FAQ on Employment & Social Security Benefits

Background is an orange square. To the left is an image of a woman in a wheelchair speaking on the phone. To the right is a light orange rectangle with navy blue text that reads: "A resource for Kansans with disabilities who receive Social Security benefits and who are considering entering or returning to the community workforce." Under the text is a navy blue rectangle with white text reading "LEARN MORE" and a small icon of a computer mouse.

PDF version

It can be hard to come back to work as a person with a disability. It can be hard to begin working for the first time as a person with a disability. There can be a lot of barriers that make it difficult. Disability Rights Center of Kansas is here to help. We receive funds from the federal government to help. We offer legally-based support to people with disabilities who get Social Security benefits.

There are some common concerns that we often hear. You may have the same concerns. We answer some below.

Question #1

“I am worried that I will not be able to work because I have heard that I will lose my check if I make over $150/month.”

If you are only on SSI, you can usually earn over $1,300/month before you will get no SSI check at all. Your check may be reduced over time. But you will still have more income than you had before you started working!

Question #2

“I would like to go to work but I can’t afford to lose my Medicaid or Medicare benefit.”

Most of the time you will still be able to keep your full Medicaid coverage, even if you earn too much to continue to get an SSI check. You have this right under section 1619(b) of the Social Security Act. If 1619(b) isn’t available to you, the Working Healthy program may be. DRC can help you figure this out. Contact us for more information.

As long as your disability still meets Social Security rules, you can keep Medicare coverage for at least 8.5 years after returning to work. The 8.5 years includes the nine month trial work period.

If Social Security Disability Insurance cash benefits stop due to your work, you will be billed every 3 months for your medical insurance premiums. If you are receiving cash benefits, your medical insurance premiums will be taken out monthly from your check.

Question #3

“I have concerns that with my disability, I will go to work and lose my benefits and the get sick again. Will I have a hard time getting back on benefits if I need to?”

If this happens, the law says you have a right to fast processing of your request to start benefits again. You will probably be able to get support while you are waiting for the new decision about your disability status. This quick processing is known as “Expedited Reinstatement and Provisional Payments".

Question #4

“How can I get help or advice if I don’t want to go back on benefits but feel like my employer isn’t accommodating my disability? I can’t afford legal advice.”

We are here to help, free of charge! Please contact us about any concerns or questions you may have. We want to help you understand your rights. Depending on your situation, we will offer free legal support.

If you are thinking about working or currently having a hard time in the workplace related to your disability, please consider contacting DRC. We can help by:

  • Answering questions
  • Giving you information about your legal rights
  • Advising you on how you can advocate for yourself
  • Advocating on your behalf
  • Offering legal representation

This publication was made possible by a grant from the Social Security Administration. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not represent official views of the Social Security Administration.
FAQ on Employment & Social Security Benefits