Glossary: Work Programs

A rule that lets people who stop getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits due to work income keep their Medical Assistance health coverage while earning up to $69,070 per year. 1619(b) also makes it easier to get SSI benefits started up again if your countable income goes below SSI's income limit. For 1619(b), you must continue to meet other SSI eligibility rules, such as the resource limit.

Note: If your earnings are over this limit and you have high medical expenses, you might still qualify for 1619(b). Ask your local Social Security office about the 1619(b) Individualized Earnings Threshold.

A federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities at work and in public places. The ADA makes it illegal for employers, the government, or other public agencies to discriminate against (to treat unfairly or unequally) disabled people at work and in most public places, places, such as restaurants, hotels, and theaters. The law also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to allow employees with disabilities to do their jobs.

A work opportunity that provides you with a way to learn a skilled occupation, craft, or trade.

The maximum amount of assets you're allowed to own while maintaining eligibility for a particular disability benefits program. Most benefits programs do not count everything you own, including the home you live in and one car you own. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as assets. For Medical Assistance, SNAP (formerly Food Support/Food Stamps), and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called a "resource limit."

Technological devices that help people with disabilities carry out daily activities.

According to the Technology Related Assistance to Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988 (Tech Act):

Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

According to the same law, an assistive technology service is:

Any service that directly assists an individual with a disability in selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.

A report done by a benefits expert that gives you information about:

  • How work could affect your benefits
  • Work incentives that might be useful to you
  • Health coverage options
  • Your financial situation before and after working or taking a promotion
  • How to track wages and benefits

A benefits analysis includes ongoing follow-up and support as you explore work and benefits. To learn more, Chat with a Hub expert.

A Benefits Lookup report will tell you what benefits you are getting now, and how much. Authorized employees of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) will look up your state records and make a report for you. You can use that information to help you plan for a job or other changes. To get a Benefits Lookup, you must create a DB101 account using the "Register" button at the top of the page. Then click the "Projects" tab in the main menu, click "Get a Benefits Lookup," and follow the instructions.

A periodic review to determine if there has been any medical improvement in your condition and/or to determine whether you continue to be eligible for Social Security benefits for other reasons. The two types of reviews are called a medical CDR and a work CDR.

A process that allows a job seeker and potential employer to individualize a job description so that the job seeker's strengths would be utilized while the employer's needs would be met.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run benefits system for military veterans and their families. The VA has hundreds of medical facilities, clinics, and benefits offices. The benefits the VA provides include Disability Compensation, VA Pension, education, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivors benefits, medical benefits, and burial benefits.

Visit the VA.gov website.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you are disabled if you have, have a record of, or are regarded as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning, or working. Major life activities also include the operation of major body functions, including:

  • The immune system
  • Special sense organs
  • The skin
  • Cell growth
  • Digestive, genitourinary, bowel, and bladder functions
  • The nervous system and brain
  • Respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions

An employment services agency that is approved by Social Security. Employment Networks may offer a variety of services such as job readiness services, placement services, vocational rehabilitation, training, job coaches, transportation or other supports.

Employment Network examples:

  • Employers
  • Employers offering or arranging for job training
  • Employers collaborating with community based organizations
  • Transportation providers
  • Staffing and placement agencies
  • Consumer groups
  • State Department of Rehabilitation
  • Private providers of rehabilitation services
  • Vocational rehabilitation Service Projects for American Indians with disabilities
  • Cottage industries such as benefits planning services combined with other services
  • Public or private schools providing transitional education or career development services
  • Organizations working with ethnic, disability, or religious faith groups

A current list of Employment Networks can be found on the Ticket to Work website.

The fundamental job duties that you must be able to perform on your own or with the help of a reasonable accommodation. An employer cannot refuse to hire you because your disability prevents you from performing duties that are not essential to the job. At the same time, you cannot ask for an essential function to be removed from your job description as a reasonable accommodation.

A federal law that allows you to take up to 12 weeks off of work for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a family member, or if you have a serious medical condition. You need to have worked for your employer for at least one year to qualify for FMLA coverage and your employer must employ at least 50 people.

A formal agreement between an individual in the Ticket to Work program and an Employment Network that describes how services will help the person to achieve an employment goal. The IWP includes specific steps and a time schedule that may span several years.

Making decisions based on complete and accurate information about your specific situation. Informed choice happens through talking with people that support you and doing things that help you make decisions about your life. It means that your concerns about myths and barriers about working and benefits are addressed. It also means that you understand all your options, how to get past barriers, and understand risks and benefits of your decisions. Part of this is seeing that your options are not limited to just disability programs. Professionals that help you in your decisions are being asked to use person centered ways to support informed choice in your life.

A short-term work experience that allows you to gain practical skills and learn about an occupation in a real-world setting.

A service that helps a person with a disability to keep a job. A job coach may:

  • Help you transition into employment at the beginning of a job
  • Provide ongoing support as you work
  • Train you
  • Talk to your employer about how to support you
  • Help you figure out transportation to and from work

A program that gives Medical Assistance (MA) health coverage to employed people with disabilities. To qualify you must:

MA-EPD covers the same services as standard MA, but lets you have higher income without losing your coverage.

A state agency that provides people with vision loss or who are blind with services that help them prepare for, find, and keep jobs. These services can include counseling, training, and job placement. It can also including other types of training that help people with vision loss live as independently as possible.

To qualify, you need to be legally blind. People who get SSI or SSDI because of their vision loss are automatically eligible.

To learn more, visit the Workforce Development Unit of Minnesota State Services for the Blind website or call 1-651-539-2300 or 1-800-652-9000.

For a listing of local SSB offices, click here.

A state agency that helps people with disabilities prepare for, find, and keep jobs. To apply for services, call or visit a vocational rehabilitation counselor at a CareerForce location.

At least four consecutive days when you are unable to do the basics of your job, attend school, or take care of yourself because of illness.

A person who (a) has certain characteristics that the employer asks job applicants to have, such as education, work experience, skills, or licenses, and (b) can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodations.

An adjustment or modification to a job or workplace that enables an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job.

In education, a reasonable accommodation is a modification that allows a student with a disability to successfully participate in an activity, class, test, or other aspect of school.

The total amount of money that a business earns before expenses are deducted.

Example: Julia's consulting business earns $5,000 per month, but spends $2,000 per month on expenses. Her company's total monthly revenue is $5,000; her company's monthly net income ($5,000 minus $2,000) is $3,000.

An analysis of how you're suited for different types of work settings and jobs. The analysis might look at your strengths and weaknesses as well as your likes and dislikes.

Working for yourself rather than someone else. If you run your own business, you're "self-employed."

Services to help people with disabilities find a job or remain employed. Services include things like job skills training, job coaching, or help requesting workplace accommodations.

The Trial Work Period is the nine Trial Work months occurring within a five-year window when you can work and continue to get your full SSDI benefit. These work months can occur one right after the other or be spread out over time.

A reasonable accommodation you request that is too difficult or too expensive for an employer to get, in relation to the employer's size, financial resources, and the needs of the business. If a reasonable accommodation request causes an employer "undue hardship," then the employer does not have to get the requested accommodation.

A state program that provides temporary benefit payments to people who lose their job through no fault of their own.

A service to help a person examine their work skills, education level, employment background, and interests, in order to help them decide on a career path that will be well matched to their skills and interests.

A state agency that helps people with disabilities prepare for, find, and keep jobs that are consistent with their skills, strengths, and interests.

Money you earn from work.

Work incentives are rules that help people who get public benefits and work. They let people get a benefit while they're working, keep a benefit longer while they work, or get a benefit back quickly if it stops due to work.

All public benefits in Minnesota have work incentives, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, and Medical Assistance.