Benefits & Getting to Work

What will happen to my benefits if I go back to work? It is possible to work and to continue to receive some or all of your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability Payments. In some cases, your income might increase.

But finding a job is hard work! The search for a job can be made easier by taking advantage of the help that is available to find employment.


Working can affect many types of disability benefits! People who receive any type of disability insurance or disability benefit should be familiar with the rules about going to work that apply to the particular types of benefits that they receive.

For Massachusetts’ residents, additional assistance and individual help with how work affects SSDI and/or SSI are available from:
• Project IMPACT through MassRehab (Boston area and Southeastern Mass.)
• BenePlan through U-Mass Medical (Western Mass., Central Mass. and Middlesex County)
• Find work and disability benefit information on the Social Security Administration’s website.


Step One – What type of work? Not sure where to start?

• Identify your skills and interests by reviewing an example of an employability assessment plan. To help, click here to see an example.
• Identify interests, aptitudes, talents, experience.
• In Massachusetts, find help at MassCIS and the Department of Career Services or visit a One-Stop Career Center near you.
• The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (Mass Rehab) provides assistance to people with disabilities to help them return to work.
• Many local agencies offer career services to ex-offenders; find resources for ex-offenders at such as STRIVE, located in Boston.

Step Two – Who is hiring? Consider starting out with volunteer work, an apprenticeship, or an internship.  Some social service agencies have connections with employers for on-the-job learning that can lead to job opportunities. Most local communities have social action agencies that can assist in finding employment.

• In Boston, go to Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) webpage on Jobs and Job Training
• For other areas in Massachusetts, go to the Employment & Job Training and the Job Training Programs pages of

Step Three – How to Apply for a Job? For tips about applications, cover letters, resumes, and interviews, visit the Massachusetts Job Hunting webpage or find a Career Center near you.

Check out helpful information on job-hunting websites such as,, and Job Quest. You can also check out the online classified ads in The Boston Globe or the websites of other local newspapers.

Already applied for a job? Make sure to follow up with a thank-you note to show interest in the position. See a sample thank-you letter from