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Social Security Acronyms

The following is a list of "acronyms" commonly used by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This list may be helpful when communicating with SSA in order to ensure clear communication between you and the SSA representative.

SSA -- Social Security Administration

SSDI -- Social Security Disability Insurance (Title II) - Social Security Disability Insurance authorized under Title II of the Social Security Act.

SSI -- Supplemental Security Income (Title XVI) Supplemental Security Income program authorized under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.

BWE -- Blind Work Expense - If you are blind, when determining your SSI eligibility and payment amount SSA does not count any earned income that you use to meet expenses in earning the income.

CDR -- Continuing Disability Review - SSA process of obtaining complete current information about your condition and any work activity to decide if your SSDI and/or SSI benefits should continue.

EPE -- Extended Period of Eligibility - 36 consecutive months following the trial work period when, if you qualify, SSA may reinstate your SSDI benefits without a new application, disability determination, or waiting period.

FBR -- Federal Benefit Rate - The full SSI cash payment before deductions for income, in-kind services, or any other deductions. As of January 1, 2000, the FBR is $512 per month for an individual and $769 per month for a couple. The FBR is reviewed annually and revised based on the sot of living.

IRWE -- Impairment-Related Work Expense - SSA deducts the cost of items and services that you need to work because of your impairment (e.g., attendant care services, medical devices, etc.) when SSA decides if you are engaging in SGA. It does not matter if you also need the items for normal daily activities. SSA can usually deduct the cost of these same items from earned income to figure your SSI payment.

IWP - Individual Work Plan

OESP - Office of Employment Support Programs

PAS - Personal Assistance Service

PASS -- Plan for Achieving Self-Support - Under an approved PASS, you may set aside income and/or resources over a reasonable time which will enable you to reach a work goal to become financially self-supporting. You then can use the income and resources that you set aside to obtain occupational training or education, purchase occupational equipment, establish a business, etc. SSA does not count the income and resources that you set aside under a PASS when we decide SSI eligibility and payment amount.

SGA -- Substantial Gainful Activity - SSA evaluates the work activity of persons claiming or receiving disability benefits under SSDI, and/or claiming benefits because of a disability (other than blindness) under SSI. Under both programs, SSA uses earnings guidelines to evaluate your work activity to decide whether the work activity is substantial gainful activity and whether SSA may consider you disabled under the law. While this is only one of the tests used to decide if you are disabled, it is a critical threshold in disability evaluation. If your impairment is other than blindness, effective July 1999, earnings averaging over $700 a month generally demonstrate substantial gainful activity. If you are blind, effective January 2000, earnings averaging over $1170 a month generally demonstrate substantial gainful activity.

TWP -- Trial Work Period - The trial work period is an incentive for the personal rehabilitation efforts of SSDI beneficiaries who work. The trial work period lets you test your ability to work or run a business for at least 9 months and receive full SSDI benefits no matter how high your earnings are if your impairment does not improve.

For more terms used in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Programs visit the SSA's The Work Site.