Posts Tagged "Social Security benefits"
February 28, 2023
Disability Job Programs Get Mixed Reviews
Nearly half of the people receiving federal disability benefits have a psychiatric impairment that interferes with working. And they tend to be younger and more willing to work than other disability beneficiaries.
This makes them good candidates for employment support programs that encourage working at least part-time and might even prevent them from applying for benefits at all.
According to a Mathematica review of research on three government jobs programs, the programs had some success in boosting participants’ employment and earnings. However, they didn’t prove effective over the long term in reducing their reliance on federal disability benefits.
One federal program in Texas was geared to people with disabilities who had not applied for benefits when they entered the program. The program offered services like help with job searches, case management, and access to medical care. A year after finishing the Texas program, the number of participants receiving benefits fell 27 percent in a comparison with people who hadn’t participated. But by the sixth year, that positive impact had largely waned.
While disability recipients with mental health impairments often want to work, about half of the people in a second study said they had felt discouraged by past jobs. They cited barriers to remaining employed – on top of their mental health challenges – such as perceptions by others that they weren’t capable, a lack of transportation, and a fear of losing their benefits if they get a job. Social Security suspends disability benefits when workers earn over a maximum amount, which is $1,470 per month in 2023.
But the researchers see the feelings of discouragement as “a window of opportunity” to prevent failed work attempts through job interventions or by educating beneficiaries about Social Security’s benefit rules. …Learn More
February 14, 2023
Mental Health Care is Crucial Disability Need
During the pandemic, calls to mental health hotlines soared. People in emotional distress learned that psychologists were booked months in advance or were completely unavailable.
While COVID dramatized the need for mental health treatment generally, new research reveals how important being treated is to people with disabilities.
Isaac Swensen and Carly Urban at Montana State University found that ready access to outpatient care slightly increases applications for disability benefits by working-age people under Social Security’s insurance program and by poor and marginally employed workers under the companion program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Mental illness in its severest forms can interfere with the ability to work, making some individuals eligible for federal disability assistance. But to qualify, the Social Security Administration requires that applicants submit a diagnosis from a medical professional. Applicants with mental illness living in areas with more treatment options, the researchers explained, are potentially able to obtain a proper diagnosis.
Getting people the help they need can increase their reliance on social safety nets. But access to successful treatment – whether the individual has a cognitive or physical disability – might also arguably prevent some severe conditions that make people eligible for disability benefits in the first place. …