Ticket to Work Program

What is Ticket to Work program ?

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 to 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. Through lowering their reliance on disability benefits, this free and voluntary program assists people with disabilities in achieving their work goals and growing their financial independence.

People who wish to increase their earning potential and are dedicated to making the necessary preparations for long-term success in the job may choose the Ticket Program. Beneficiaries of this program are given access to fulfilling employment with the help of Employment Networks, Ticket to Work employment service providers. There are people ready and waiting to assist you if you're prepared to report to work.

The career development support and services you need are unique to you. The Ticket Program can put you in touch with the ideal combination of recognized service providers and free employment support services based on your needs. Beneficiaries of the Ticket program can access meaningful employment with the help of Ticket to Work employment service providers known as Employment Networks (EN).

You collaborate with a service provider to choose your employment objectives through the Ticket to Work Program, as well as the supports and services you'll require to reach them. Depending on the kind of service provider you select, you and your provider will create a contract known as an Individual Work Plan (IWP), Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), or Individual Employment Plan (IEP). This agreement outlines particular employment programs, vocational rehabilitation services, and supports to assist you in achieving financial independence. It is a road map for success.

You can maintain your benefits while looking for work, receiving services for vocational rehabilitation, and gaining experience in the workplace thanks to the Ticket Program and other Work Incentives. If you are unable to continue working due to your handicap, there are safeguards in place to help you return to benefits. Your cash benefits, Medicaid, or Medicare frequently remain throughout your transition to employment.

Key Facts of Ticket Program

  • For Social Security disability beneficiaries ages 18 to 64 who desire to work, the Ticket to Work Program offers support for career development.
  • A disabled employee is immediately eligible for the Ticket to Work Program if they receive SSI or SSDI.
  • The Ticket to Work Program assists people with disabilities in gaining independence and a paying job without giving up access to essential health care.
  • The Ticket Program is free to join and completely voluntary.
  • Tickets are redeemable through state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies or approved employment networks (ENs).
  • Before they are well established in their careers, participants can eventually replace cash benefits with a paycheck and achieve financial independence.
  • State VR agencies provide services to more than one million disabled persons annually.
  • For the purpose of assisting people with disabilities to enter or return to the workforce, Ticket to Work provides training, career counselling, job recommendations, and other assistance.

How Does the Ticket to Work Program Work ?

A Social Security-led employment initiative called "Ticket to Work" aims to lessen or eliminate the dependency of people with disabilities on benefit payments. The program was established in 1999 as a result of the President Bill Clinton's signing of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act.

Due to the Social Security Administration's determination of their condition, the program enables employees with disabilities to test their capacity to work without losing access to health care (SSA). According to the SSA, more over 1.5 million people have gone through the Ticket to Work program since its inception in 2002, with approximately 318,000 recipients participating in it in 2021.

In order to help you decide if working is the best choice for you, get ready for work, obtain a job, or keep your success while working, Ticket to Work connects you with free employment services. If you decide to enroll, authorized Ticket to Work service providers like Employment Networks (EN) or your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency will offer you services like career counselling, vocational rehabilitation, job placement, and training. Your "employment team" that will support you on your path to financial freedom will include the service provider you select.

Following that, participants will create a career development plan with a schedule, and the SSA will hold them accountable for achieving certain objectives within a predetermined time frame.

Who is Eligible for Ticket to Work Program ?

The Ticket to Work Program is open to everyone between the ages of 18 and 64 who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits as a result of a disability.

Paper Tickets are no longer mailed by Social Security, and you are not required to have one in order to participate. Your chosen service provider will check your qualifications before hiring you. You can also contact the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) to inquire about your eligibility.

What is in Work Plan ?

Every work plan must include following :

1) Planning a Career :
You will talk with your service provider about any short- and long-term job goals they consider to be reasonable. This includes your starting salary as well as the income you anticipate having at the conclusion of your plan.

2) Particular services and supports :
The short- and long-term supports that your service provider will offer to you will be described to you. These could include benefits counselling, help with the job search and placement, resume preparation, and career counselling. Once you begin working, they can assist you in keeping your position, finding another job, or increasing your pay.

3) An agreement :
Imagine your work schedule as a contract. Your service provider commits to putting time and money into helping you improve your employ-ability, find and keep work, and increase your earning potential. You commit to adhering to the plan and moving forward on schedule with your objectives. To demonstrate that you both concur on the objectives and services, the work plan must be in writing and signed. If your plan or the assistance you receive don't meet your needs over time, you might think about amending your contract or switching service providers.

What is the Timely Progress ?

Timely progress entails making strides toward your career objectives. In accordance with the timelines that your service provider outlines to you, Social Security frequently assesses your progress to see if you are moving closer to your professional objectives. Timely Progress Reviews take into account not only your work and pay but also any education or training you've acquired to aid in your job search and retention. You are liable to a routinely scheduled medical Continuing Disability Review if Social Security finds that you are not making timely progress toward your objectives.

Making Timely Progress After You Assign Ticket

Through the Ticket Program, you can go both ways on the path to employment. Your service provider offers free assistance to help you get ready for, obtain, and keep a job as you progress toward financial independence. In exchange, you promise to Social Security that, within the periods specified by Social Security, you will take particular actions to:
  • Work at a certain earnings level.
  • Fulfill any necessary training or educational requirements.
Making "timely progress" implies taking the agreed-upon steps toward work within Social Security's time-frames :
  • Acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to excel at work and in your long-term career.
  • Obtaining and maintaining employment.
  • Lowering your dependence on SSI or SSDI benefits.
  • If at all possible, earning your way off of cash handouts.
Typically, Social Security periodically examines your medical status. Social Security won't assess your medical status if you allocate your Ticket to an authorized service provider before you get a CDR notice and follow your employment plan with "timely progress." Social Security will carry out your planned medical review if you designate your Ticket after getting a CDR notice.

What are the your Responsibilities ?

Your service provider will explain and assist you in satisfying your obligations as part of your portion of the agreement. Depending on your benefits and what is stated in your plan, these vary for each person. They consist of:
  • Making timely program progress while balancing education, earnings and training.
  • Submitting your earnings to Social Security.
  • Notifying Social Security of any change in status (employment, marital, or residential situation).

Ticket to Work Program Incentives

For many disabled people receiving SSI or SSDI benefits, losing their health insurance is their biggest worry. Ticket to Work Program allows individuals continued access to Medicaid or Medicare coverage for as long as they pay the premiums for up to 93 months after their SSDI or SSI payments have stopped.

How to Enroll in Ticket to Work Program ?

Starting the Ticket to Work Program is simple if you decide to participate. To check your eligibility, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY). A representative may send you a list of service providers, answer queries, and give you information on how it works. Get a customized list of service providers that are available to help you by using the Find Help tool.

Choosing the best service provider for you is the next step. Depending on your needs, you might work with either an Employment Network (EN) or your state's vocational rehabilitation (VR) organisation.

You can keep track of the ENs in which you're interested using the "Finding an EN and Assigning Your Ticket Worksheet". Additionally, you can get assistance from your VR agency and then continue to get assistance from an Employment Network.

Participants in Ticket to Work who designate their Ticket to a workforce EN will either work directly with a workforce EN or through other workforce system providers, such as American Job Centers.

When you and your service provider decide to work together, you will collaboratively develop a plan to support you in achieving your professional objectives. Then, with the assistance of your employment team, you may get closer to achieving those objectives and, ultimately, a more secure financial future.

Programs like "Ticket to Work" can run for up to seven years. Every year, Social Security conducts a review to determine whether you are moving forward with your career goals on schedule. If you are not, you won't necessarily be kicked out of the program, but the SSA will start monitoring your medical disability status again.

The SSA's Your Ticket to Work brochure provides a summary of the program, and its Ticket to Work website provides detailed information as well as articles, online tutorialswebinars, and other resources to help you understand and use the program.

For ENs and State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) organisations participating in Social Security's Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency Program, the website YourTickettoWork.ssa.gov is available. For updates on forthcoming events and the Ticket program, often check the website.

You can register for Ticket to Work Program by this two way :

Ticket to Work Program Contact

Monthly WISE webinars provide information about Work Incentives, Social Security programs and other resources that may useful to you, or someone you know, succeed on the path to financial independence through work.

For questions or guidance specific to your situation contact :
  • Email : support@choosework.ssa.gov
  • Call : 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY)
  • Visit website : choosework.ssa.gov or contact page

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are the health benefits for ticket holders valid?
Workers can seek for continuing Medicare coverage after benefits end. Despite the fact that they are no longer receiving financial contributions, members are still able to get healthcare for an additional 93 months as a result. Participants may apply for coverage with Medicare Savings Programs at a discounted rate following this free coverage term. Depending on the state where the ticker holder resides and their income level, it can also be feasible for them to qualify for Medicaid.

Can Someone With A Ticket Work From Home?
The Ticket to Work program permits remote working options. Many job networks have a focus on remote work. Those who are housebound, immunocompromised, or have mobility limitations may benefit from working from home.

A Ticket Holder Can Launch a Business?
Yes, certain service providers for the Ticket to Work Program have knowledge of working with entrepreneurs who have impairments. The earliest steps toward self-employment can be assisted by these service providers, including brainstorming about creating business goals, selecting target markets, establishing financial estimates, figuring out record-keeping needs, and creating business strategies.

What is the goal of the Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program?
The Ticket to Work Program's main objective is to help people who are receiving Social Security disability payments lessen their reliance on those benefits. The Ticket Program aims to encourage greater independence and self-sufficiency for those receiving Social Security disability benefits through employment.

What kind of organisation can be an Employment Network in the Ticket to Work Program?
Employers are eligible entities that can join the Ticket Program as ENs. An EN may be any public or private organisation as long as it is qualified to take on the role of organizing and providing employment, vocational rehabilitation, or other support services to Ticket Holders in order to aid in their pursuit of work. An EN may be a company, an association of companies, a group of companies, or a person. A few organisations, like Department of Labor American Job Centers and State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, are automatically qualified as ENs under the Ticket Program.

Does Social Security have to provide me the paper Ticket in order for me to take part in the program?
No, the paper Ticket is not necessary to begin employment with an authorized supplier of vocational services and supports known as an Employment Network (EN). The EN you choose may get in touch with the Ticket Program Manager to confirm your eligibility for the program.

Do I have to make any payments in order to take part in the Ticket Program?
No, For those receiving Social Security disability benefits, participation in the Ticket Program is free (and optional). You can receive free vocational services and supports through the Ticket Program to assist you in finding employment and achieving greater independence and self-sufficiency. When you reach certain work-related milestones and achievements, Social Security pays the Employment Network you selected to work with.

Will taking part in the Ticket Program result in my losing my eligibility for Medicare?
No, You will continue to be qualified for the same medical insurance as long as you continue to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefit payments. Once you start earning enough money to cease receiving SSDI benefits, there are additional work incentives that let you keep your medical insurance. After the final month of your trial work period, if you presently have medical insurance via Medicare, you can still be eligible for coverage for at least 93 months.

Can I use my state's vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency's services while participating in the Ticket Program?
Yes, State VR agencies offer a wide range of supports and services to aid individuals with disabilities in finding new employment, returning to the workforce, or entering the workforce for the first time.

What are the benefits of Ticket to Work Program ?
You are entitled to a variety of services to help you get ready for, find, and keep a job with the ticket. Additionally, it commits you to doing particular actions within a deadline designated by Social Security in order to achieve the education, training, or employment objectives outlined in your plan.