause disability benefits 101 website also in the resources section and there's a list of California-based benefits planners on the website as well. So there is no cost help available out there also to help you get the work incentive set up. In just a minute I'm going to pause and take a little drink for just a minute. Okay, thanks. Now the student earned income exclusion is a working etc. for people in school. Allows a student to test their ability to work without any reduction in the SSI check. It applies to SSI recipients that are under the age of 22 or regularly attending school, college or training to prepare for a paying job. Social Security can exclude up to 1400 excuse me, $1640 of earned income per month. From the students earned countable incomes earnings when they counted SSI payment. In 2012 is going to up to $1700
a month so person will be able to exclude up to $1700 a month in 2012. There is a maximum yearly exclusion applies. So in this last year, 2011 the maximum yearly exclusion was $6600 and in 2012 it's going to increase and the maximum yearly exclusion and 2012 will be $8640. Now what does regularly attending school mean? It means that a person needs to be digging one or more courses of study and attending classes. And if they are in a college or university it has to be for at least eight hours a week. If they are in grades seven through 12 for at least 12 hours a week and in a training course to prepare for employment for at least 12 hours a week. And this could be approved for last time if there is a reason beyond the students control such as illness that they cannot attend school for these maximum hours. Now the student will need to provide Social Security with proof of school enrollment and that could be an ID card, a tuition receipt or other evidence and it's recommended that the student status is clearly indicated in writing when reporting employment and earnings to Social Security. The exclusion should be automatically applied when earnings and student status are reported to Social Security. So we have an example of a student earned income exclusion, and here is the love. She's 20 years old and she's living at home with her parents. Starting in January 2012 she's going to be a full-time student at a local community college. Now because she lives at home and she's not paying any rent to her parents she does receive a reduced SSI check of $625.17 a month. And then starting in April of 2012 she's going to be taking a new job where she will be working 10 hours a week earning $15 an hour and she's going to be a peer Mentor at her local independent learning Center. Start Russell monthly income from work she thinks is going to be about $645 a month. Now because she is a student she can use the student earned income exclusion which allows her to exclude earnings up to $1700 per month. So she definitely needs that. She also can exclude up to a total of $6840 a year from her countable income for SSI. Let's take a look at how that works with the calculation steps. Once again starting with the gross monthly earnings from work of $645 she's been able to subtract the whole $645 and earnings because of the student earned income exclusion. Because she could potentially subtract up to $1700 a month. And she is able to subtract her full gross monthly earnings from work. Her actual total countable earnings are zero they've been zeroed out because of the student earned income exclusion. Step number two, her SSI payment $625.17 subtracting the countable earnings, since her countable earnings were zero she's able to keep the full SSI check of $625. And then step three, her SSI payment to of 625, $625.17 plus her work earnings of $645, so her total available income is $1270.17. So she's pretty much doubled her income with the student earned income exclusion excluding 100% of her monthly gross earnings from work. As I mentioned the maximum yearly exclusion is 6840 in 2012. So in less case if she's earning $645 a month and works nine months of the year from April to December she's going to be able to exclude her entire 5008 $805 in total annual earnings. Also the student earned income exclusion can remain in effect even during the summer break as long as you intended to resume school when school reopens. A plan to achieve self-support or a pass plan is another SSI work incentives. It is a written plan that allows recipients of SSI to set aside income or resources for a certain amount of time to be used to achieve a chosen occupational goal. SSI recipients are eligible, but there are some pages cases where pass bailout persons with who are receiving SSI or SSDI to become eligible for although this is a work incentive many people who receive SSDI also use it. This is also a way for Social Security to assist people with disabilities and their own efforts to join or enter the workforce. On the pass form the applicants will align all the needed steps that they need to reach their occupational goal. They're going to detail the expenses that are needed in the plan must have a reasonable timeframe. Now the form has been submitted to a person called the past cadre. As Social Security. Who approves, denies and oversees the different past plans. Now, the pass is a contract or agreement between the applicant and Social Security. So, funds must be sent spent accordingly on the expenses that are laid out on the pass plan in order to avoid any kind of overpayment. Some examples of allowable pass expenses are training, equipment and tools, startup funds for business and professional attire. Examples of unallowable pass expenses, ones that are not allowed, our food and rent, that's what persons SSI payment is meant to cover, also passed cannot be used for expenses such as entertainment and things that are just not related to the work goal. Now, to use pass a person must have some form of countable income and or resources to set aside in their pass plan. This could be earned income from Mark, the settlement, a retroactive payment, or an SSDI payment but it cannot be SSI income. You have to have funds other than your SSI payment. Now funds that are set aside are not counted as income when determining the SSI payment. As we've seen in past examples if a person has other income it's going to cost their SSI check to reduce. So what a pass plan allows, it allows a person to set aside that income that is otherwise causing the SSI check to reduce and use the income to his purchase specific things that they need in order to work. When the income to set aside into a separate account to be used toward those dedicated pass expenses it is no longer counted as income when Social Security is to make regulations to determine a person's monthly SSI check. The set aside funds also do not count toward the SSI resource limit. Now pass is intended to encourage SSI recipients to eventually become self-supporting. It is called a plan to achieve self-support. So self-supporting employment is what Social Security is looking for at the end of a pass plan but it doesn't need to be immediate. In general, most past plans will take maybe 18 months, but it varies, every plan is very individual to that person. Now the occupational goal must be expected to generate at least enough earnings to decrease reliance on benefits and increase self-sufficiency. I want to direct you to, we have a really great webinar that was done this last October that really goes into detail about the past program and the application, so really please go to the archive webinars and the web addresses here on this slide and take a look if you are interested to learn more about pass simply don't have time to go into much more detail on it today. Let's take a quick look at an example of the pass calculation steps. So here we have a go, and Keiko is receiving $854 and $40 a month and SSI. And she is earning $550 a month working part-time at a local coffee house. Now Keiko has been attending college full-time so she's using the student income earned exclusion as your member student income exclusion can only be used up to age 22 so she won't be able to keep using it, so she's looking for another way to maximize her SSI and is interested in past because of that. Her occupational goal is to become a licensed nurse at that will include some state certification testing so there will be some cost related to that, not just education but also the testing. Now she also has been saving money to buy a car. She'd like to get a used car, and she has about $1800 in her savings account but she knows that she cannot save much more without using her, losing her SSI because your member SSI has the $2000 resource limit. So she is interested in writing a past cover for some expenses related to school and for future employment. And then also she'd like to buy a used car since there's no public transportation available to or from any local hospitals or nursing homes which is really affecting her ability to get a job related, she'd like to work while she's in college at a hospital or nursing home to get experience related to her occupational goal and of course she'd like to work at one of those places when she's a licensed nurse. So, let's look at how pass can help take go pay for the things that she needs to become a nurse. So once again with the calculation steps we're going to start with her $550 gross monthly earnings from work. We will subtract $85 general and earned income exclusions. So her remaining earnings so far $465. Divide that by two. So her countable earned income is $232.50. And she would like to put aside that all amount of $232.50 into her pass plan. So the countable earned income of two 3250 we are going to subtract all amount that is picture but it to pass so the adjustable countable income with the past actually goes to zero. So this makes it that she's able to keep getting her full SSI payment of $854.40. Since her countable income is 0 to 2 the past contribution. So are available income, she's got the whole SSI payment still because of the pass exclusion of $854. She's also got $550 earnings from work and then $-232.50 that is the monthly past contribution, so her total available income is $1171.90. So, once she starts putting funds aside for her past she can start paying out expenses that she included in her pass plan, in the written plan and it will be a great way for her to continue to maximize the SSI check now that she's no longer eligible for the student earned income exclusion. Since she's able to save money using the past she doesn't have to worry anymore about going over the SSI resource limit and she will be able to purchase things she needs to become a nurse including getting the used car so she's able to get around more independently and get a job at a great hospital. Now, here's a summary of some of the benefits of the pass plan. Now usually a person using a pass will not notice any difference in their available income but this of course will depend on the amount of income that they choose to set aside. Into their pass plan. Now, with the pass the person has total ownership of over items or equipment that they purchase. For example if a person goes through Department of rehab for a laptop for school they probably will not end up owning the laptop. But if they utilize a pass plan they can choose a laptop that will meet their needs, that they really like and they have true ownership of the laptop. Therefore there's really a true personal investment in employment goals the person is using their own money to buy these things and it makes it really real for the person. The path also allows for the person to supplement other services for other agencies. In other words the past plan could cover costs oftentimes for services that other agencies cannot cover. For example Department of rehab often as limitations on what kind of resources for training plans for schools that they can cover but if someone is using a pass they may have the opportunity to look at private schools are more expensive accelerated programs that vocational rehabilitation typically cannot cover. Now the pass plan also covers a alternative to traditional vocational rehabilitation service which is an option and also allows for self-directed (inaudible) to continue to get the SSI cash benefits. This work incentive is called 1619 B. So if someone's earnings are so high that their SSI payment goes to zero 1619 B will allow them to keep the Medi-Cal coverage and it can continue until a person's annual earnings reaches $36,423 for a disabled person or $37,743 for a person who is blind. Now, these amounts, these are 2012 amounts from California and they are called the threshold amount. The threshold amounts are different in every state and the amounts can change every year. If you are wondering if you are in another state and you are wondering where you can find your state threshold amount one resource one of the links in the resource section is the Redbook on Social Security's website and a that lists the threshold amounts. Now also people with high medical costs can earn even more and this is called individualized threshold which I will explain in more detail in a little bit. Now 1619 B also allows for reinstatement so the SSI benefits can start again if you stop working or your earnings decrease. So let's take a look at what are the qualifications for 1619 B. To qualify you have to have been eligible for an SSI cash payment for at least one month. And you're SSI payment have to have been zeroed out due to earnings from work. Now your gross earnings must fall below the applicable threshold amount. The ones I mentioned, the 36,004 disabled individual and 37,000 for an individual who is blind. You also must be disabled or blind is still and you need to have to need Medi-Cal to work. So you need to let Social Security know yes I'm working but I definitely still need my Medi-Cal. And you are unable to afford benefits equivalent to those received if not working such as SSI Medi-Cal and in-home supportive services benefits. You must meet all the requirements for SSI such as keeping resources below the $2000 limit and report your wages or any other changes to Social Security. Please note if you have in-home supportive services, IHSS you will also continue if you are in 1619 B status. Let's learn more about the individualized threshold. Now, if your earnings go above the California threshold, the $36,000 I mentioned there may be a way for you to have a higher individualized threshold. You can work with and SSI claims representative at the local SSA or Social Security office to have this individualized threshold calculated. Some indicators that a person my qualify for higher individualized threshold include some of the work incentives that I mentioned today so far in the blind work expensive, impairment related work expenses or having a pass plan also the cost of having a publicly funded personal attendant will also be considered when calculated and individualized threshold so if you have IHSS. Which is personal care assistance. In the home or workplace that helps with things such as meals, personal care, transportation and cleaning. Also if you have high medical expenses that are above the state average these are included in the calculation. Now I know an individual who has an individualized threshold that's been calculated that is between 50,000 and $60,000. So, it can be a great deal higher and well worth requesting that is calculated by your SSI claims representative if you earnings exceed the 1619 B California threshold of $36,000. I've also included the Social Security programs operation manual reference with a link here for the individualized threshold calculation. So if you are Social Security claims rep is not simply with this it could be helpful to share the program's operation manual reference with them. Now, individualized threshold calculations are not done very often by claims representatives so you may need to also work within area work incentives coordinator to facilitate things and I also have a link here. In the PowerPoint to find an area work incentives coordinator and this is the regional work incentives expert who works for Social Security. They train and assist local office staffing with complex work incentives issues. The individualized threshold is definitely a more complex work incentives issue. I just want to let you know, please hold your questions to the end we will have question and answer at the very end of the presentation so please jot your question down. Thanks. So, with 1619 B you can earn a lot of money and keep your Medi-Cal when you are on SSI. Also you might be able to earn even more with the individualized threshold. Another option is the Medi-Cal working disabled program. This program is California state Medicaid buy-in program. Now because of 1619 B most people on SSI don't need to use the Medi-Cal working disabled program. Somebody who loses 1619 B status due to income or assets could use this program, though. As I mentioned in the previous slide on 1619 B the threshold for that program is $36,000. But if you have a job that pays really well and you don't qualify for an individualized threshold the Medi-Cal working disabled the program is a good option to keep your Medi-Cal and IHSS well working if your earnings go over the SSI 1619 B threshold. There are also greater opportunities for asset building with this program. If you are in the working disabled program you can actually have an IRS approved retirement plan such as an IRA, 401(k) or 403B and it will not be counted toward the $2000 asset limit program. Also with recent changes that have happened you can associate your earned income in a separate count. It has to be a separately identifiable account so you can save the earned income and that account with no limit, so as much as you want. So you can start saving your earnings for things they need such as medical expenses or to buy a car or do modification to the vehicle. You can save your money for anything. There is no limit what you can save your money for in that account. And the saved income is not going to affect the asset limit for the Medi-Cal working disabled program so that is a really nice feature now. So we looked at a couple different options to keep Medi-Cal and IHSS services for Californians with disabilities who are working but another concern is getting back on benefits of a person's disability gets worse and they cannot continue to work. Now if you're SSI cash benefits and it because of work and you're using the 1619 B work incentive to maintain Medi-Cal you can start your SSI cash benefits again at any time without a new application if you stop working or your earnings decrease. You just need to let Social Security know that there's been a change in your earnings, just report as soon as possible. The sooner the better. So just a heads up. It may take a couple months for your cash benefits to be reinstated. Now, because of 1619 B it's rare for a person on SSI to work and lose their connection to SSI. But if this does happen there's another safety net called expedited reinstatement. If you're SSI benefits and payments ended because of your work and earnings and you stop working within five yourself when you're benefits and did, your benefits may be able to restart again without a new application so you don't have to go through the whole new application process again. You can receive up to six months of provisional benefits while Social Security does the medical review to decide if your benefits can be reinstated. You may also be eligible for Medi-Cal during the provisional benefit.. So there are several options for getting back on benefits as well. Some great safety nets out there. Now here are some tools, skills and resources to help a person be successful when they are making disability benefits work for them. Now, the benefits binder is a great tool to help you organize and keep all your important papers and contacts with Social Security and other agencies all in one place. So I recommend keeping a binder and in that keep all of your letters from Social Security and Medi-Cal. All of your pay stubs, letters that you sent to Social Security, receipts from work incentives that you are claiming, letters from Social Security and other government agencies. Also I also recommend including a notebook that you can use to log all your phone calls and office visits and get the names of the staff that you contacted or talk to. And put that all in their. And then when you receive disability benefits you are was required to report any changes such as changes in your income, resources or other life changes to Social Security in a timely manner. If you are someone who has a representative payee, the payee is responsible to report those changes to Social Security. Now it is best to report in person or with a letter. And be sure to get a receipt from Social Security from the office when you report. So you have proof that you did report. And then also be sure to report any changes and come to any other programs that you are receiving benefits from such as IHSS or section 8 housing. Now if you receive a letter from Social Security or another agency with a decision you don't agree with you always have the right to appeal. So the notice of action letter that you receive will explain your appeal rights and the time limit that is therefore appealing to make sure and be aware of that. Now, you don't have to do any of this alone. There are on mining committee debates benefits planning tools and resources available at no cost. And I recommend using the disability benefits 101 website to find a local benefits planner who can help explain the work incentives plan to you in a lot more detail because it really helps to sit down with somebody and if you are working or going to work they can do an individualized benefits analysis for you and go through all the path and everything with you one-on-one. Now in the meantime though the disability benefits 101 website has calculators that can help you better understand how changes in your life will affect your finances, your healthcare coverage and disability benefits. And you can use the benefits and work calculator to find out how the job may affect your total income and it healthcare as well. So you don't have to talk the math calculations I was showing you earlier. The benefits to work calculator are available on DP 101 will do all the calculations for you and show you the bottom line which is really nice. How quickly some resources. I mentioned before that Redbook on Social Security's website and another thing that's great, the Redbook, the impairment related work expenses, work incentive I mentioned they have a nice list in their of deductible and nondeductible impairment related work expenses but that's not by any means the definitive list. Also here we have the link to the work incentives planning and assisting our hard-working work incentives creators out there that provide free benefits counseling to individuals receiving SSI and SSDI. So they can help develop pass plans and make sure that you've got all your ducks in a row for reporting and using work incentives like higher WT, BW the student earned income exclusion. I mentioned also the area work incentives coordinator so are the work incentives experts at Social Security. If you're having problems with say for example having an individualized threshold calculated they are a great place to go for more assistance. Also if you are looking for resources for advocacy and legal services, disability rights California has a protection and advocacy for beneficiaries of Social Security program. So they are available if you have questions about appeals or overpayments or if you are facing any type of workplace discrimination that is a great resource for you as well. And, on here I mentioned for the pass plan if you're interested in putting in a pass application the past cadre, Social Security are the people you need to connect with so we have a link here to find your past cadre and also to take a look at that pass plan form. Also if you want to learn more about pass please check out the archive pass webinar that goes into pass calculations in more detail and gives you tips about filling out the pass application. Now of course you are welcome to contact me with any questions and my e-mail and my office phone is here. And so that completes the presentation today. So I'm going to open up the checkbox for your questions so please, if you have any questions, go ahead and type them into the text entry area below the chat no, click enter or return on your keyboard to submit your question so going to give it a second for some questions to commit. Come in. Okay. So the first question from Carrie, when receiving Social Security disability insurance SSDI I know I think PAS Pennsylvania, you cannot earn more than $1000, has that amount, for 2012. So today we looked at the SSI work incentives, but SSDI also has their own very different set of work incentives. And the rates for those also did change into the because 2012, so the thousand dollar amount that Kerry mentioned is the cop the substantial gainful activity amount and what that does if you are somebody on SSDI and you go to work if your earnings are above substantial gainful activity where you are using the SSDI work incentives you will eventually get to a point where if you are earning above substantial gainful activity that will put your SSDI check in suspension are talking. The substantial gainful activity amount to usually increases every year. It did increase in 2012 and it is going to be $1010 a month in 2012. Once again, for SSDI the substantial gainful activity amount is $1010 and also there's also a separate account for individuals who are blind and in 2012 substantial gainful activity for people who are blind is 1690. You can always find those amounts on Social Security website through that link through the red book and disability benefits 101 is a great place to check in as well. Daniel a question, how can one prove that they need Medi-Cal to work? So as I mentioned with 1619 B, that work incentive, you should, 1619 B Schama automatically be applied to some with SSI when they report their earnings if there's earnings are so high that it zeroes out the SSI payment but a part of just kind of the paperwork that goes through to establishing the 1619 B status is what the claims representative does is they give a person on SSI a form and they call it the Medi-Cal needs test and all it is is basically a checkbox and asks you do you need Medi-Cal or not and the person needs to check yes that they need Medi-Cal. And let me go back. Somebody would like me to put my contact info back up, so here is my contact info again. Thanks, Sarah. She's working on a webinar available for SSDI recipients. That's a great question. As I mentioned before we have the archive webinars available on the talent knows no that website and I will have the link to that again coming up and we do have a recorded webinar on our website that goes over the work incentives for Social Security disability insurance and I also plan in 2012 to do another webinar on the topic of SSDI and work incentives so you can also get the updated rates for SSDI as well. So, great question. Hold on, let me check out and again I had asked what does need Medi-Cal in order to work under 1619 B mean, what if it is a generally healthy individual with no medications or no medical needs. Like I said, when they do that Medi-Cal needs test, they give the person on SSI a form and ask them to they need Medi-Cal or not. If the person doesn't the they need Medi-Cal anymore they can go ahead and check know. If the person definitely still has a lot of high medical costs due to their disability I recommend checking yes on the Medi-Cal needs test form. Once again, is there a similar training for SSDI from Lidia, as I mentioned we have the archive webinars that I've done in the past on SSDI webinar incentives and in 2012 going to do another training on SSDI work incentives for everybody. Dana asked under expedited reinstatement if someone receives provisional benefits and is determined not eligible for SSI to they have to pay back the provisional benefits and usually Dana, no, Social Security can take a look at it and prove that this person really knew that they were not, that they were not eligible at all. But in general, no. They don't have to pay back the provisional benefits. And then Lidia asks are the provisional benefits rates different? And that's a really good question. No, it would be the same rate. So it would be that correct, let me take the slide back. I'm going to go back to one of the sites that I showed you earlier with SSI California payment rates. So here is the slide that shows the rates that are going to be effective in January 2012 for SSI. So for expedited reinstatement for SSI when a person gets provisional benefits is going to be the same SSI rate as anybody else receives. Really good question. So let me check really quick and make sure I didn't miss any questions so far. So I think I covered everybody's questions. And anybody else have any questions, go ahead and I will give little time to put those up there and I will bring my contact information backup for everybody. So here's another question. What happens when one turns 65, really good question. So if you are on SSI and you turn 65, at that point you could be considered having age-based SSI because people can get supplemental security income based on disability, age or blindness. For person who is disabled who's been getting SSI based on disability and they turn 65 if they are working and it's in their benefits keep using the SSI work incentives those would still be available to them. So when one turns 65 they're going to be keep getting SSI and it might be considered aged SSI. Very good question. And any other questions? I will posit a minute and see if anybody has any more questions. If you still have a question, please go ahead and enter it into the chat window. Okay, so just want to let you know that we really appreciate any feedback that you provide so we've got the links here for our survey. And I want to thank everybody so much for joining us today and for your questions and what I will also do is I will also create a question and answer sheet based on the questions we had today and I will include that on our archive webinar page. And I also really want to think our caption are Mary for doing a great job and for the team here at interwork for distance learning to provide technical assistance and support for the webinars. As I mentioned before all of our webinars are archived on the talent knows no limits website. So this webinar, the PowerPoint, the transcript and eventually the question and answers will be available on the site and the last link on the slide will get you directly to the webinar archives. We will be following up with all participants by sending out a survey link to you via e-mail. So thank you for taking the time to complete our survey. And this e-mail will also include information on how to find the archive webinars and how to obtain the certified rehabilitation counseling CRC credits that are available for the webinar and to get the credits you will just need to complete a short five question quiz and you can retake if you don't get it the first time and we will have a survey with that too, so the second link on the slide is the link to the CRC, directly to the CRC credits quiz. And it's in your PowerPoint and it will be an e-mail I sent out two, two. And I really want to thank everybody for joining us for our webinars and for making the chip webinars a great success. It is such a pleasure to provide everybody these trainings and this information and I thank you for referring other folks to our webinars and sharing this information with your consumers. I really look forward to seeing everybody in the new year as we continue our webinars in 2012 and I want to wish all of you a highly seasoned and new year filled with joy and laughter and family and friends and maybe the new year bring you health, prosperity and good times ahead. So happy holidays everyone and thank you again for joining us today on the webinar.