Many people who receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA) suffer from permanently debilitating injuries or conditions. In order to qualify for benefits, the applicants must show medical evidence that their conditions prevent them from working for at least a year. For many of them, the disability lasts much longer that a year. In fact, the most common reasons that benefits cease is because recipients age into the retirement benefits category or they pass away. However, some people do see their health improve enough that they stop receiving benefits and return to work. Last year, an Oklahoma state agency helped 82 people return to full-time work.
In a state where one in six people are listed as “disabled,” this number may seem miniscule. However, an article in Tulsa World states that those 82 people will ultimately save the federal government $11.2 million dollars in their lifetimes. According to Jody Harlan, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, the agency contacts people who have recently qualified for disability benefits. The agency then supports and provides benefits recipients with access to job retraining.
The Department of Rehabilitation Services counseled and advised about 16,500 people last year, regardless of their disability categorization. In 2012, about 3,100 of those counseled were able to return to work. Harlan said that the people who return to work often become contributing taxpayers and stop receiving federal aid. Many people with disabilities will never be able to work again, but the state of Oklahoma is attempting to reach and encourage those who may be able to rejoin the workforce.
If you have questions about applying or qualifying for disability benefits, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney for more information about your rights. We offer free consultations, and you may also reach us by phone at (918) 587-0050.