Ticket to Work Program for SSDI or SSI Recipients

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The Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work program is available to anyone who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), or Supplemental Security income (SSI) benefits due to a disability. The program is open to Social Security Disability Benefit recipients aged 18-65. It provides job training, vocational rehabilitation and job referrals.

The Ticket To Work Program allows SSDI and SSI participants who are blind or disabled to return to work relatively easily without losing their benefits. The program offers the following options:

How do I get started?

Anyone interested in participating in the program should call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TDD/TTY) or select "Explore Resources" at www.chooseworkttw.net, where you will be directed toward various job-related resources in your area. You do not need to register as the service provider that you choose will verify your eligibility and contact SSA.

Two types of providers have been contracted with the SSA to provide services for SSDI and certain SSI recipients at no cost.

The SSA's website allows you to search for a Ticket To Work provider near you. The link above can be used to find a local Protection & Advocacy agency that provides advocacy and legal services for Social Security disability beneficiaries.

What to Expect

An EN will assist you in creating a plan to return to work. This includes your career goals and what type of work you want to do. EN representatives will also tell you exactly what services they offer to help achieve your goals. If you are unhappy with the services provided by EN, you can request another EN.

It is similar if you work with a VR. However, your eligibility for VR services at the state level will be determined.

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Before you can start receiving services, you and the VR/EN must sign the plan. A copy will be given to you. If you wish to end your relationship with an EN, you or the EN representative must contact SSA. You must complete your plan with VR before you can seek support from EN.

You will need to report earnings to the SSA or the EN under the Ticket To Work program.

How the program affects your benefits

SSDI beneficiaries may be eligible for full benefits during a nine-month trial period. This is not necessarily consecutive and does not have to occur within the 60-month limit. This means that you can perform multiple work "services" within a nine-month window (defined by SSA as work that pays a specific amount per month ) while still receiving your full benefit amount.

After the trial period ends, SSDI benefits will cease for any months during which you earned "substantial" earnings. If your earnings are below the amount required and you have a disability, benefits may be continued for 36 months. See SSA's Working while Disabled -- What We Can Do to Help for more information.

SSI benefits recipients who are enrolled in the Ticket To Work program do not count the first $65 earned each month. SSA also does not add the half-way mark to your monthly benefit amount. For more information about the impact of your participation in Ticket to Work on your disability benefits, please contact a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance provider (WIPA).

Are you confused about the Ticket to work Program? An attorney can help

You may be anxious about your financial future if you are returning to work after a disability. What happens if your job isn't what you want? You have a lot at stake, so it is best to talk with a lawyer. Contact an experienced social security disability attorney in NYC  attorney if you have any questions regarding the SSDI's Ticket To Work program, or if you have concerns about your claim and benefits.

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