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Note: If you refuse VR services your SSDI cash benefit may stop

NOTE: Effective on January 1, 2001, no sanction actions will be taken by SSA due to refusal of VR services. This topic discusses rules that were in effect before January 1, 2001. See additional note below.

You (and any dependents who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI Title II) benefits based on your earnings record) may have your SSDI cash benefit stopped for any month in which you refuse Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services without good cause.

Good Cause:

You may refuse to accept rehabilitation services (for the purposes of paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this section) if your refusal is based on good cause. In determining whether you have good cause for refusing rehabilitation services, SSA takes into account any physical, mental, educational, or linguistic limitations (including any lack of facility with the English language) you may have which may have caused you to refuse such services. SSA also considers other factors that may have caused you to refuse such services. For example, have good cause for refusing rehabilitation services where:

(1) You are a member or adherent of any recognized church or religious sect which teaches its members or adherents to rely solely, in the treatment and care of any physical or mental impairment, on prayer or spiritual means through the application and use of the tenets or teachings of such church or sect; and

(2) Your refusal to accept rehabilitation services was due solely to your adherence to the teachings or tenets of your church or sect.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Effective January 1, 2001, sections of the Social Security Act which had previously provided for deductions from the benefits of disabled SSDI beneficiaries who refused to accept VR services under an appropriate State program and did not have "good cause" for such refusal were repealed. These changes were part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) of 1999.

Effective January 1, 2001, SSA reinstated benefits to those beneficiaries whose benefits were suspended due to refusal of VR services, provided that benefits were otherwise payable to the beneficiary. State VR agencies and APs no longer report situations to SSA in which beneficiaries refuse to continue to participate in a VR program after signing an employment plan.


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