Social Security Disability Benefits and Work: Address Fears and be Part of the Solution

Social Security Disability Benefits and Work: Address Fears and be Part of the Solution 

Fear and confusion about the impact of work on public benefits is epidemic. People with disabilities all across the country are choosing not to work or are limiting the amount they work because of misinformation. It is critical that professionals in disability services learn the truth; special work rules do exist that allow people to maintain access to health insurance and critical benefits while also financially getting ahead from work. This course will empower you with information about how this is possible for people receiving Social Security Title II disability benefits. During this course, you will learn the basic eligibility criteria for Title II disability benefits, the work rules that support working for these beneficiaries, and five key steps you can take to help eradicate this barrier to work. To help process this important information, during this course you’ll have the opportunity to practice using this information in story problems and matching games. This course is written for direct support professionals and front line staff who support people with disabilities.


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (1 Match)

National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals


This activity is approved for 1.50 contact hours.

Course Details

Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 1/31/2023
Learning Objectives:
Dispel the four most common Title II disability benefit myths.
Identify when a work incentive may apply to a persons situation.
Support people with disabilities in reporting earnings and work incentives.


Section 1: Introduction

  1. About This Course

  2. Learning Objectives

Section 2: Why Bother With Work Incentives?

  1. Meet Jillian

  2. Fear and Confusion Factors

  3. The Possibilities

  4. Could Work Incentives Be Part of the Solution?

  5. Jillian’s Story- This Time With Support

  6. Review

  7. Summary

Section 3: The Basics of Social Security Administered Disability Benefits

  1. Introduction to Social Security Administered Disability Benefits

  2. Title II Disability Benefit Eligibility Criteria

  3. Important Title II Disability Benefit Details

  4. Who Could Get What?

  5. Medicare

  6. Medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR)

  7. Review

  8. Summary

Section 4: Title II Disability Benefits and Medicare Work Incentives

  1. Title II Disability Benefits and Work

  2. The Benefits Box

  3. Title II Disability Benefit’s Phases of Work Incentives

  4. Trial Work Period (TWP)

  5. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) and Earnings

  6. Countable Earnings

  7. Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE)

  8. Knowing When TWP and EPE Have Been Used

  9. George’s TWP and EPE In Action

  10. Life After EPE

  11. Medicare Work Incentives

  12. Review

  13. Summary

Section 5: Concrete Ways You Can Help Remove This Barrier to Employment

  1. Five Key Steps You Can Take

  2. Step 1: Identify Concerns and Questions

  3. Step 2: Dispel Myths and Encourage Work

  4. Step 3: Identify and Support Work Incentive

  5. Which Work Incentive May be Helpful?

  6. Step 4: Remind and Support the Reporting of Earnings

  7. Step 5: Strategize and Reach Out for Help

  8. Review

  9. Summary

  10. Put In Practice

Section 6: Conclusion

  1. Summary

  2. Course Contributors

  3. Resources

  4. References

  5. Congratulations!

  6. Exam

  7. BrainSparks

Instructor: Molly Sullivan
For over 20 years, Molly Sullivan has been assisting people with disabilities financially plan around public benefits and working. She has provided this service directly to people with disabilities, as well as managed benefit planning programs. Additionally, Molly has provided training and technical assistance in this area through several national projects, including the SSA funded National Training Center, the Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) national self-employment demonstration project START-UP-USA, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) funded Medicaid Infrastructure Grant (MIG). She has also supported numerous non-profit and government agencies across the country, through various local or state-level initiatives, to build their capacity in supporting people with disabilities to financially plan for economic advancement. Disclosure: Molly Sullivan has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Nellie Galindo, MSW, MSPH
Nellie Galindo received her Masters of Social Work and Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked with individuals with disabilities in several different settings, including working as a direct service provider for individuals with mental illness and leading a youth program for young adults with disabilities. She has facilitated and created trainings for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the areas of self-advocacy, healthy relationships, sexual health education, and violence and abuse prevention. Mrs. Galindo has worked in state government assisting individuals with disabilities obtain accessible health information in their communities, as well as utilizing the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure equal access to healthcare services. Disclosure: Nellie Galindo, MSW, MSPH has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Direct Support Professionals; in the following settings: Intellectual Developmental Disabilities.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.