Many people with disabilities want to work. A job can let you earn your own money, letting you live better and giving you independence from public benefits. Work can also help you meet more people and make new friends. Many people with disabilities are successful at meaningful jobs that they enjoy.

But you might be afraid to start working, if you think that you’ll lose the benefits you need. Or, you might think that if your benefits stop and you need them later, it’ll be impossible to get them again.

The truth is that people with disabilities are almost always better off when working. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and the state of Michigan have work incentives that allow you to begin working without losing your benefits and restore them if your income drops or you have to stop working.

But you must pay attention to the details. You need to understand your income, including your benefits. You also need to keep good records and report your income to everyone who needs to know.

In this section, we go over what you need to know and do to successfully manage your benefits while working.