WorkWORLD Logo: Empowerment through Decision Support Technology. Employment Support Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University.  Link to WorkWORLD homepage. WorkWORLD Logo: Empowerment through Decision Support Technology. Employment Support Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University.      
  Get Latest
WorkWORLD
Get Latest WorkWORLD Version button and link to How To Get WorkWORLD page
WorkWORLD Logo: Empowerment through Decision Support Technology. Employment Support Institute, Virginia Commonwealth University.

www.workworld.org
workworld@vcu.edu

Glossary - SSA Terminology

The terms below are some of many that are used in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Programs. These definitions and explanations were supplied by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Links to additional information in WorkWORLD, if available, follow each explanation. You may contact your local SSA Claims Representative for further explanation.

English to Spanish and Spanish to English translations of many of these terms may be found in the Glossary of SSA Terminology - English-Spanish and Glossary of SSA Terminology - Spanish-English topics.

Terms specific to the Supplemental Security Income program may be found in the SSI Glossary topic.

You may simply scroll the page to look for a term. To Jump closer to a word you need to define, click on one of the underlined letters in the box below that matches the first letter of a word or term you are interested in.

A.B.C.D.E.F.G.H.I.J.K.L.M.N.O.P.Q.R.S.T.U.V.W.X.Y.Z

 

 

Alleged Onset Date (AOD)

An applicant's opinion of the date he or she became unable to work. It is the starting point for the determination of the Established Onset Date (see below).

For more information, see the Onset of Disability - SSI/DI topic.

Alternate Participants (AP)

A public or private agency, except the designated participating State VR agency or agency for the blind, that SSA determined is qualified to provide VR services and with whom SSA has signed a contract to provide such services to SSDI/SSI disability beneficiaries.

For more information, see the Alternate Participants (AP) topic.

Average Current Earnings (ACE)

The number calculated to be generally reflective of a person's average monthly earnings history. It represents the highest amount found by using several separate methods of computing a monthly figure.

For more information, see the Average Current Earnings - Figuring topic.

Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME)

The number obtained, for purposes of computing Social Security benefits, by adding together the earnings in each computation year, indexed against the earnings of other workers in those years, and dividing by the number of months represented by those years.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach Program (BPAO)

NOTE: The former Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach (BPAO) Program was renamed the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program in 2006.

BPAO is a cooperative agreement program for community based organizations as established by Section 121 of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act 0f 1999, Public Law 106-170. The purpose of the BPAO program is to disseminate accurate information to SSA's beneficiaries with disabilities about work incentives to better enable them to make informed choices about work. Each BPAO organization has Benefits Specialists who will:

      Provide work incentives planning and assistance

      Conduct outreach to beneficiaries and their families

      Work in cooperation with Federal, State, private agencies, and nonprofit organizations that serve beneficiaries with disabilities

For more information, see the Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach Program (BPAO) topic and the Work Incentives Outreach Program section of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 topic.

 

Blind Work Expenses (BWE) [SSI]

If you are blind, when we determine your SSI eligibility and payment amount we do not count any earned income that you use to meet expenses in earning the income.

For more information, see the Blind Work Expenses topic.

Break-Even Point [SSI]

The dollar amount of total income that will (after applicable deductions are applied) reduce the SSI payment to zero in a given set of case facts. Your break-even point depends on your earned and unearned income, living arrangement, applicable income exclusions, and State supplement, if any. While useful for discussion purposes, this term does not appear in the SSI rules.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Continuation of Medicare Coverage [SSDI]

You can receive at least 93 consecutive months of hospital and medical insurance after the trial work period. This provision allows health insurance to continue when you go to work and are engaging in SGA.

For more information, see the Medicare - SSDI (Title II) - Continuing Coverage topic.

Continuing Disability Review (CDR) [SSDI and SSI]

The SSA process of obtaining complete current information about your condition and any work activity to decide if your SSDI and/or SSI benefits should continue.

For more information, see the Continuing Disability Review topic.

Cost Reimbursement Payment System

The system providing payment from SSA to State vocational rehabilitation agencies and alternate participants for reasonable and necessary costs for vocational rehabilitation services to Social Security and Supplemental Security Income beneficiaries with disabilities.

Countable Income [SSI]

The amount of money left after SSA eliminates all amounts that are not income and applies all appropriate exclusions to your total income. SSA uses this amount to determine your SSI eligibility and payment amounts.

For more information, see the Countable Income - SSI topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Deeming [SSI]

The SSA process of considering some of the income and resources of your parent, or spouse, or sponsor (if you are an alien) to be your income and resources when you are applying for or receiving SSI benefits.

For more information, see the Deeming - SSI topic.

Definition of Disability [SSDI and SSI]

Inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of physical or mental impairment(s) which has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months or can be expected to result in death.

For more information, see the Disability topic.

Delayed Retirement Credit (DRC)

The rate of increase, expressed as a percentage, that Social Security retirement benefits are increased when a person continues to work beyond the normal retirement age, up to age 70. Both the normal retirement age and the DRC percentage are based upon year of birth.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Employment Network (EN)

A qualified public or private organization that has entered into an agreement with SSA to function as an employment network under the Ticket to Work program and assume responsibility for the coordination and delivery of employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services to beneficiaries who have assigned their tickets to that employment network.

For more information, see the Employment Network (EN) and the Ticket Payment Systems and Employment Networks topics.

Employment Plan

An individual work plan under which an employment network (other than a State vocational rehabilitation agency) provides services to a Social Security or Supplemental Security Income beneficiary with a disability under the Ticket to Work program, or an individualized plan for employment under which a State vocational rehabilitation agency provides services.

Employment Support Representative (ESR)

An Employment Support Representative (ESR) is SSA's work incentives specialist who provides accessible and responsive information and services related to SSA's employment support programs to beneficiaries with disabilities who want to work or keep working.

For more information, see the Employment Support Representative (ESR) topic.

Established Onset Date (EOD)

The corroborated date an applicant met the definition of disability. It is based on facts such as medical and work records. It may be the same as the Alleged Onset Date (see above), or earlier or later than AOD as shown by the facts established by SSA.

For more information, see the Onset of Disability - SSI/DI topic.

Expedited Reinstatement

SSA's process of allowing qualified individuals to request reinstatement of benefits, without having to file a new application. They will receive up to six months of provisional benefits while SSA makes a decision on their request.

For more information, see the Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits - SSI/DI topic.

Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) [SSDI]

36 consecutive months following the trial work period when, if you qualify, SSA may reinstate your SSDI benefits without a new application, disability determination, or waiting period.

For more information, see the Extended Period of Eligibility - SSDI (Title II) topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

General Income Exclusion [SSI]

To determine SSI eligibility and payment amount, SSA excludes the first $20 per month of your income.

For more information, see the General Income Exclusion - SSI topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) [SSDI and SSI]

SSA deducts the cost of items and services that you need to work because of your impairment (e.g., attendant care services, medical devices, etc.) when SSA decides if you are engaging in SGA. It does not matter if you also need the items for normal daily activities. SSA can usually deduct the cost of these same items from earned income to figure your SSI payment.

For more information, see the Impairment Related Work Expense topic.

Income [SSI]

SSI income is:

      Earned income -- money received from wages, including from a sheltered workshop or work activity center, self-employment earnings, and some royalties and honoraria; and

      Unearned income -- money received from all other sources, e.g., gifts, interest, Social Security, Veteran's benefits, pensions. Unearned Income also includes "in-kind income" (free food or shelter) and "deemed income" (some of the income of a spouse, or parent, or sponsor of an alien).

For more information, see the Countable Income and Countable Earnings Overview - SSI/DI topic.

Individual Work Plan (IWP)

A required written document signed by an EN (other than a State vocational rehabilitation agency) and a beneficiary, or a representative of a beneficiary, with a ticket to outline the specific employment services, vocational rehabilitation services and other support services that the EN and beneficiary have determined are necessary to achieve the beneficiary's stated employment goal.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California, AHCCS in Arizona) [SSI]

Medical coverage provided to a person by the State Title XIX program.

For more information, see the Medicaid - Overview topic.

Medicaid Protection for People with Disabilities Who Work

For people with disabilities who: have earnings that are too high to qualify under current rules; or are at least 16, but less than 65 years of age, and meet state resource and income limits, a state may provide Medicaid coverage. A state may also provide Medicaid coverage to these individuals when they lose coverage due to medical improvement, but still have a medically determinable severe impairment.

For more information, see the SSI Work Incentive - 1619(b) topic.

Medical Improvement Expected [SSDI and SSI]

When SSA decides you have a disabling impairment, and SSA also decides that the disabling impairment(s) may improve, SSA documents that your case will need a future review.

Medicare [SSDI]

Two-part health insurance program for eligible disabled individuals and people age 65 or older:

      Hospital Insurance under Medicare (HI, Part A); and

      Supplementary Medical Insurance under Medicare (SMI, Part B). In addition, there is coverage for some people who are not disabled with end-stage renal disease.

For more information, see the Medicare - Overview topic.

Medicare for People With Disabilities Who Work [SSDI]

Some people with disabilities who have returned to work can buy continued Medicare coverage when their premium-free Medicare ends due to work activity. States are required to help pay the hospital insurance premiums for some working individuals with disabilities.

For more information, see the Medicare Buy-In for People with Disabilities Who Work - SSDI topic.

MINE

Medical Improvement Not Expected.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Outcome-Milestone Payment System

The system providing a schedule of payments under the Ticket to Work program to an employment network that includes, in addition to payments during the outcome payment period, payment for completion by a beneficiary of milestones directed toward the goal of permanent employment.

For more information, see the Ticket Payment Systems and Employment Networks topic.

Outcome Payment System

The system providing a payments under the Ticket to Work program to an employment network for each month, up to a total of 60 months, during which Social Security disability benefits and Federal SSI cash benefits are not payable to a beneficiary because of the performance of substantial gainful activity (SGA) or by reason of earnings from work.

For more information, see the Ticket Payment Systems and Employment Networks topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

PASS Cadre

Groups of PASS experts located across the country, with at least 1 cadre in each of the 10 SSA regions.

For more information, see the PASS Cadre topic.

Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) [SSI]

Under an approved PASS, you may set aside income and/or resources over a reasonable time which will enable you to reach a work goal to become financially self-supporting. You then can use the income and resources that you set aside to obtain occupational training or education, purchase occupational equipment, establish a business, etc. SSA does not count the income and resources that you set aside under a PASS when it decides SSI eligibility and payment amount.

For more information, see the Plan for Achieving Self-Support topic.

Primary Insurance Amount (PIA)

The "primary insurance amount" (PIA) is the benefit a person would receive if he/she elects to begin receiving benefits at his/her normal retirement age. This means that the benefit is neither reduced for early retirement nor increased for delayed retirement.

For more information, see the Primary Insurance Amount topic.

Program Manager (PM)

An organization in the private or public sector that has entered into a contract to assist SSA in administering the Ticket to Work program.

For more information, see the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program topic.

Property Essential To Self-Support [SSI]

SSA does not count some or all of certain property necessary for self-support when it applies the SSI resources test.

For more information, see the Property Essential to Self-Support - SSI topic.

Protection and Advocacy to Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Program

A grant program for State Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems established under part C of Title I of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. PABSS program grants to the P&As are for two purposes:

      To provide information and advice about obtaining vocational rehabilitation and employment services; and

      Advocacy or other services that a disabled beneficiary needs to secure or regain gainful employment.

For more information, see the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Program topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Resources [SSI]

Resources are anything you own, such as a bank account, stocks, business assets, real property, or personal property that you can use for your support and maintenance. We may not count all your resources when we determine your SSI eligibility.

For more information, see the Resource Limits - SSI topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

SSDI

Social Security Disability Insurance authorized under Title II of the Social Security Act.

For more information, see the Disability Insurance - SSDI (Title II) topic.

SSI

Supplemental Security Income program authorized under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.

For more information, see the Supplemental Security Income and SSI Glossary topics.

SSI Work Incentives/ Employment Support

Rules that help beneficiaries with disabilities go to work by continuing SSI payments and/or Medicaid.

For more information, see the SSI Work Incentives topic.

State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agency

The organization in each State, the District of Columbia or U.S. Territory, that is the designated governmental entity responsible for providing vocational rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities residing within its jurisdiction. In some States a separate State Vocational Rehabilitation agency also exists to provide assistance and services to individuals with a visual impairment.

For more information, see the Vocational Rehabilitation Program and State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agencies topics.

Subsidies and Special Conditions [SSDI and SSI]

Supports you receive on the job that could result in more pay than the actual value of the services you perform. SSA deducts the value of subsidies and special conditions from your earnings when it determines SGA.

For more information, see the Subsidy and Special Conditions Overview - SSI/DI Work Incentive topic.

 

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) [SSDI and SSI]

SSA evaluates the work activity of persons claiming or receiving disability benefits under SSDI, and/or claiming benefits because of a disability (other than blindness) under SSI. Under both programs, SSA uses earnings guidelines to evaluate your work activity to decide whether the work activity is substantial gainful activity and whether SSA may consider you disabled under the law. While this is only one of the tests used to decide if you are disabled, it is a critical threshold in disability evaluation.

For more information, see the Substantial Gainful Activity topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Ticket [Under the Ticket to Work Program]

A document which provides evidence of the Commissioner's agreement to pay an employment network or a State vocational rehabilitation agency, to which a disabled beneficiary's ticket is assigned, for providing employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and other support services to the beneficiary.

For more information, see the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency - Appearance Sample and the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program topics.

Ticket to Work Program

The Ticket to Work program provides disabled beneficiaries with expanded options for access to employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services.

For more information, see the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program topic.

Timely Progress

The guidelines SSA uses to determine if a beneficiary is making progress toward self-supporting employment.

Trial Work Period [SSDI]

The trial work period is an incentive for the personal rehabilitation efforts of SSDI beneficiaries who work. The trial work period lets you test your ability to work or run a business for at least 9 months and receive full SSDI benefits no matter how high your earnings are if your impairment does not improve.

For more information, see the Trial Work Period topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Unincurred Business Expenses

Self-employment business support given to you by someone else without cost. If you are self-employed, SSA deducts unincurred business expenses from earnings when we determine SGA.

For more information, see the Unincurred Business Expenses - SSI/DI Work Incentive topic.

Using a ticket

This occurs when the beneficiary has assigned a ticket to an employment network or State vocational rehabilitation agency and is making timely progress toward self-supporting employment.

For more information, see the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program topic.

Unsuccessful Work Attempt

An effort to do substantial work (in employment or self-employment) which you stopped or reduced to below SGA level after a short time (6 months or less). This change must have resulted because of your impairment, or removal of special conditions related to your impairment that are essential to the further performance of your work. SSA does not count earnings during an unsuccessful work attempt when it makes an SGA decision.

For more information, see the Unsuccessful Work Attempt - SSI/DI Work Incentive topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services

Those services identified in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which are provided in an individualized plan for employment necessary to assist an individual with a disability in preparing for, securing, retaining, or regaining an employment outcome that is consistent with the strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, interests, and informed choice of the individual.

For more information, see the Vocational Rehabilitation Program topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

 

Work Incentives/ Employment Support

SSA policies that help disability beneficiaries go to work and receive benefits in an attempt to become more independent.

For more information, see the Work Incentives topic.

Top of page

Image of horizontal red colored lines, used to seperate topic sections.

 

See also:

SSI Glossary

Glossary of SSA Terminology - English-Spanish

Glossary of SSA Terminology - Spanish-English


WorkWORLD™ Help/Information System

AddThis Social Bookmark Button   Share/Save: Click the button or link at left to select your favorite bookmark service and add this page.

This is one topic from the thousands available in the WorkWORLD™ software Help/Information System.
Complete information about the software is available at: http://www.WorkWORLD.org

Get WorkWORLD latest version button and link to How to Get WorkWORLD page

See How to Get WorkWORLD page at: http://www.WorkWORLD.org/howtogetWW.html

NOTE: Sponsored links and commercial advertisements help make the WorkWORLD™ website possible by partially defraying its operating and maintenance expenses. No endorsement of these or any related commercial products or services is intended or implied by the Employment Support Institute or any of its partners. ESI and its partners take no responsibility for, and exercise no control over, any of these advertisements or their views or contents, and do not vouch for the accuracy of the information contained in them. Readers are cautioned to verify all information obtained from these advertisements prior to taking any actions based upon them. The installed WorkWORLD software does not contain advertisements of any kind.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, Virginia Commonwealth University. All rights reserved.