Below is some basic info about the roll out of the Benefit Offset National Demonstration in Wisconsin (except for Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Washburn, Iron, Burnett, and Sawyer counties). This is a large demonstration and thousands of individuals with SSI and SSDI benefits or just SSDI benefits in Wisconsin have been randomly selected to take part in BOND. Letters with the "Earn more, Keep more" logo will be starting to go out this month. Please read the info below and encourage people that receive the lettersto contact the BOND phone number provided with their questions. BOND is not a program someone can request to be a part of unless they have the letter letting them know they are eligible for BOND. The potential participants are randomly selected through the Social Security Administration.
Pathways Projects at the Department of Health Services has subcontracted with several agencies statewide to provide Work Incentive Counseling (benefits counseling services) for BOND participants. We have also subcontracted with Employment Resources, Inc. to lead the Enhanced Work Incentive Counseling (benefits counseling with employment services) for BOND participants across the state as well.
Social Security Testing New Ways to Return Workers with Disabilities to the Workforce
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced the beginning of the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) project. BOND is a special project that will test a new way to treat earnings for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries. SSAs goal is to find out how disabled beneficiaries respond to rule changes that allow them to keep more of their benefits while trying to return to work.
Under current program rules, individuals who receive SSDI benefits generally lose their entire monthly cash benefit if their earnings exceed the $1000 per month after using up a nine-month trial work period (TWP). SSA pays benefits through the TWP and for an additional three months. If the worker continues to earn over the $1000 monthly limit in gross wages, SSA suspends benefit checks.
The BOND program provides randomly chosen SSDI beneficiaries with a gradual reduction of benefits ($1 for each additional $2 earned over a yearly threshold of $12000)thus eliminating the cash cliff currently in effect. Those eligible for the benefit offset will be able to earn more from work and keep some of their disability benefits. SSA will continue to provide Medicare coverage to BOND participants earning over the limit.
Many SSDI beneficiaries worry about losing their cash benefits if they earn too much money. Congress has asked SSA to test policy changes to encourage workers with disabilities to return to gainful employment. SSA will randomly select SSDI beneficiaries in 10 sites around the country for the BOND project. The test will run from 2011 until September of 2022. Individual participants can only participate in the BOND test for five years.
SSA will establish a BOND office in Brookfield. The BOND office will work with local agencies to explain BOND. If you are a SSDI beneficiary who receives a BOND notice in a letter or a phone call, be sure to contact BOND. If someone in your family receives a notice or call, encourage that person to respond. You can call toll-free:
Voice: 1-877-7BOND09 (1-877-726-6309)
TTY: 1-877-7BOND90 (1-877-726-6390)
You can call the nearest BOND office at 1-262-789-2745 or 1-855-791-0088
updated by @amy-thomson: 11/20/15 07:15:55AM