Arizona Glossary Items

Rules that allow Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients to keep their SSI benefit at a lower level when they return to work.

A rule that lets people who stop getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits due to work income keep their AHCCCS health coverage while earning up to $53,159 per year. 1619(b) also makes it easier to get SSI benefits started up again if your countable income goes below SSI's income limit. For 1619(b), you must continue to meet other SSI eligibility rules, such as the resource limit.

Note: If your earnings are over this limit and you have high medical expenses, you might still qualify for 1619(b). Ask your local Social Security office about the 1619(b) Individualized Earnings Threshold.

A type of financial account for people who have disabilities that began before they turned 26. ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) accounts have tax advantages and the money in these accounts does not affect eligibility for many benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), AHCCCS, and Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps). Money in ABLE accounts must be used for specific things, like education, housing, transportation, health care, work-related expenses, assistive technology, or other approved living expenses. Note: If you have more than $100,000 in your ABLE account, the money will be counted by the SSI program.

ABLE accounts can only be opened through specific programs or financial institutions and a person can only open one account. Each state regulates which financial institution offers ABLE accounts in that state. You do not have to open your account in your own state: if another state offers a program, it may let you open an account there. That lets you compare which financial institution offers the right options for you and means you can open an account even if no financial institution in your state offers accounts.

Arizona's ABLE account program is AZ ABLE, which is only open to Arizona residents. You can choose to open an account in another state’s ABLE program.

If you have an ABLE account and work:
  • You can put up to an extra $14,580 of your earnings into your account (on top of the regular $18,000 that is allowed). The $14,580 must be from your own earnings – it cannot be contributions from others or money you get from benefits or other unearned income.
    • Note: This means that if you earn $14,580 or more, you could have a total of up to $32,580 go into your ABLE account in a year. If you earn less than $14,580, the amount you could contribute would be lower.
  • You may qualify for the Saver’s Credit when you file your federal taxes.
  • You have to make sure that too much money isn’t contributed into your account (even if it is other people making the deposits). Check with your ABLE program if you have questions about this.

Facilities that provide sleeping accommodations and other services to adults with disabilities and others.

Health coverage offered by your employer that:

  • Would cost you, for your policy alone, less than 9.12% of your income for the monthly premium, and
  • Meets bronze-level standards.

If you have an option that meets these standards, you cannot qualify for government subsidies to get private insurance on If your income is low enough, you may still qualify for AHCCCS.

The process of determining whether a child who is an SSI beneficiary will meet the adult definition of disability. The redetermination happens within a year of the 18th birthday.

A program that provides health coverage to working people with disabilities in Arizona who are not otherwise eligible for AHCCCS. People in the Freedom to Work program get full AHCCCS coverage in exchange for a monthly premium.

For benefits eligibility, a person who is recognized as an American Indian by a federally recognized tribe, or is recognized by the United States as an Indian and has a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. For a list of the federally recognized tribes, check the U.S. Department of the Interior Indian Affairs website.

A federal law that protects the rights of people with disabilities at work and in public places. The ADA makes it illegal for employers, the government, or other public agencies to discriminate against (to treat unfairly or unequally) disabled people at work and in most public places, places, such as restaurants, hotels, and theaters. The law also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to allow employees with disabilities to do their jobs.

A request to have a third party review an agency’s decision. Requests may be verbal or written. Typically, appeals are requested when benefits, services, or treatments are denied, stopped, or reduced.

State agency that enforces civil rights laws, raises public awareness of civil rights, offers services to resolve disagreements, and offers community services throughout Arizona. Learn more about ACRD.

AHCCCS is Arizona's Medicaid program. AHCCCS is a state-run health care program that pays medical expenses for people who are disabled, young, elderly, poor, or pregnant. If you meet program requirements, AHCCCS will help pay for a variety of medical services including visits to the doctor, hospital stays, medical equipment, home care services, and prescription drugs. You can apply for AHCCCS online.

A program that provides AHCCCS benefits to people of any age who are blind or disabled and need ongoing services at a nursing home level of care.

A person who is currently living in Arizona with the intention of remaining in the state permanently or for an indefinite time period. Or a person who is currently living in Arizona to obtain or pursue employment or who entered Arizona with a job commitment.

The Arizona Work Incentive Information Network (WIIN) is committed to ensure that individuals with disabilities and their families have the information, services and supports they need to make decisions about employment and make the transition from dependence on public benefits to financial self-sufficiency.

WIIN shares daily business practices with network partners, which promote and support employment. By sharing a unified, accurate message that empowers people with disabilities to explore employment options, WIIN helps people with disabilities move out of poverty and make informed decisions about employment.

You can contact WIIN at 1-866-304-WORK (9675).

The maximum amount of assets you're allowed to own while maintaining eligibility for a particular disability benefits program. Most benefits programs do not count everything you own, including the home you live in and one car you own. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as assets. For AHCCCS, Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps), and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called a "resource limit."

Things that you own, like a car or a house. You can only own a certain amount in assets and still qualify for many health care and disability benefit programs. The home you live in and the car you drive to work are exempt under most Social Security and state disability benefit programs. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as assets. For AHCCCS, Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps), and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called "resources."

Legislation that established Individual Development Account (IDA) programs for applicants who are not on TANF Cash Assistance. The three goals of AFIA include: providing individuals and families with incentives to save earned income, increasing self-sufficiency, and improving the community.

Technological devices that help people with disabilities carry out daily activities.

ARIZONA@WORK is a public and private partnership with a network of 47 local offices in 12 regional areas that helps employers and job seekers connect.

ARIZONA@WORK helps employers of all sizes and types recruit, develop, and retain the best employees for their needs. ARIZONA@WORK helps job seekers throughout the state with services and resources that help with the pursuit of employment opportunities. Through the support of federal funding, ARIZONA@WORK services are provided at no charge.

Learn more about ARIZONA@WORK.

A report that summarizes your current Social Security disability benefits and available work incentives. To order one, visit your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 (voice); 1-800-325-0778 (TTY). Be sure to review your BPQY carefully. If you have questions about it, contact a Work Incentive Consultant or Social Security.

Tip: The BPQY is form number SSA-2459. If a Social Security Claims Representative does not know what a BPQY is, mention the form number.

Money or other resources available for a particular purpose, such as starting a business or investing.

A way of automatically qualifying for a benefit because you are in a specific situation. With categorical eligibility, it does not matter whether you meet other program requirements. Categorical eligibility is a common way people qualify for Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps).


  • If you get TANF Cash Assistance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you automatically qualify to get Nutrition Assistance. It doesn't matter if you meet other program requirements.
  • If you receive non-cash services or benefits funded by TANF Cash Assistance or other low-income programs, you may automatically qualify for Nutrition Assistance. It doesn't matter if you meet other program requirements.

A Center for Independent Living is a community-based organization that provides programs and services for people with all types of disabilities and their families. The goal of a Center for Independent Living is to support people with disabilities in full participation in their community.

The majority of the staff at a Center for Independent Living is usually living with a disability, so they can provide real-world peer support. To find a Center for Independent Living near you, refer to the Arizona Statewide Independent Living Council website.

Social Security benefits for adults who:

  • Became disabled before turning 22, and
  • Have a parent who died or who gets retirement or SSDI benefits.

Formerly known as "Disabled Adult Child" (DAC) benefits.

Assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria, U.S. citizens and Qualified Aliens (inlcuding those who meet I-551 or I-94 status) are eligible for both Social Security and state public benefits programs.

Legal residents who don't have I-551 or I-94 status may be eligible for some state programs, but not for Social Security programs. This could include Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), refugees, asylees, conditional entrants, people certified as victims of trafficking, certain people whose immigration status is pending, people under Temporary Protected or Family Unity Beneficiary Status, Lawful Temporary Residents, applicants for asylum, people who have been granted or are applying for withholding of removal, and all other people with a lawfully residing immigrant status.

People who are undocumented or non-immigrants are eligible for fewer programs.

The portion of the payment for medical services that an individual is responsible for. For example, your health coverage may pay for 80% of the costs of a service, while you will have to pay the remaining 20%. That 20% is known as "co-insurance."

If you lose your employer-sponsored health coverage, COBRA laws allow you to continue that coverage for up to 18 months in most situations.

If you lose access to group health insurance that you got through your employer for certain reasons, including a job change, divorce, or job loss, there are laws that allow you to continue your group coverage temporarily. This is known as continuation coverage. You will usually have to pay the full costs of your continuation coverage, including any portion of the premium your employer may have paid for in the past. The federal continuation coverage law is called COBRA. Many states also have their own continuation coverage laws.

A periodic review to determine if there has been any medical improvement in your condition and/or to determine whether you continue to be eligible for Social Security benefits for other reasons. The two types of reviews are called a medical CDR and a work CDR.

A set amount you have to pay when you receive medical services. For example, you may have to pay $30 every time you visit the doctor or $20 to get a prescription refilled. This is also known as a "copay."

Countable earned income is the portion of your earned income that is counted by a benefits program. Earned income includes salaries, wages, tips, and any other money that you receive as pay for work that you do.

For example, the SSI program uses a special calculation to determine your countable earned income, your total countable income, and ultimately, your SSI benefit.

The amount of income that Social Security or the state counts when figuring out if you qualify for benefits and, if so, the level of benefits you should get. Not all of your income counts.

Example: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) counts most unearned income, but a bit less than half of earned income. So, if you have $500 in unearned income and $500 in earned income, your countable income for SSI would be just $697.50, even though your total income would be $1,000. Other programs, such as disability-based AHCCCS and Medicare Savings Programs often use calculations similar to SSI's.

Resources are things you own, like a home or car. To be eligible for SSI, you can only have up to $2,000 in resources ($3,000 for a couple).

When determining whether or not you qualify for SSI, Social Security excludes certain resources from your countable resource total. Your home and one car do not count as resources, for example. Income received from Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC), Child Tax Credits (CTC), Nutrition Assistance (formerly Food Stamps), grants, scholarships, fellowships, gifts, property essential to self-support, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), and many other items may be excluded as well. Additionally, for SSI, the first $100,000 in an ABLE account are not countable resources.

Countable unearned income is the portion of your unearned income that is counted by a benefits program. Funds received from sources for which no paid work activity is performed are considered "unearned income" (for example, disability benefits such as SSDI, SSI, short- and long-term disability insurance; VA benefits; Workers' Compensation; income from a trust or investment; spousal support).

For example, the SSI program uses a special calculation to determine your countable earned and unearned income, your total countable income, and ultimately, your SSI benefit.

The ability to borrow money based on your history and promise of repayment.

A number (between 300 and 850) that is based on a person’s credit history, that is used by lenders to measure whether or not a person would be likely to repay debts. People who pay all of their debts on time will have a higher score; people who do not pay their debts on time will have a lower score. It is easier to get loans if you have a high credit score.

A process that allows a job seeker and potential employer to individualize a job description so that the job seeker's strengths would be utilized while the employer's needs would be met.

The amount an individual is responsible for paying for health care services before the insurer begins to pay.

This is an amount that is deducted from your countable gross income. If you qualify for (or get) SNAP, you will get the Dependent Care Deduction when you pay for the care of a dependent child or someone who is incapacitated.

The inability to engage in any Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) due to any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

A person must not only be unable to do his/her previous work but cannot, considering age, education, and work experience, engage in any other kind of SGA which exists in the national economy. It doesn't matter whether such work exists in the immediate area, or whether a specific job vacancy exists, or whether the worker would be hired if he/she applied for work. The worker’s impairment(s) must be the primary reason for his/her inability to engage in SGA.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you are disabled if you have, have a record of, or are regarded as having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing, performing manual tasks, caring for oneself, learning, or working. Major life activities also include the operation of major body functions, including:

  • The immune system
  • Special sense organs
  • The skin
  • Cell growth
  • Digestive, genitourinary, bowel, and bladder functions
  • The nervous system and brain
  • Respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions

An agency ruling that your disability meets the standards set by the Social Security Administration's definition of disability. Your disability must be reviewed and determined to match the SSA definition before you can get certain public benefits. If you're on SSI, SSDI, or any Arizona disability benefits program, you've already been determined disabled.

A division within Arizona’s Department of Economic Stability (DES) that decides whether or not you meet the state criteria for blind or disabled status. The Disability Determination Services Administration uses a standard process to make disability determinations for people with disabilities who either aren't eligible for Social Security benefits such as SSI or SSDI, have an application pending for Social Security benefits, or are in their 5-month waiting period for SSDI.

Contact your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office for more information.

Social Security benefits for adults who:

  • Became disabled before turning 22, and
  • Have a parent who died or who gets retirement or SSDI benefits.

Also called "Childhood Disability Benefits" (CDB).

The process of telling your employer – or potential employer – that you have a disability. Your employer does not have the right to ask you about your disability during the hiring process before a job offer is made. Even after a job offer, there are legal limits about when and what an employer can ask about disability.

Generally, the only time it is required to disclose a disabling condition at the workplace is when requesting a reasonable accommodation. Even then, the requirement is only to present the employer with information demonstrating that a reasonable accommodation is needed for the person to perform the essential functions of the job.

The initial payment you make when you buy something on credit.

Salaries, wages, tips, professional fees, and other amounts you receive as pay for physical or mental work you perform. This can include things you get in exchange for work instead of wages, such as food, shelter, or other items. Funds received from any other source are not included. (Contrast: unearned income.)

A federal income tax credit for low income working individuals and families. The credit reduces the amount of federal income tax you owe and can result in a refund check. Most people claim their Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) when they file their federal income taxes.

Health coverage offered through an employer as a benefit for employees and their families. Employers usually pay a portion of the monthly premium and the employee pays the rest.

An employment services agency that is approved by Social Security. Employment Networks may offer a variety of services such as job readiness services, placement services, vocational rehabilitation, training, job coaches, transportation or other supports.

Employment Network examples:

  • Employers
  • Employers offering or arranging for job training
  • Employers collaborating with community based organizations
  • Transportation providers
  • Staffing and placement agencies
  • Consumer groups
  • State Department of Rehabilitation
  • Private providers of rehabilitation services
  • Vocational rehabilitation Service Projects for American Indians with disabilities
  • Cottage industries such as benefits planning services combined with other services
  • Public or private schools providing transitional education or career development services
  • Organizations working with ethnic, disability, or religious faith groups

A current list of Employment Networks can be found on the Ticket to Work website.

A person who organizes and runs a business and takes responsibility for the financial risks of doing so.

The fundamental job duties that you must be able to perform on your own or with the help of a reasonable accommodation. An employer cannot refuse to hire you because your disability prevents you from performing duties that are not essential to the job. At the same time, you cannot ask for an essential function to be removed from your job description as a reasonable accommodation.

A three-year period (36 months) after your SSDI Trial Work Period ends, during which you can keep getting SSDI benefits in any month when you earn less than the Substantial Gainful Activity level ($1,550 in 2024; $2,590 if you're blind).

If you earn more than SGA, your SSDI benefits will be suspended. However, during the EPE, you are eligible to have your SSDI benefits restarted if your earnings drop below SGA.

The amount that each individual in a household is responsible for spending each month on food and shelter. If you live alone, it is the full cost of food and shelter. If you live with others, it is an equal portion of the total food and shelter expenses. For example, if you and three other people live together and spend a total of $4,000 per month on rent, utilities, and food, a fair share for each of you would be $1,000.

For the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and some other programs, whether an adult pays the fair share of expenses may affect benefits eligibility or benefits amounts.

A federal law that allows you to take up to 12 weeks off of work for the birth or adoption of a child, to care for a family member, or if you have a serious medical condition. You need to have worked for your employer for at least one year to qualify for FMLA coverage and your employer must employ at least 50 people.

Loans offered by banks and mortgage lenders that are insured by the federal government. They allow buyers to make much smaller down payments and are typically available for people with lower credit scores.

Monthly and annual income amounts used to determine financial eligibility for state and federal benefit programs.

Each year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) in the Federal Register. The current FPG for one person is $15,060 per year; for two people, it's $20,440. Add $5,380 for each additional person.

Some agencies refer to these guidelines as the "Federal Poverty Level (FPL)" or "Federal Poverty Line (FPL)."

Note: Different state and federal programs adopt the new Federal Poverty Guidelines on different dates each year.

AHCCCS health coverage that you get at no cost to you (though there may be copays for certain services.)

Monitoring the activities of a person with cognitive disabilities to assure that they are not a harm to themselves or others.

Money that does not have to be repaid. Government agencies and foundations give grants to programs and individuals who need financial help.

Your earned income (before taxes and other deductions are made) plus your unearned income.

Coverage offered to an individual through a group, such as employer-sponsored, association-affiliated or professional group coverage.

Services or devices which help a person with a health condition to develop skills useful for everyday living, which they have never developed before.

This is different than rehabilitative services, which help a person with a health condition relearn skills that they knew how to do before an illness, accident, or injury.

A law that protects the privacy and confidentiality of your health information, such as medical records and test results. It regulates how health care providers are allowed to handle and share your protected health information.

HIPAA also prevents group health plans from denying you coverage based on your health condition and provides protections for those buying individual health coverage. However, these parts of HIPAA are protections that are no longer needed, since the Affordable Care Act provides all the same protections, plus more.

A common type of health care coverage plan. HMOs require that you only see certain doctors and that your primary care physician decides when you need to see a specialist.

A household (or budgetary unit) is all of the people living together whose income and resources must be counted to figure out if the household is eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). People who buy and make meals together have to be counted as the same budgetary unit. Certain people may have to be counted as part of the budgetary unit because of their relationship to each other (parents and their children under 22; spouses living together; siblings living together, depending on how old they are.)

Documented expenses for services or items that are related to a serious medical condition or impairment and needed in order to work. Wheelchairs, physician visits, copayments for prescriptions, and other medical expenses are some examples of IRWEs. The expenses must be verified by original receipts and canceled checks and approved by Social Security.

You are incapacitated when a legal court finds that you are unable to take care of your essential health and safety needs (such as medical care, clothing, nutrition, and shelter) or financial resources (such as managing your bank account or paying your bills).

A savings account in which your deposits are "matched" at a certain rate. If you have a 2-to-1 match, for example, an additional $2 will be deposited for every $1 that you deposit in your account. IDAs are usually used to save for school, purchasing a home, or starting a business.

Private health insurance an individual or family purchases. The individual or family pays a monthly premium and the plan agrees to pay a portion of the cost of approved medical services when needed, like for preventive care, lab tests, surgery, or prescription drugs. The easiest way to purchase an individual plan is through

The government may help individuals and families with low to middle income who get their coverage through pay for their monthly premiums and a portion of the cost of approved medical services.

A formal agreement between an individual in the Ticket to Work program and an Employment Network that describes how services will help the person to achieve an employment goal. The IWP includes specific steps and a time schedule that may span several years.

An educational plan for a student receiving special education services. The IEP is created with input from parents, teachers, staff, and the student. It includes information on the student’s current performance, goals and evaluation, and on what specific services the student will need.

KidsCare is Arizona's Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). KidsCare provides health coverage for qualifying Arizona residents who are 18 years old or younger, have limited family income, and are not eligible for AHCCCS health coverage.

Money that has to be repaid over time. You may get a loan to pay for different things, like buying a home or a car or paying for college or other expenses.

Private insurance that replaces some of your income when you can't work because of a disability. Long-Term Disability (LTD) generally covers disabilities that last more than a year. To apply for LTD, speak with your employer's human resources department, or contact a private insurance company.

Help paying for Medicare Part D for people with low to moderate income and resources. Also known as "Extra Help". With it, you will not have to pay a Part D premium or deductible, and there may be lower copayments.

You may qualify if you are in one of these situations:

  • You also get AHCCCS coverage
  • You are in a Medicare Savings Program (MSP), or
  • You have countable income below $20,331 per year if you are single ($27,594 for couples) and resources less than $15,720 if you are single ($31,360 for couples).

Note: Not all of your income and resources are counted when you apply for the Low Income Subsidy. You can apply for the LIS even if you are not sure that you will qualify.

An organization that administers health care and long-term care services for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) and the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS). Most people who get AHCCCS or ALTCS are assigned a case manager at an MCO. The MCO may decide which doctors a patient may see and which services a patient may use.

Funds paid by an IDA program when an individual deposits money into the account.

A joint federal and state program that provides assistance with medical costs to low income individuals and families. Medicaid programs vary from state to state. The federal Medicaid program is called AHCCCS in Arizona.

The review of an individual’s medical history and/or medical records to determine if the individual is eligible for coverage. Medical underwriting, which may include new medical testing, can be used to deny coverage or determine if a particular pre-existing condition will be covered.

The Affordable Care Act prohibits health insurance companies from doing medical underwriting and excluding pre-existing conditions from coverage. Other forms of insurance, like private disability insurance, can do medical underwriting and exclude pre-existing conditions.

The part of Medicare that helps pay for prescription drugs.

Medicare Savings Programs are programs that help people with low income and low resources pay for their Medicare expenses, such as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles. There are three main Medicare Savings Programs:

  • The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program helps people with countable income that’s 100% of FPG or less ($1,255 per month or less if you live alone).
    • If you have Original Medicare, QMB helps pay for your Part B and Part A premiums, copayments, and deductibles.
    • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, QMB helps pay your premium, copayments, and deductibles.
    • Note: If you qualify for QMB, you also qualify for AHCCCS coverage.
  • The Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB) program helps people with countable income that’s more than 100% of FPG, but at or below 120% of FPG ($1,506 per month or less if you live alone).
    • If you have Original Medicare, SLMB helps pay for the Part B premium.
    • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, SLMB helps with the premium.
  • The Qualified Individual-1 (QI-1) program helps people with countable income that’s more than 120% of FPG, but at or below 135% of FPG ($1,695 per month or less if you live alone).
    • If you have Original Medicare, QI-1 helps pay for the Part B premium.
    • If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, QI-1 helps with the premium.

Medicare Savings Programs are managed by the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). AHCCCS determines if you are eligible and will help you manage your care. You can apply for an MSP online using Health-e-Arizona or complete the paper MSP application and submit it to your DES/Family Assistance Administration office.

A supplemental insurance policy sold by private insurance companies to fill gaps in the Original Medicare Plan. There are many standardized Medicare supplement plans offered through a number of carriers. You can search for carriers on the website. Medicare supplements are also referred to as "Medigap."

Note: In Arizona, you cannot get a Medigap policy if you are under age 65.

A business operating on a very small scale. Often a microenterprise is owned and run by 1 person and has a small number of employees.

A loan for funds used to buy real estate property.

The amount of income you have after certain amounts are subtracted from it.

A county-run, federal program that helps people with low incomes buy food. To learn more, go to the Department of Economic Security's Nutrition Assistance website.

If you are on COBRA for 18 months, you may be able to extend your health care coverage for an additional 11 months via OBRA protections. Important: You must apply for OBRA within 30 to 60 days of the date that you're approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

Offices with free tools, resources, and services that can help you find employment or training and get help with other work-related needs. They can help you with various things, including:

  • Giving you advice about local employers who are hiring
  • Teaching you the basics of how to do a job search
  • Helping you with your resume
  • Practicing job interviews
  • Showing you how to use online jobs websites

Find a local ARIZONA@WORK One-Stop Job Center. For online access to Arizona employment services, visit the AZ Job Connection.

A pay-per-visit health coverage plan that allows individuals to go to any doctor, hospital, or other health care supplier who accepts Medicare and who is accepting new Medicare patients. The individual is responsible for paying a deductible and copayment. Under Original Medicare, Medicare pays a portion of the Medicare-approved amount, while the individual pays for his/her share (coinsurance).

Individuals with Medicare choose to either stay in Original Medicare or enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. Medicare Advantage plans will have different costs and covered services than Original Medicare.

Payment that exceeds the approved benefit amount.

Social Security’s process of figuring out how much of parents’ income is used to pay for a child’s basic needs. Some of the parents' income may be considered the child's when determining whether or not the child is eligible for disability benefit programs.The amount of deemed income is subtracted from the benefit amount.

A group of specialists at the Social Security Administration (SSA) who review, monitor, and approve Plans to Achieve Self-Support (PASS). They can also help you as you write your plan.

To contact the Phoenix PASS Cadre (serving all of Arizona), call 1-866-331-4359, ext. 12887.

A program administered by a pharmaceutical company that provides financial assistance with prescription drug costs. PAPs offer free and discounted prescription drugs to those who qualify.

Services designed to assist an individual with a disability perform activities of daily living at home or in the workplace.

Assistance and support services for people with disabilities who live independently in the community. A qualified personal care assistant provides the services in the person’s own home or in the community.

A Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program that allows you to set aside income and assets for expenses related to a specific work goal. Income that you use for these expenses will not cause your SSI benefits to go down. Assets that you spend on PASS expenses won't count towards the SSI limit.

A PASS specialist can help you set up a Plan to Achieve Self-Support.

A review done to figure out whether a person qualifies for a benefit.

A regularly scheduled payment to an insurer or health care plan.

Health coverage through a private company that pays for medical expenses. A monthly premium must be paid for this coverage by the individual or family covered, by an employer, or by an association. The individuals covered by private health plans must also make payments such as copayments or coinsurance each time they use certain medical services.

In some cases, the federal government may help low to middle-income families pay for private health coverage through tax subsidies if they are in very specific situations and do not have other affordable health coverage alternatives.

Anything that you own and need to support yourself. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) approves the property that you claim is Property Essential to Self-Support (PESS), Social Security will not count these things as resources when figuring out if you are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Three types of property can be excluded as PESS:

  • Property that you use in a trade or business (for example, your inventory) or personal property you use for work as an employee (for example, tools or equipment)
  • Up to $6,000 of the value of nonbusiness property that you use to produce something that helps with your daily living (for example, land that you use to produce vegetables that you eat)
  • Up to $6,000 of the value of property if the property gives you a return of at least a 6% per year (for example, property you own and rent to someone else)

You must be using the property to support yourself or expect to start using it again within a reasonable period of time, usually 12 months.

A local agency that is in charge of assigning Section 8 housing vouchers, taking care of upkeep of public housing, and making sure that the housing is safe, decent, and affordable. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) oversees and assists PHAs.

Find public housing authorities near you.

There are several categories of noncitizens who are considered “qualified aliens.” These people include:

  • Afghan and Iraqi special immigrants
  • Aliens with deportation or removal withheld
  • Amerasian refugees
  • American Indians born in Canada
  • Asylees
  • Battered aliens
  • Conditional entrants
  • Cuban-Haitian entrants
  • Foreign-born members of U.S. Indian Tribes
  • Hmong or Laotian Highlanders
  • Lawful permanent residents
  • Parolees for at least one year
  • Victims of trafficking

Note that not all qualified aliens can get full AHCCCS coverage.

Most nonqualified aliens are people who were admitted to the United States for a limited period of time, such as foreign students, visitors for business or pleasure, and temporary workers. They do not qualify for any form of AHCCCS coverage.

Undocumented aliens are people in the U.S. without the permission of the U.S. government. They cannot get full AHCCCS coverage, but may qualify for emergency services.

A reasonable accommodation is an adjustment or modification that enables a person with a disability to participate in, benefit from, enjoy, use, or do something.

A request to an employer to make a modification to a job or workplace that allows an employee to successfully perform the essential duties of a job. The request can come from the employee, or an employee's friend, family member, or medical provider. Reasonable accommodation rules are case-by-case situations, and employers and employees can negotiate the terms under the law.

Agencies to which you need to report any changes in your income or living situation, if you get public benefits.

If you're on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY), or visit your local Social Security office, and ask what's the best way for you to report. Note: Reporting rules for SSI and SSDI are different and if you get both benefits, you must report income for them separately.

If you're on AHCCCS or any other state program, like TANF Cash Assistance or Nutrition Assistance, report online or contact your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office.

Cash or property that you own, can convert to cash, or can use to support yourself. Stocks, bonds, and savings accounts are a few examples of resources. The home you live in and the car you drive to work are exempt under most Social Security and state disability benefit programs. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as resources. For AHCCCS, Nutrition Assistance, and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called "assets."

A rule that allows certain people to keep their Social Security benefits after being found to no longer be medically disabled. For Section 301 to apply, a person who gets benefits has to be participating in a Social Security approved employment support program, and participation in that program has to increase the likelihood that he or she will not need Social Security benefits after completing the program. Vocational rehabilitation and PASS are two examples of “Social Security approved employment support programs."

A program that helps people with low income pay for housing. Federally funded and administered by local public housing authorities (PHAs), Section 8 has three main programs:

  • The housing choice voucher program, which helps pay for rent in any privately owned housing that accepts a Section 8 voucher. This is the most common Section 8 program.
  • Project-based Section 8, which also helps pay for rent in privately owned rental housing, but only in specific privately owned buildings.
  • The Section 8 Homeownership Program, which helps buy a home and meet the monthly homeownership expenses.

Working for yourself rather than someone else. If you run your own business, you're "self-employed."

Private insurance that replaces some of your income when you can't work because of a disability. Short-Term Disability (STD) generally covers disabilities that last a year or less. To apply for STD, speak with your employer's human resources department, or contact a private insurance company.

A Social Security cash benefit for children with a parent who gets Social Security retirement benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Children with a deceased parent may also qualify.

A Social Security Administration program that gives money each month to people who have a disability that meets Social Security disability rules and who, in the past, worked and paid FICA taxes for enough time to qualify. SSDI has no income limits and no resource limits. The amount you get in SSDI benefits depends on your Social Security earnings record. After getting SSDI benefits for two years, you automatically qualify for Medicare health coverage.

SSDI also offers benefits to family members, including children and widows, when a primary wage earner in the family becomes disabled or dies. Additionally, adults whose disabilities began before they turned 22 may be able to get Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB).

An exclusion that allows most students to work without their SSI benefit decreasing. The SEIE lets you keep the first $2,290 in earnings each month without affecting the countable earned income calculation. But there is an annual cap of $9,230, so if you earn more than this in any given year, the income starts counting again.

The amount of monthly earned income that shows a person is doing significant work according to Social Security. People who cannot earn more than SGA due to their disabilities may be considered disabled by Social Security and other agencies that use Social Security’s definition of disability.

In 2024, SGA is $1,550 per month ($2,590 for people who are blind).

SGA levels for previous years:

Year Disabled, Non-blind Blind
2023 $1,470 $2,460
2022 $1,350 $2,260
2021 $1,310 $2,190
2020 $1,260 $2,110
2019 $1,220 $2,040
2018 $1,180 $1,970
2017 $1,170 $1,950
2016 $1,130 $1,820
2015 $1,090 $1,820
2014 $1,070 $1,800
2013 $1,040 $1,740
2012 $1,010 $1,690
2011 $1,000 $1,640
2010 $1,000 $1,640

Social Security lists the SGA levels for earlier years.

A county-run, federal program that helps people with low incomes buy food. Called Nutrition Assistance in Arizona. Formerly called Food Stamps.

A Social Security Administration program that gives cash benefits to people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. The amount you get in SSI benefits is based on your financial need and your living situation. The maximum monthly SSI benefit is $943 for individuals and $1,415 for eligible couples.

This is the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) office that handles health care for people with disabilities who do not get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefits.

If you have a disability and don’t get SSI cash benefits, you can apply for AHCCCS coverage at your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office. If you do not qualify for one of the AHCCCS programs through DES, your application may be referred to SSI-MAO, who will contact you in order to complete your application. You can also choose to apply for AHCCCS directly through the SSI-MAO office. For more information, call SSI-MAO at 1-602-417-5010.

If you have a disability and get SSI benefits, you will get AHCCCS benefits automatically and do not need to apply separately.

This is Arizona's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program (sometimes called "welfare-to-work"). It provides cash assistance to low income families with children, and also helps with job training and finding employment.

TANF used to be called "Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)."

A Social Security Administration (SSA) program that helps adults with disabilities prepare for, find, and keep jobs. To qualify, you must be 18 – 64 years old and currently be getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Ticket to Work offers free services, such as:

Learn more on the Ticket to Work website.

Active participation in the Individual Work Plan (IWP) during the first two years of the Ticket program. Thereafter, timely progress is referred to as "increased work activity and earnings" (Year 3, 4, and 5).

As long as an individual is making timely progress on the IWP, Social Security will not initiate a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR).

Any month when gross monthly earnings are above $1,110 (for 2024). Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs) cannot be deducted when figuring out Trial Work month earnings.

Trial Work month income levels are indexed annually for increases or decreases in the average wage. Previous Trial Work month gross income levels were:

  • $1,050 in 2023
  • $970 in 2022
  • $940 in 2021
  • $910 in 2020
  • $880 in 2019
  • $850 in 2018
  • $840 in 2017
  • $810 in 2016
  • $780 in 2015
  • $770 in 2014
  • $750 in 2013
  • $720 in 2012
  • $720 in 2011
  • $720 in 2010
  • $700 in 2009
  • $670 in 2008
  • $640 in 2007
  • $620 in 2006
  • $590 in 2005
  • $580 in 2004
  • $570 in 2003
  • $560 in 2002
  • $530 in 2001
  • $200 from 1990 to 2000, and
  • $75 before 1990.

The Trial Work Period is the nine Trial Work months occurring within a five-year window when you can work and continue to get your full SSDI benefit. These work months can occur one right after the other or be spread out over time.

A person who is:

  • Born in one of the 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Swain’s Island
  • Born outside of the U.S. to at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen
  • Granted citizenship status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

When applying for benefits, contact the agency you are applying to to find out what documents are acceptable for proving citizenship.

Funds received from sources for which no paid work activity is performed. Disability benefits such as SSDI, SSI, short-term disability insurance, and long-term disability insurance; VA benefits; Workers' Compensation; income from a trust or investment; spousal support; dividends, profits, or funds received from any source other than work are all usually considered unearned income.

A state agency that helps people with disabilities prepare for, find, and keep jobs that are consistent with their skills, strengths, and interests.

The amount of time you have to wait between becoming disabled and receiving a benefit. For example, many private disability plans begin paying benefits 7 days after an illness forces you to leave work.

One of the eligibility requirements for SSDI is to have worked and paid FICA taxes for specified periods of time. If you work and earn at least $1,730 for one quarter (three months), and pay FICA taxes, you earn one SSDI "work credit." You can earn up to four credits within a 12-month period.

The number of work credits needed to qualify for SSDI depends upon how old you were when Social Security determined that you are disabled.

If you were determined disabled before age 24, you need six credits within the past three years to be eligible for SSDI.

If you were determined disabled between the ages of 24 and 31, you need 12 credits within the past six years to be eligible for SSDI.

If you were determined disabled after you turned 31, you need the number of work credits shown in the table below. And unless you are blind, you need to have earned at least 20 of those credits in the 10 years prior to becoming disabled.

Work Credits Required for SSDI Eligibility for those Born After 1929
Became Disabled At Age:
Number of Credits Needed
31 through 42
62 or older

A Work Incentive Consultant is a trained expert who can help you understand Social Security work incentives, disability benefit programs, and how they are impacted by work. Their goal is to help you avoid complications while developing a sustainable financial plan for your future.

You can contact Benefits 2 Work Arizona to find a Work Incentive Consultant serving your community. They specialize in working with employed or soon to be employed people who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and related programs.

Work incentives are rules that help people who get public benefits and work. They let people get a benefit while they're working, keep a benefit longer while they work, or get a benefit back quickly if it stops due to work.

All public benefits in Arizona have work incentives, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicare, and AHCCCS.

A program that you may qualify for if you apply for financial aid at your college or university. If you qualify, it will be easier for you to get a part-time job on campus or nearby, because the federal government will help some employers pay your salary.