Getting Back to Work with Ticket to Work

Millions of disabled or blind Americans depend on Social Security and Supplemental Security Income payments to get by.  They also rely Medicare and Medicaid for medical bills.  Many of these brave individuals want to work.  Social Security created a work incentives program called Ticket to Work to facilitate the needs of those individuals.  Some of the incentives allow them to keep cash benefits while they transition to the workplace.  Also it it the individual can’t work even with the program they can easily restart full payments again taking out the fear of being left with nothing if the program doesn’t work for them.

What is it?

Ticket to work is a free and voluntary program for those 18-64 who receive SSI benefits that helps get the vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals and other employment support services needed to get back into the workforce. Employment networks and state vocational rehabilitation agencies that include private organizations and government agencies that agreed to work with Social Security provide employment support services to all disability beneficiaries who are interested in the program.

How to Start

To start just call the toll free helpline at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967.  They with be able to answer any questions one has about the program and give you information on employment networks and state agencies in your area who can help.  Or you can go online  to www.socialsecurity.gov/work or www.choosework.net and select the “Find Help” tab.  The staff will ask questions about your disability, work history and other information in order to see if they can help find you employment.

What is the Plan?

The agency will work you to create an employment plan for you.  The plan will have your goals for work, targeted salary and explain which services the network will offer to help meet those goals.  You have the right to change networks if the plan doesn’t work for you. You or your representative must sign the plan before you can begin the services. If your are unsatisfied with the results contact the Ticket to Work helpline and they will be able to help you find another network that fits your needs better.

If you have a disability, Ticket to Work is a program that can help those with disabilities join the workforce.  This would allow them to have the pride of being fully independent and not relying on the government to survive.  This is a voluntary program and participation is not required.

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