### 8.1 How are earnings reported and counted in calculating benefits under BOND?

During the 60-month $1 for $2 offset participation period, after you complete your grace period, SSA will determine how much to reduce your benefit payments for each month in the year or in the offset period, based on an estimate of your BOND countable earnings. To get this estimate, we use your estimate of total earnings for the year and subtract your estimate of the amount of allowable deductions for the year. The resulting amount is the estimate of your BOND countable earnings for the year. Some allowable deductions include the following:

- the amount of any sick or vacation pay or other paid time off from work or the amount of short-term or long-term disability payments provided through your employment;
- the amount of any subsidy paid by an employer who pays more in wages than the actual value of the work; and
- the amount you pay for items or services related to your disability that are needed to work—Some examples are prescription drugs, personal attendant, job coach, or a wheelchair.

Once we establish your estimate of BOND countable earnings, we subtract the BOND yearly amount and divide the remaining amount by two. We then divide that amount by twelve to determine the monthly offset amount. The monthly offset amount is the amount by which your benefits for each month in the year are reduced under the benefit offset.

SSA will perform an end-of-year earnings comparison of your BOND earnings estimate and your actual earnings.

**Countable earnings.** Under BOND, all earnings are counted when paid, not when earned as is currently the policy for SSDI beneficiaries.

**Other work incentive deductions.** These include employer subsidies and special conditions, such as job coaching.

**End-of-year earnings comparison.** After the close of each calendar year, SSA will perform an end-of-year earnings comparison between the BOND earnings estimate developed for the prior year and your actual earnings. SSDI overpayments will need to be repaid if your annual countable earnings are $200 or more greater than estimated. For this reason, it will be important to report changes in your earnings during the year to BOND staff so that your annual earnings estimate can be adjusted accordingly.

More about reporting earnings in FAQ 8.3