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Impairment-Related Work Expenses

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

2175. Impairment-Related Work Expenses

2175.1 Do work expenses related to your impairment count as income?

The cost of certain impairment-related services and items you as a disabled (but not blind) person need in order to work can be deducted from earnings in determinations of SGA. This is true even if you need these items and services for non-work activities. Your impairment-related work expenses (IRWE) are also excluded from earned income in determining monthly countable income (see §2135).

2175.2 How are impairment-related work expenses calculated?

In calculating an IRWE, an amount equal to the cost of certain attendant care services, medical devices, equipment, prostheses, and similar items and services is deducted from your earnings. The costs of routine drugs and routine medical services are not deductible unless these drugs and services are necessary to control your condition.

Last Revised: March, 2001

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