How Impairment-Related Work Expenses Affect Social Security Disability
With Social Security benefits, there’s something called Impairment-related work expenses — IRWE. IRWE is what is caused by your disability and is an expense that you need when you start working. If you are on disability, you can still work, but must not make more than your monthly income with SS. As long as you are using that service or item when you work, SS will not include IRWE from what you make. This means even if you are using the item or service when you are not working, they still won’t take it out of your monthly payment.
These are the requirements for you to have the item or service kept out of IRWE:
- You will need the item or service to be able to perform tasks at work
- Because of the impairment you have, you will need this item or service.
- Another source, such as, Medicare or Medicaid are not reimbursing you for the cost of the service or item.
- The item or service is a reasonable price.
There are four main categories of IRWEs are:
- Attendant care services
- Medical equipment
- Changes made in your home
There are some common IRWE that are claimable with SSD benefits and are considered under medication because they help you function at work and with other daily activities you perform. This can be anything from transportation, prosthetic devices that help perform work, someone to watch over you while performing tasks at work, and even diagnostic services that are directed toward your employment.
If you aren’t sure if the item or service you are using qualifies under IRWE, you should contact a SS representative as well as hire a lawyer to help with your claim. If your item or service is approved, the cost will be covered and it will be deducted from your disability benefits. If SS does not believe this qualifies, then they will not cover the expense and your monthly income will be the same. Talk with your lawyer about IRWE if there are any questions or concerns that you have regarding your personal situation.