This program assists Vermonters who are receiving Social Security Benefits (SSI or SSDI). If you are interested in returning to work but you are concerned about what will happen to your benefits and health care if you do work, VR Benefits Counselors can help. In most cases, people on Social Security Disability benefits are financially better off if they work – as long as they understand the work incentives. Our Benefits Counselors can help you:
- Decide whether to work.
- Keep the necessary benefits while you work.
- Avoid work/benefits conflicts.
- Help you understand the ticket to work program
Introduction to Benefits Counseling
Social Security rules for disability programs are notoriously complicated. Trying to figure out how changes in your work situation—a new job, a raise, going back to school—are going to affect your benefits can be an overwhelming prospect for anyone. That's where a Benefits Counselor can help.
Benefits Counseling is an innovative service established in 1999 by the VWII project of Vermont's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Vermont now has a statewide network of professional benefits counselors serving over 500 individuals each year.
VWII's Benefits Counselors work with
- Adults on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits; and
- Youth with disabilities transitioning from high school to adult life.
Services a Benefits Counselor can provide include
- Comprehensive and accurate information on the impact of employment on benefits
- Advice and assistance on taking advantage of available work incentives
- Help in developing a financial / benefits management plan for transitioning to employment
- Ongoing support as recipients increase their earned income and reduce their dependence on public benefits
Benefits for Young People
Vocational Rehabilitation’s Benefits Counseling Program is also available to youth with disabilities in high school who are in transition to adult life. Youth and their families can receive accurate information about the impact of employment on all Federal and State benefits they receive.
For more information, call 866-VRWORKS (866-879-6757) or contact the local VocRehab office in your area.