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What is Section 301 and how is it related to SSI benefits?

For those in Tennessee who are receiving Supplemental Security Income before turning 18, it must first be understood that the benefits can stop when they turn 18. This can be worrisome for many. The Social Security Administration will determine whether or not the underlying condition is sufficient under the adult rules to continue benefits, but it is possible that it will not. However, there is a way for the Social Security disability payments under SSI to continue through vocational rehabilitation (VR) or a similar-type program. This is known as Section 301.

People who are found to no longer meet the requirements for disability because their medical issue has sufficiently improved or the person has turned 18 and he or she does not meet the requirements for an adult condition will generally have SSD benefits ceased. But if the person is taking part in a VR or other type of program, the benefits might be allowed to continue until the end of that program.

In order to qualify under Section 301, there are certain criteria that must be met, including participation in an applicable program for VR or another program that started prior to the benefits stopping, a review of the program the claimant is taking part in, and the determination of whether continuing to take part in the program will raise the potential of the claimant no longer needing SSI-related benefits. Appropriate programs include an individualized education program (IEP) for people between the ages of 18 and 21, Ticket to Work, and a Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS).

In these instances, the benefits from Section 301 may continue until the claimant finishes the program, stops taking part in the program, or the SSA decides that there is not a sufficient likelihood of being removed from the SSI program if the participation continues. People who are about to turn 18 and are concerned about their SSI-related benefits need to understand Section 301. A legal professional with a wide range of experience in SSI benefits can help.

Source: Social Security Administration, "SSDI and SSI employment Supports -- Continued Payment under Vocational Rehabilitation or Similar Program (Section 301) (SSDI and SSI eligible)," accessed on Aug. 29, 2016

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