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Author Archives: Lauren Horner

Job Vacancies – Benefits Case Manager


Job Announcements! Maryland Benefits Counseling Network – Benefits Case Manager  The Maryland Benefits Counseling Network is seeking two full-time contractual Benefits Case Managers to provide benefits technical assistance and work incentives counseling to assist individuals within Maryland State psychiatric hospitals to transition successfully into the community. Positions will serve as…  
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Reminder – 2018 SSI & SSDI Figures Are Now In Effect!


The new year brings with it new figures to be aware of with regard to SSI and SSDI. As was broadcasted on this website back in October, SSI and SSDI recipients’ benefit amounts have seen a 2% COLA increase. This change means that the maximum amount of SSI an individual…  
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The Work Activity Report – SSA’s Most Important Tool for Keeping Work Records Up-To-Date!


If you are an SSDI beneficiary and have worked in the past while receiving your benefits or are currently working, there is an important Social Security form you should be familiar with called a ‘Work Activity Report – Employee’ (form SSA-821). Social Security uses a Work Activity Report to document…  
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Work Incentives – Subsidies and Special Conditions


If you’re familiar with how employment impacts Title II benefits like SSDI, then you are already aware that following the end of the Trial Work Period, Social Security will make a determination about whether an individual is performing Substantial Gainful Activity or SGA when working. SGA determinations help Social Security…  
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Work Incentives – Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE)


Social Security has special rules called work incentives that support employment efforts and serve as an extra ‘incentive’ for SSI and SSDI beneficiaries to work. One of these work incentives is called an Impairment Related Work Expense, more commonly known by it’s acronym – IRWE. What is an Impairment Related Work…  
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SSA’s Promoting Opportunities Demonstration (POD) – Have You Heard?


The Social Security Administration launched a new demonstration project known as the Promoting Opportunities Demonstration or POD with beneficiary enrollments beginning November, 2017. SSA will be implementing POD in select counties throughout the state of Maryland; one of eight states chosen to participate in the demonstration. Eligible beneficiaries will be recruited by…  
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Update on Maryland ABLE!


Just last week the Maryland Benefits Counseling Network posted information about the Achieving Better Life Experience or ABLE program – what it is, how it can help eligible individuals save money without impacting Medicaid and/or SSI benefits, and how to participate and open an ABLE account. At the time, Maryland…  
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Social Security Resource Limit – Get Around It If You’re ABLE


#ABLEtoSave If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits you are hopefully already aware that Social Security limits the amount of resources you can have in order to remain eligible for SSI benefits – $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for an eligible couple. Similarly, most Medicaid programs also have…  
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Wage Reporting Options for SSI Recipients


Reporting wages to Social Security in a timely manner is SO IMPORTANT for recipients of Supplemental Security Income or SSI benefits! Timely reporting is the best way to help prevent frustrating and costly benefit overpayments from occurring. Did you know there are three ways for an SSI recipient to report…  
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2018 COLA Adjustments


2018 Brings Changes to Benefit and Work Incentive Amounts! The Social Security Administration has announced important cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) for 2018. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries will see a 2.0 percent increase to benefit amounts effective January, 2018. This is the biggest increase since 2012. Please see below for other…  
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NEW – Online Wage Reporting for SSDI Beneficiaries!


On September 23rd, 2017 the Social Security Administration announced a new option to report wages for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. To date, individuals who receive SSDI benefits and their Representative Payees could only report wages by submitting copies of paystubs to their local Social Security offices either in person or…  
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Pay Your Medicare Premiums Online!


Most individuals who receive a cash benefit from Social Security and have Medicare are able to have Medicare premiums automatically deducted from their monthly benefit. However, for those who no longer receive a cash benefit, making Medicare premium payments just got easier! Individuals can now use their bank’s online bill…  
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Job Vacancy Announcement – Benefits Case Manager


Job Vacancy Announcement – Benefits Case Manager The Maryland Benefits Counseling Network is excited to announce that recruitment for a full-time contractual Benefits Case Manager position has begun! Please see the detailed position announcement below. Interested candidates can request a full job description and additional information via email to lauren.horner@maryland.gov. The MD-BCN…  
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Social Security Administration 2017 Red Book


The Social Security Administration’s Red Book is now available for 2017!The Red Book (SSA Publication No. 64-030) serves as a general guide to Social Security work incentives and employment supports of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit programs. It is updated annually to reflect important changes in things like earnings…  
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