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Benefits Planning

Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach (BPAO) program provides information to Social Security Disability (SSI and SSDI) recipients on how employment may affect their benefits. The goal is to help an individual with a disability make an informed choice about working.

A benefits specialist can help you find information about how working will affect your Social Security benefits. They will also examine any other benefits you receive, such as Medicaid or Medicare, housing, or food stamps, and help understand how work income will impact all benefits. You should meet with a Benefits Specialist when you are considering returning to work, increasing your number of work hours, or entering a training program.

A benefits specialist will meet with you to develop an individualized analysis of your benefits and the impact of employment. They can help you identify any work incentives that you may be eligible for so you may be able to protect your benefit for a period of time while you are trying out work.

Meeting with a Benefits Specialist will not cause you to lose your benefits. The benefits specialist does not tell Social Security that you are working. This is your responsibility. But they will give you the forms or help you in reporting your income to Social Security. The Benefits Specialist will meet with you in an office setting or public building near your home. They generally meet in a Vocational Rehabilitation office, a Department of Workforce Services Office, a mental health clinic or a library that is convenient for you. Services provided by a Benefits Specialist are free of charge.

You qualify if:
  1. You are currently receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and/or SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), and
  2. Have questions about how work will affect your benefits.

Anyone can make a referral to the BPAO program. A referral should be made when you or another person (currently receiving either SSI or SSDI benefits) has either been offered a job, or is currently working. To make a referral, fill out a Referal Form found online at and fax it to (801) 887-9389. For questions about BPAO call (801) 887-9523 or Toll Free (887) 246-9675

VIDEO: “Untapped resources”

Links This link is to the Social Security Administration Redbook on Employment Support. This book discusses various work incentives and how they may apply to someone on disability benefits.

A link to Form 821 “Work Activity Report”. This form is used when SSDI beneficiaries need to report work earnings or changes in work earnings.

This is a general website discussing work and Social Security benefits.