Returning to work after getting mental health SSD benefits

There is a popular misconception that people go on Social Security Disability because they would prefer not to work. For most SSD recipients, though, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. Anybody who has been unemployed for any meaningful period of time can tell you that a steady job provides much more than a regular income – it also provides a sense of purpose and occupation that is hard to find outside the workforce.

Most people on disability benefits would prefer to work. It’s just that it is so hard to find a job that can provide a sufficient income while also accommodating a serious disability. This is especially true for people with mental health issues. Even though their physical appearance may make them seem “healthy” on the outside, they struggle with many issues that are not immediately understandable to those who have not experienced similar situations.

Oregon residents struggling with mental health issues may be interested in a return-to-work program that is proving successful in Vancouver. Perhaps a similar program could be adopted here to great success.

The program matches people with mental health disabilities with a caseworker who helps them create a return-to-work plan. The caseworker supplements the help the individual gets from social workers, nurses, occupational therapists and other professionals. The caseworker helps individuals develop their skills and matches them with jobs they could succeed in.

If you are struggling with mental health issues, Social Security disability can provide you with the income you need to get by. However, if you are thinking of rejoining the workforce, there are programs to help you do that. In many cases, you can keep receiving some SSD benefits while you try returning to work.

Source: The Globe and Mail, “B.C. work program finds employment for those with mental-health issues,” Ian Bailey, April 9, 2013.

For more information about the intersections between SSD and mental health, please visit our website

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