Policy Changes

Under the CareerACCESS model, legislative reforms will be recommended to accelerate the potential impact of the CareerACCESS program.

For SSI recipients, these policy changes will focus on allowing increased earnings and remove asset limits when work is being pursued by beneficiaries participating under this initiative. CareerACCESS recommends an increase in Substantial Gainful Activity for CareerACCESS participants to a minimum of 250% of the poverty level. Plus, CareerACCESS recommends the establishment of new SSI eligibility requirements which would minimize the negative impact on SSI participants when they are required to prove that they are permanently unemployable in order to receive benefits. These policy shifts would be extended to CareerACCESS program participants; thereby, helping to ensure the financial investment of these proposed reforms.

Further, CareerACCESS is positioned to pilot how to expand the mission of SSDI from a wage replacement program to a program that safeguards against the high cost of disability and enables workers to connect to work, stay at work, or return to work.

As inaugural pilots unfold, both the resulting outcomes and knowledge gained will serve to further refine and support these policy recommendations.

“Exploring an Alternative Social Security Definition of Disability” White Paper

This white paper explores the various issues contributing to the low employment rates of both SSI and SSDI beneficiaries; and, offers policy and program strategies designed to help increase their employment transitions. Specifically, the white paper calls to replace the phrase “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity” as part of the inability to work definition for disability in modernizing the approach crafted in 1955.

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