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Social Security



Using Impairment-Related Work Expenses to Minimize Benefit Loss

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Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE)

In this work incentive, SSA deducts the cost of certain impairment-related items and services that you need to work from your gross earnings when SSA decides if your "countable earnings" demonstrate performance of SGA. It does not matter if you also use these items and services for non-work activities.

IRWE is excluded from your earned income when your SSI monthly payment amount is calculated.

SSA deducts IRWE for calculating substantial gainful activity (SGA) when:

1. The item or service enables you to work;
2. You need the item or service because of your disabling impairment;
3. You paid the cost and are not reimbursed by another source; for example, Medicare, Medicaid, or private insurance;
4. The cost is "reasonable", that is, it represents the standard charge for the item or service in your community; and
5. You paid the expense in a month that you are or were working. Occasionally, an impairment-related work expense may be used before the first or after the last month of work activity.

SSA deducts IRWE when SSI payment amounts are determined when:

* You meet requirements 1 through 4 above, and
* You paid the expense in a month that you received earned income or performed work while you used the impairment-related item or service.

Note: In certain situations, IRWE amounts can be deducted for expenses paid before you start or after you stop work.

To learn more, click on "text".


Click on the categories below to learn
what is deductible and what is not.

1. Attendant Care Services

2. Transportation Costs

3. Medical Devices

4. Work-Related Equipment and Assistants

5. Prosthesis

6. Residential Modifications

7. Routine Drugs and Routine Medical Services

8. Diagnostic Procedures

9. Non-Medical Appliances and Devices

10. Other Items and Services




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