Thursday, March 21, 2013

For People with Disabilities, There’s a “Ticket” to Work!

From the Blog:
Bob Williams headshotBy Bob Williams, Associate Commissioner for Social Security’s Office of Employment Support Programs
Today, more than 13 million working-age people in the U.S. receive Social Security disability benefits. That’s almost one in every 15 adults. I know firsthand that for these individuals, finding and maintaining work can be particularly challenging, especially in today’s economy. For those who have considered returning to work or trying work for the first time, they may have questions like: Am I able to work? Who would hire me? What about job accommodations? How will work affect my disability benefits? If you’re a Social Security disability beneficiary, age 18 through 64, and thinking about work, these are important questions. The good news is that the Ticket to Work program is here to help!

What is Ticket to Work?

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program is a free and voluntary program that offers people who receive disability benefits improved access to meaningful employment. It provides the choices, opportunities, and support needed to find and maintain work and achieve greater financial independence. The program, with the help of special rules called Work Incentives, may allow participants to keep some of their benefits while they gain work experience.

Can I use the “Ticket”?

You already qualify and can participate in Ticket to Work if:
  • You are age 18 through 64 and,
  • You receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

How can I get started?

  • Register for a free Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar, which provides an overview of Ticket to Work and Work Incentives, and answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) to get more information from a customer service representative.
  • Use the Find Help Tool to locate an Employment Network or Vocational Rehabilitation Agency.
  • Learn about real people who used their “Ticket” to find work and achieve financial independence in our success stories!
Going to work, meeting new people, and pursuing a career can greatly enhance your quality of life. The Ticket to Work program takes commitment, but the effort can be very rewarding. If you are interested in changing your life through work, or you know someone who is, explore your options through Social Security’s Ticket to Work program. It could be the best decision you ever make!