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Man risks losing SSDI benefits to work

A man who was born with spinal muscular atrophy is facing a dilemma when it comes to his Social Security Disability benefits. His extremities are affected, but his mind is sharp. Even though he needs help doing everyday tasks like bathing and eating, he can type 50 words a minute and has a talent for analyzing financial data.

He wants to work. In this economy, he went through over 20 interviews before being hired by Independence Blue Cross. It helped that he had a referral from a university coach who was impressed by his will to succeed.

The man graduated from a Pennsylvania university with honors in May of this year. He was supported by his mother's insurance growing up, but now can receive 56 hours of aides and nursing care each week. That is a $185,000 bill picked up by the state and federal government. Once he starts making more than $2,000 a month, his SSDI benefits will be canceled.

However, once he starts working, he will qualify for a Pennsylvania state program that provides similar services, but also requires him to pay for some of his care. The problem is the state program for working disabled people has a long waiting list and a dwindling fund thanks to budget cuts.

Although he has many advocates, including Sen. Daylin Leach, there may be a period between losing benefits because of his job and gaining benefits from Act 150. In this case, that is a risk he is willing to take, as he has already started his job.

The process and logistics in obtaining and securing Social Security Disability Insurance can be confusing and complicated. In a difficult situation, people can turn to a qualified attorney who specializes in Social Security benefits in order to get the money that deserve.

Source: Philly.com, "Monica Yant Kinney: A reverse twist on medical insurance," Monica Yant Kinney, Sept. 11, 2011

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