UntitledMy name is Bhumit and I have lived my entire life with cerebral palsy, and as a result have difficulties with my vision, speech, mobility and learning. My mission in life is to serve as a role model for society. For individuals with disabilities, I strive to make my life an example that anyone can make a positive impact in any environment. For those with no disability, I strive to break the stereotypes surrounding people with severe physical disabilities, which often obscure their mental prowess. I completed a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration from California State University Long Beach.

Even though I worked for a first class organization, WellPoint Inc. when I initially was offered the position, I like many other people with disabilities were fearful of working mainly due to the impact on public benefits. I was fortunate to learn and take advantage of the work incentives under the Social Security Administration program. One of the work incentives that enabled me to make a substantial income without losing my benefits is Impairment–Related Work Expenses (IRWE). IRWE allowed me to subtract any expenses related to my disability that allowed me to work. This included Transportation expenses, Verizon monthly bill, eyeglasses, wheelchair, co-payments and any assistive devices such as tape recorders and etc. I submitted receipts for all of the out of pocket expenses that I can correlate to working and my disability which enable me to reduce my countable income resulting in my ability to remain eligible for periodic SSI Payments. In addition, this is a great tool the working disabled can use to remain on Medicaid without a copayment.

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Advice From a Young Professional

The Basics

Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs) are expenses related to your disability that enable you to successfully complete your job duties. When you claim IRWEs, the amount of these expenses is deducted from your countable wages, therefore allowing you to keep more of your Social Security benefits.

Some examples of IRWEs include:

  • medicine,
  • medical supplies,
  • medical devices,
  • service animal costs,
  • disposable items such as bandages and syringes,
  • out-of-pocket expenses paid for doctor’s visits,
  • attendant care,
  • transportation to and from work, and
  • medications may also be counted as IRWEs.

The bottom line is that IRWEs must be:

  • related to your disability and
  • related to your ability to work.