Do Impairment-Related Work Expenses Affect Social Security Eligibility?

06/18/2013 // Wright Disability Firm // Wright & Wright // (press release)

Impairment-related work expenses (IRWEs) are costs associated with assistive items or services that some individuals with disabilities need in order to work. Because the Social Security Administration allows eligible applicants who are able to perform minimal work to be approved for disability benefits if they meet income requirement guidelines, many applicants have questions about how having to pay for these items may affect their eligibility. In measuring a disability applicant’s income for Social Security Disability or SSI benefits, IRWEs can be excluded from one’s earnings if:

• The item or service is needed for work

• The item or service has a reasonable cost

• The item or service is needed to accommodate a physical or mental impairment

• The item or service is not covered by reimbursement from other sources such as Medicaid or insurance

Items that may be deemed eligible IRWEs for income exclusion in determining Social Security eligibility may include things related to:

• Assistive living services

• Transportation costs

• Medical devices

• Adaptive home renovations

In each of these categories, there are particular items that are deductible and specific ones that are not. Speaking with a qualified disability attorney or advocate can help one understand their eligibility in relation to their unique circumstances or IRWE needs.

The advocates of Wright & Wright, America’s Social Security Disability Firm? are available to help those with questions about their eligibility for Social Security benefits. Individuals can contact the firm today for a free Social Security claim evaluation. Wright & Wright’s advocates can help applicants with filing at any stage of the process, whether they are submitting an application for the first time or appealing an application that has been denied.

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