Understanding "Section 301": Extended Payments for Vocational Rehabilitation

Injured Worker Doing Vocational RehabAfter collecting SSDI payments for several months, you have been cleared to return to work by your doctor. However, you are in the middle of a vocational retraining program and can’t get a job until you complete it. What are your options? Can you keep collecting SSDI payments while you finish your training? In many cases, the answer is yes. We explain how Section 301 payments work.

Qualifying for SSDI Continued Payments

You have medically recovered from the injury or illness that prevented you from working and are no longer considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In most situations, this would mean that your monthly payments will cease, and you will have to return to work. However, there is an exception for disability recipients who are participating in an approved vocational rehabilitation program. You could be approved to continue receiving benefits until you complete the retraining program under Section 301: Continued Payment Under a Vocational Rehabilitation Program. In order to be eligible for this program, you have to meet all of the following criteria:

  • You no longer meet medical requirements for disability benefits.
  • You are participating in an approved vocational rehab program.
  • Your participation in the program began BEFORE the date your disability ended.
  • You can show that completing the program will decrease the likelihood that you will need to collect disability in the future.

Approved programs include those carried out under your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) with a state or federal vocational rehabilitation agency, or with an approved Employment Network in the Ticket to Work program. You could also be approved for participating in a vocational rehab program offered by a community organization or a public or private school.

Our Disability Attorneys Can Help You Qualify for Section 301 Payments

You are committed to retraining for a job you can safely do once you have been medically cleared, and you should be able to complete the rehab program to achieve your goals. If your doctor has cleared you and you have not completed a vocational training program you have already started, contact our Social Security disability attorneys in Indianapolis for help qualifying for Section 301 payments. We are here to help you get the SSA benefits you deserve.


James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller
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