Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Public Benefits and Work Incentives


At the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) we think work is an important part of a person’s life. Many people with a developmental disability want to work, but are afraid of how working might change their benefits – and there are many myths out there that simply are not true. Get the facts -you CAN plan for your future and be ready for these changes. If you want to learn more about working and your benefits, this website is a good place to start. We have many resources available here to help you get answers to your questions and connect with a professional benefits planner. We hope you will think about working as a way to earn extra money, share your talents and contribute to your community.

Mythbusters Brochure – Myths and Facts about the impact of working on public benefits and resources to help you start planning for work.

Social Security Red BookThis publication from the Social Security Administration describes the different work incentives and whether they apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or both. A great resource! 

NY ABLE - NY ABLE helps New York residents with disabilities save for qualified disability expenses without the risk of losing valuable benefits they count on like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. The Office of the New York State Comptroller administers NY ABLE. 

NY Makes Work Pay – Benefits and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance:

Benefits planning and assistance helps SSI and SSDI recipients to understand how earned income can affect your benefits. If you are a person with a disability who is working or thinking about working, it is important for you to have this information so you can make decision about working that are right for you. This webpage, sponsored by the Medicaid Infrastructure Grant and Cornell University, gives you information on how to locate a certified benefits counselor in your area.

OPWDD’s Work Incentives Webinar Series:

Understanding the impact of work on your benefits is an important part of planning for your employment goals. OPWDD, in collaboration with Cornell University’s Employment and Disability Institute and with support from Medicaid Infrastrure Grant funding, presents our Benefits Planning and Work Incentives webinar series.

Each webinar is 1 ½ hours long. By visiting the following link you can get more details about each topic, view the webinar presentations, download the PowerPoint slides, listen to the audio only, or read the transcript of the webinar.

Webinar Series

Webinar topics include:

  • SSI Work Incentives - If you are an SSI recipient with a disability who wants to work, this is the session for you! You have questions, we have answers!
  • SSDI Work Incentives - You are a recipient of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and you want to know what will happen to your SSDI benefit if you work. After this session, you will know the basics of work incentives for SSDI recipients. 
  • The Medicaid Buy-in for Working People With Disabilities (MBI-WPD) Program: An Overview - Fear of losing your Medicaid benefit may be stopping you from reaching your work goals. The Medicaid Buy-In for Working People with Disabilities (MBI-WPD) is a program that can help you keep your Medicaid benefit when you go to work.
  • The Plan For Achieving Self Support (PASS)- An Overview –  The PASS is a powerful work incentive that allows SSI recipients to exclude income and/or resources that would otherwise be counted in determining SSI eligibility.
  • Overpayments: Expert Help if this Happens to You - Have you ever opened a letter from SSA saying you owe $40,000, $50,000, or even more in overpayments? Don’t face this problem alone. This webinar will help you learn what to do if this happens and connect you with someone who can help.
  • Overpayments: Completing the Waiver of Overpayment Form - The Waiver of Overpayment and Change of Rate form is not an easy form to complete and it must be done correctly. This webinar will walk you through completing the waiver of overpayment form.