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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work

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An Open Message to Social Security Disability Beneficiaries from Associate Commissioner Bob Williams

Every year, thousands of people with disabilities find jobs and leave behind Social Security disability benefits to support themselves and create better futures.  As you think about going to work, Social Security wants you to be confident in your choice and to understand what Ticket to Work is all about:

Bob Williams photo

  • The Ticket program offers you the help you need to work, earn more money, and support yourself as much as possible.
  • The Ticket program is voluntary. You decide if it’s right for you.
  • Ticket to Work gives you the choice to partner with an approved Employment Network (EN) or your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agency to get the career counseling, job placement, ongoing support, and other services you need to be able to become or stay employed or find a better job.
  • The goal of Ticket is for you to earn a better quality of life through work than you had on benefits and to give you a safety net while you work toward supporting yourself.
  • By participating in the Ticket program, you are agreeing to try your best to earn your way off cash benefits.
  • Social Security understands that going to work is a major change, and if you can’t completely eliminate your need for cash benefits, you won’t be blamed.
  • You shouldn’t limit your earnings on purpose to keep cash benefits.
  • Ticket to Work call center agents and service providers can tell you about the advantages of working and the risks of leaving cash benefits. 
  • Social Security has special rules called “work incentives” that let you keep some cash benefits while you earn money by working.
  • Social Security understands that your medical benefits are, undoubtedly, a major concern.  If you receive Medicaid, you may also be able to keep it indefinitely, even when you go to work.  If you receive Medicare, you can keep your premium-free coverage for at least 93 months, even when you go to work.
  • To figure out which work incentives apply to you, visit www.choosework.net or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD)

If you are committed to finding a job and supporting yourself through work, Social Security is here with the services and help you need to do it!

Regards,

Bob Williams
Associate Commissioner
Office of Employment Support Programs
Social Security Administration

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108 Comments

jer says:
May 14, 2012 at 11:34 PM

I'm 65 now and want to go back to work parttime...can the ticket still be viable for me...i've held on to it for fivr yrs.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
May 19, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Unfortunately your eligibility to use the ticket ended when you turned age 65 because at age 65 you can begin to receive retirement benefits.  We suggest you contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY/TDD). Hours are 7 a.m. to  7 p.m., M-F, excluding federal holidays, and ask how work can affect your retirement benefits. Also read SSA Publication No. 05-10069, “How Work Affects Your Benefits” at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10069.html


Linda says:
May 21, 2012 at 1:02 PM

I'm 56 interested in the ticket to work program, but I have limited mobility issuses. I have fibromyalgia with bone spurs in my back. I wish to try to work because the income I receive is not enough. Is there any employment i may be able to do without alot of movement or lifting? I used to do Data entry. I use to have a ticket but can't find it now do I have to get another one?


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
May 29, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Hi Linda, SSA no longer sends paper tickets in the mail, so don't worry-you don't need a paper Ticket to participate. If you decide to participate, you can contact any authorized provider in your area to see if the services they offer are right for you. Check out our Find Help tool at www.choosework.net/resource/jsp/searchByState.jsp or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) to speak to a Ticket to Work representative.


Nathan says:
June 4, 2012 at 12:49 AM

Hello Sir, nice to see your friendly face up there! Well. I've been out of work forever and a half and I need to do something I love to do. Otherwise I wouldn't be happy, and when I'm not happy a whole bunch of people see that and they think that something's wrong and I sure do hate emergencies. But it may be difficult to place me. I really enjoy music, I like to sing SERIOUS music and I also like to assist other people by researching for them. It sure is hard to be accurate though. I hope you understand that I'd really love to  love my work. Thank you sir!!!


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
June 5, 2012 at 2:47 PM

Hi Nathan! We are so happy you are excited to work! Have you thought about working at a library or music store? An employment network (EN) can help you explore the possibilities! If you are ready to work, the Ticket to Work program may be right for you! We can provide you with training, career counseling, and job support to help you find a job that could work for you. Call our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) to talk to someone who can help you meet your goals.


lester says:
June 6, 2012 at 10:18 AM

I was in school and I had a ticket to work and working threw Vr

they canceled my ticket to work and refuse to send another one.

Lester


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
June 6, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Hi Lester,
SSA no longer sends paper tickets in the mail, so don't worry-you don't need a paper ticket to participate.  If you already receive SSDI or SSI, then you qualify for the Ticket program. To participate,  contact any authorized provider in your area to see if the services they offer are right for you. Check out our Find Help tool at www.choosework.net/resource/jsp/searchByState.jsp or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) to speak to a Ticket to Work representative.


Rachel says:
June 6, 2012 at 10:31 PM

I was disabled on SSDI in the 80's (about 10 years).  I went back to school and got a BA in Sociology.  I am a registered nurse (registered in 1975). I have several types of arthritis including rheumatoid, psoriatic, and osteoarthritis.  I also have fibromyalgia. I went back to work doing home health for 9 years and then went into a nursing home as nursing supervisor.  I originally had a "trial period" of employment which I understood was for 9 months only.  I worked about 6 months and had a flare of my rheumatoid arthritis and was ordered to not work once again by my rheumatologist. I worked for about 10 years in various institutions and home health agencies before I had another flare of my rheumatoid arthritis.

   My quest ion is, is this a time limited or a money earned limited type deal before you lose this? Also, is there an essential requirement of working 20 hours?  I will admit that I am aggravated with the ups and downs of these physical problems and am REALLY aggravated that I am now unreliable....something I used to pride myself in being.  TGhanks you


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
June 8, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Hi Rachel, We understand your frustration and want you to know that the Ticket to Work can provide employment supports and guidance to people who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI and/ or SSDI) and may be right for you.  If you are ready to increase your earning potential, gain personal fulfillment, and transition to financial independence, we encourage you to contact the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) for answers to your specific questions, information about Ticket to Work and Work Incentives, and to receive information about free, Social Security-approved employment service providers.  Another great way to connect with approved service providers is through our Find Help tool at http://www.chooseworkttw.net/resource/jsp/searchByState.jsp  As a former nurse, you understand the importance of  healthcare coverage.  One of the many incentives offered through participation in Ticket to Work is the ability to keep your Medicare/Medicaid while you work.  Give us a call or find us online at www.choosework.net.   We would be happy to speak to you about your options!


Stephanie says:
June 10, 2012 at 9:11 AM

My question is this...I want to try and go to school online. It is to become a Holistic Health Practitioner. It will cost around $2600 total. I was wondering if SSDI would help cover that cost. I looked at the brick and mortar colleges (2) in my town and none of them have this course option. I have Myasthenia Gravis and doing online schooling would be easier on my weak body. Thanks


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
June 11, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Hi Stephanie, It’s great to hear you want to go to school. The Ticket program can provide you with support and resources to help you meet this goal. We suggest you speak with a representative at our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) to get started. Good luck.


Nick says:
June 20, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I have been receiving SSDI benefits after a hemorrhagic stroke in May 2006, and have been trying desperately to get back to work since October 2006. I am 54 years old now and despite my qualifications 22 years in consumer lending, a undergraduate degree, a law degree and an MBA,  having applied to several hundred Federal jobs that I know I am more than qualified, I cannot seem to be able to get through even to an interview with or without the Schedule A assistance. Is there any kind of assistance that I can seek that can help me break through the bureaucracy of the Federal hiring process?


David says:
June 21, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Hi, it is really nice to see this is working.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
June 21, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Hello Nick, We understand the hiring process can be challenging and at times frustrating. If you aren’t working with a service provider, we suggest you use our “Find Help” tool at www.choosework.net/findhelp or contact our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) to find a service provider that works for you. We encourage you to sign up for Ticket program updates at www.choosework.net/signup to receive continuous support and valuable resources to help you on your journey to return to work. Stay motivated!


Carolyn says:
June 22, 2012 at 12:50 PM

My son has a severe medical condition (Degenerative Disc Disorder along with some other complications) which is preventing him from working.  He has not worked for close to a year and has lost everything including a place to live.  He desperately needs income.  The doctor has recommnded that he file for disability but since it could take years to get disability benefits approved my daughter told me that he could apply for State Disability which has nothing to do with Social Security.  She said that her husband applied for the State Disability and his checks started within 2 weeks.  If there is any validity to taking this path could you please send me the information to locate the forms for him to apply.  Thank you. 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
June 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Hello Carolyn, We apologize but we don’t have information about State disability. The Ticket to Work program is managed by Social Security and recipients must receive SSDI or SSI to participate. We suggest you contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY/TDD). Hours are 7 a.m. to  7 p.m., M-F, excluding federal holidays, to explore disability benefit options for your son.


Cindy says:
July 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Hello!

In 2003 I went back to school to get an education so I can become employed and be self supporting. I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was using my Ticket to Work and used my PASS Plan to purchase a handicapped van. I did purchase the van...paid in full.I am in a motorized wheelchair. I have earned 176 college credits towards my BA In the Social Work Program at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo Montana. The same degree now takes 184 credits to earn a BA. At the beginning of my Senior year, I got ill with a systemic infection and had to leave school. In 2007 I had a mental breakdown that landed me in the State Hospital in Warm Springs Montana. I spent 5 months in that facility. Upon my release I was given the choice to either go into a rest home for the rest of my life or move to Kentucky to be near my eldest son. I am now in an apartment in Kentucky. The van is still in Montana. It was sold when I got ill and went in to the hospital.  What I am trying to do is become employed in a field I am qualified for. I am not sure what to do. I am smart, viable and desperately want to get a job. I realize this note is rather disjointed. There is alot more to this problem. I am in process of finding answers and this is where my journey landed me. Can you help me figure this out? Thank you,

Cindy


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
July 9, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Hi Cindy. We are sorry to hear about your situation. An Employment Network in your area may be able to give you the help you need to get you started back on the journey to self-sufficiency. We suggest you speak with a representative at our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) to get started. Our represenatives can help you get specific answers to your questions. All the best!


nick says:
July 13, 2012 at 7:20 PM

hi my name is nick genco. i am using my ticket to get some compueter traning in electronic service technology. 


Melody says:
July 17, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Hi,

I recently received an offer from an organization NTI Central offering employment

to persons receiving Disability to do computer work @ 9.00/hr.  Are you familiar with this

program?  NTICentral.org  (866/501-8387)


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
July 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Hi Nick! We are so glad to hear you are making the Ticket work for you! All the best for your continued success on the path to a good job, good career and better self-supporting future!


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
July 18, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Hi Melody!

If you work with an Employment Network, they can assist you in vetting employers. Find an Employment Network with the Find Help tool or call 1-866-968-7842/ 866-833-2967(TTY/TDD), M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST to discuss your personal situation.


Diane says:
July 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM

I have had a spinal condition since I was 12.  I am in constant pain and at times unable to walk.  I have always worked (since I was 15) and am in constant emotional termoil since I've had to rely on SSDI (since 2009.)  My condition has gotten worse, I'm not able to do as much but I don't feel completely useless.  I turned to the ticket to work program in hopes becoming self employed, as I have discovered that I am not reliable enough for traditional employment.  I know that there are resources out there somewhere to help me, but the EN I use (who accepted me knowing I was interested in self employment) will not respond to emails or phone messages I leave.  I've also left messages with several other EN's with no reply.  My question is, is there a place, perferably online, that has info and resources for people with disabilities?


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
July 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Hello Diane! This website is a good starting point for you! Check out our blog, as there have been recent posts on resources for financial independence and help for younger people who are looking to work. You also have choices when it comes to an Employment Network. Use our Advanced Search feature to perform a filtered search to find Employment Networks that specifically offer help with self employment. If you have more questions or wish to discuss your personal situation, please call 1-866-968-7842
/866-833-2967(TTY/TDD), 
M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST to speak to one of our knowledgeable representatives.


tungchu says:
August 13, 2012 at 10:54 PM

DEAR SIR

        I was Vietnamese and I was a disability man, now I am looking for a job, I can do somethings about office works 

       Would you please help me to find out a job , or give me a ticket in your country???

      Iam looking foward to hearing from you soon

     Thank you very much

 

 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
August 14, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Thank you for your interest in the Ticket program. However, the Ticket program is only available to American citizens who are currently receiving Social Security benefits.


garett says:
August 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM

 I wood like to work a again its ben a long time.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
August 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Hi Garett, We are so glad you want to work again! Your best way to start getting your questions answered is to call our Help Line at 1-866-968-7842
866-833-2967(TTY/TDD), 
M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST. Our knowledgeable representatives can determine where you stand in terms of your Trial Work Period, and explain what your options are. Also, check out our Find Help tool to find an Employment Network that can help you. All the best on your journey to self-sufficiency!


wendy says:
August 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM

I tried calling ss to try to go back to work.  I must have gotten the wrong department or something but didnt find a "provider" to get me back to work.  My family helped me find a job.  I have been working part-time a few hours a week which is very challenging and now SS is doing a Medical review on me while I am trying to work.  There publication clearly states they wont audit you while you start working.  However, now another person is telling me I am being audited because I dont have this "TICKET".  Give me a break.  I have a mental disability how am I suppose to nagigate through all this.  Couldnt some one have just set me up appropriately when I called them to tell them I want to try to work?  In stead I was left to mull through on my own.  I found it confusing so my family helped.  Because of that I am pentalized?  What a rigamaro.  No can resovle this but to send me to a different phone number, a different department, or get stuck leaving messages everywhere.  HELLO?   This is a nightmare.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
August 28, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Hi Wendy,
We’re sorry to hear you are having some difficulty with your benefits. We think the ticket to Work program would be right for you. Since, the law requires Social Security to review every beneficiary’s case periodically to see if you are still disabled and eligible to receive benefits. These medical Continuing Disability Reviews are generally scheduled every three years. But how often Social Security  reviews your case depends on whether your medical condition is expected to improve.

One of the benefits of participating in the Ticket to Work Program is that these medical reviews are not conducted as long as you are participating in the program and making progress toward achieving your employment goal. Since you are already working part-time, you may want to consider the Ticket to Work Program as a way to increase your earnings and become more self-sufficient. We recommend that you contact the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842
866-833-2967(TTY/TDD), 
M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST. Our knowledgeable representatives can put you in touch with approved service providers.


Lee says:
September 9, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Please Help,

I was told in 2005 I would never be able to work again. I have a five level Fusion in my neck that prevents me from doing anything that required phycial effort. I started aqua therapy in 2006. 

In 2008 I called and recieved a ticket to work. I got a teller job for 20 hours a weeks, my employer knows I have limitations and have been very understanding.

One reason I found part time employment was for the health insurance ( RX benefits) because my medications were costing me more money than I had. I bought into a RX plan through the SSDI website, but still fell short with the gap, anyways.

A new bank bought us and everyone who had vacation or sick leave, the new employer paid everyone for their time so all would start out with 0 vacation/ sick pay.

I was paid for 4 weeks of vacation and 2.5 weeks of sick time and now they said I made too much money durning that time and do not quailfy any longer for SSDI. I have written to them and tried to call, even the local office said they are not involved with decisions like this and I need to follow instruction to the letter on the letter. 

I sent all the information last year to them (2X ) and never heard from them again. Now out of nowhere, one year later, they say my last check will be this month. (Sept)

Why are they doing this? I did not ask for my vacation/sick time to be paid in my check. I would rather it stayed in place to use. This was not my normal income.

I have tried to work more hours since I got the letter that I can't get anyone from SSDI to responed to, so I have no idea what is going on.

I come home in extreme pain that keeps me from sleeping. I would love to work full time but I don't know if I can, or if I could keep up the pace longer than a few weeks. My disability is permanet. 5 level fusion and permanet nerve damage in both arms (all the way from the neck) working has helped me keep my mind off the pain. Trying to have a somewhat normal life. Can someone there help me? Don't they want me to try to have a normal life? Am I suppose to just sit and do nothing, be nothing? I AM I NOT SUPPOSE TO TRY?

Do I have to contact a lawyer to get an answer? Lawyers are expensive and I have no extra money to give someone else.

Sincerely,

Lee

 

 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
September 12, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Hi Lee,

Thank you for contacting us. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. We will reach out to you by email to discuss your situation.


Sandra says:
September 28, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I have been on disability for about eight years now--61 years old and ten years out of the job market. I have had multiple sclerosis for over 30 years and been diagnosed within the past 3 years with fibromyalgia, narcolepsy, and cataplexy. My days are unpredictable. I never know when I will get a "sleep attack" and even under medication, I have fallen asleep while driving. I walk into walls, fall down a couple times a month, and have days where the "head doesn't work." My physician has told me to keep my stress minimal . . . and yes, symptoms do get worse under stress. (I start walking like a puppet or the legs collapse--cataplexy) However, I WRITE, which is something I can do from home on those days when the head is clear.

I have written a couple of books. When I called SSDI, I was told that gross earnings over $750 (your site says $720) counts toward the trial work period. My problem is this. If I buy 75 of my books and sell them for $10 each, my  gross earnings will be $750. However, my actual earnings after I take out the cost of the books, shipping, and state sales tax (which I would include in that $10 to make an easier sale) would be closer to $350. That doesn't include any expenditures I make to market the books or the gas to drive somewhere to talk about them. Social Security would think I was a SUCCESS! -- but I'd be financially destroyed.

The last woman I talked with at SSDI/Ticket to Work finally admitted they were a "call center" and could not answer the question about how "earnings" would actually be calculated in this case.

Help! I'm not sure this idea is even viable.

 

 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
October 1, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Hi Sandra, Thank you for your comment. We will reach out to you to provide clarification  and answer your questions.


Sue says:
October 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM

I had a ticket to work.  The local Division of Rehab Services said they had no funds to honor it and I was waitlisted.  I went to school instead.  Got a job after I received my associate's degree.  In debt now $36000 with a bachelor's degree in hand.  Been working fulltime since April 2010.  Lost my EID, can't pay premium.  Got a letter today saying I now have to pay my medicare premiums.  Lost that too because I cannot.  I thought we got 7 years of medicare after going back to work?  So now I can't go to the doctor.  Can't by my meds.  Need a surgery I can't have now.  Sick.  Tired.  In pain 24/7. 

Recently saw a statistic saying only 1/2 of 1% of people on SSDI every go back to work.  Now I know why.  Everyone wants money I don't have.  No TV.  No internet.  No cell phone.  No house phone.  Lost everything.  Had I known what it was going to be, I would NEVER have left SSDI.  I'm still totally and permenantly disabled.  I could go back.  But I'd lose my car, which is the only thing I have left.

 


Patty says:
October 13, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Hello, I have had Multiple Sclerosis since the age of 21. I am now 37. My last job was as a cashier at  a local Sheetz store for only 2 years. I am slow at times but at others  I have wonderful days. I am also taking a medicine that is infused once a month and bills are severly tight to be paid by me and my husband with him being the only one working. I was wondering if there would be some kind of work I could do at home. I have two younger children I have to take care of as well. My ss checks are a little over $600 a month and even with my husbands earnings it has become a struggle to pay for things. Could you please tell me what kind of job I would be able to do if I qualify for one? I would greatly appreciate it.

Thankyou, Patty


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
October 15, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Hi Sue, We’re sorry to hear about your challenges. We suggest you speak to a Ticket to Work representative who can  discuss your personal situation and help you explore your options to return to work and keep your benefits. Please call 1-866-968-7842
866-833-2967(TTY/TDD), M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
October 15, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Hi Patty,
We are happy to hear you are interested in going back to work  and we think the Ticket to Work program may be right for you! The Ticket program is free and voluntary and exists specifically to help people with disabilities gain access to meaningful employment with the help of specialized providers, including those who work with people who want to try to work from home. If you're ready to work, the Ticket program can help you get started! Call our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD) and speak to one of our knowledgeable representatives! All the best to you on your journey to self-sufficiency!


nikki says:
May 26, 2013 at 8:50 PM

does the ticket to work program  have any positions that are part time for  people who can only work 2-3 days a week no more than 4 hours a day due to restriction and medication......

 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
May 28, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Hi Nikki, yes, the Ticket program can connect you with a service provider (Employment Network (EN) or Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency) who can help you find a part time job that works for you. But please remember the goal of the program is for you to work enough to reduce your need for benefits. Your service provider will work with you to build a plan to get there if you can! If you are age 18 through 64 and currently receiving Social Security disability benefits, you already qualify for the program and can get started today! You can find a service provider with our online Find Help tool at  www.choosework.net/findhelp or call the Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) 866-833-2967 (TTY) M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM ET. Our knowledgeable representatives can also answer any questions you may have and can discuss your personal situation.


VPINK1986 says:
June 23, 2013 at 2:20 AM

hi   was looking in  to goin back to school this fall through ticket to work and i was wonderfing do they help pay for tuition   ?????


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
June 24, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Hi VPink1986, Are you currently enrolled in the Ticket to Work program and working with a state Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (VR) agency? While the Ticket program cannot directly pay tuition, your state VR may be able to provide tuition assistance to help you achieve your work goal. If you are age 18 through 64 and currently receiving Social Security disability benefits, you already qualify for the program and can get started today! You can look for a  VR with our online Find Help tool at www.choosework.net/findhelp or call the Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) 866-833-2967 (TTY) M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM ET or email us at support@chooseworkttw.net. Our knowledgeable representatives can also answer any questions you may have and can discuss your personal situation. Best of luck!


Rose says:
October 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM

I got disabled for about six months on the program, in addtion to my current disablity, ( had and accident which required knee surgery).  Because I was unable to get around, I could not attend one semester of classes.  I signed up for classes the following semester. But now I didn't meet the 3rd year progress review, otherwise had it not been for the knee surgery, I would have been right on target.  My question is, being that I was disabled, unable to get around, get to class, am I still required to meet the progress review? Are there no exceptions?  I did everything, intended to meet plan, but out of my control I fell and had to have knee surgery ( a plate and 5 screws later), but now I wasn't able to meet the plan.  Do I still have to have a medical review, no exceptions?


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
November 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

Hi Rose, If you were physically unable to attend school, you may qualify for an exception to the TPR requirements. We suggest you speak with a representative to determine your eligibility, explain your options and answer your questions. We encourage you to call the Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM ET to discuss your personal situation.


Noel says:
November 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Finally my research let me to a possible answer. Hi everyone, I became dissable about 3 years ago due to an accident at work. I had neck surgery and aditional 4 herniated disks that have me in chronic pain 24/7.  I'm 39 and can't stand the fact that I can't work. I was a Big Box Store Manager for 13 years making $8,000 a month and now only receiving my Social Security check.  Between the pain and the lack of challenges, other than the ones that comes with the disability, I'm constantly deeply depress and loosing hope.  I know, as a Manager for 13 years, that right now I'm not a reliable employee because of  my skill set and the type of work Im able to do right now.  Can the Ticket to work program help me in going back to school? I want to become a computer engenieer so I can work even when I can't left the house due to the pain, meds side effects and mobility restrictions. I want to be self sufficient once again as I was since I was a teenager.  Please help. 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
November 18, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Hi Noel, We are sorry to hear about your situation and we understand your frustration. The Ticket to Work program may be right for you! Going back to school is a great start and the program can connect you with a vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency who can help you on your path to self-sufficiency.  A VR can help you explore your school and work options and can provide you with training, career counseling, and job support to help you meet your goal to find a job as a computer engineer. Call our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) to talk to someone who can help you meet your goals. Keep us posted on your progress and best of luck on your journey!


iwanna says:
December 12, 2013 at 4:25 PM

I started with the ticket to work program in 2009.  I did not use them consecutively. but I have used up all of my 9 trial months.  I have been working for the past year on a very per diem basis allowing me to still collect benefits. I would like to increase my work hours, but I am afraid of forfeiting benefits.  Would the clock start over again in 2014?  I am thinking about significantly increasing the amount of hours to half time.  I would make about the same amount that I do while on SSDI, so it will disqualify me for cash benefits.  Would I still qualify for medicare?  I am 56.   I would not qualify for health insurance at the rate of part-time.  


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
December 18, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Hi, as long as you continue to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit payments, you will continue to remain eligible for the same medical coverage. Most persons with disabilities who work will continue to receive at least 93 consecutive months of Hospital Insurance (Part A); Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B ), if enrolled; and Prescription Drug coverage (Part D), if enrolled, after the 9-month Trial Work Period. You do not pay a premium for Part A. Although cash benefits may cease due to work, you have the assurance of continued health insurance. (93 months is 7 years and 9 months.). Learn more about health insurance protections here: http://www.ssa.gov/redbook/eng/ssdi-only-employment-supports.htm#a0=4. In addition, after the 9th month within that 5-year period you make over $750, you will enter your 36-month Extended Period of Eligibility. During this time, you will receive your benefits check in months where your income falls below SGA amount. If you get sick again, you will not need to reapply if your benefits ended within the past five years due to your earnings and you meet a few other requirements, including that you still have the original medical condition or one related to it that prevents you from working. This is a Work Incentive called Expedited Reinstatement. We encourage you to call our Help Line and talk to one of our representatives. They can help you figure out where you stand and how the Ticket program can help you achieve your work goals. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Jill says:
January 12, 2014 at 12:01 AM

I have been on SSDI for about four years. I have Bipolar disorder and Generalized anxiety disorder. I want to try to go back to college and slowly get back into a social invoronment and earn a degree so I can eventually go back to work when and if I ever feel I'm ready. Am I able to attend college while receiving SSDI benefits?


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
January 13, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Hi Jill, educational pursuits can be part of your Individualized Work Plan in the first year you’re in the Ticket to Work program. There are several programs that might also help, depending on your income and the type of benefits you receive. You can learn more about the program on our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/work. You can also speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line to learn more! The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Laur says:
January 25, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Im a nurse on SSDI,what are the guidelines to returning to some form of work to supplement my income, without losing benefits e.g. homecare prn. Very hard to live on SSDI and need to feed my mind also! 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
January 31, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Hi, if you are on SSDI, you are eligible for the “Trial Work Period” (TWP), a time where you receive your full disability benefit while you test your ability to work. Any month in which you earn over $750 is considered a TWP service month, and the TWP continues until you have worked 9 service months (not necessarily consecutive) within a rolling 60-month period. If you’re receiving SSI, then almost any amount you make can impact your benefits. For example, if you have not made $750 in any given month in the last 5 years, your first TWP month would be the month you made $1,200 (the 5th month in your example). If you make more than $750 in any month in the next 5 years, it counts as a TWP month. After the 9th month within that 5-year period you make over $750, you will enter your 36-month Extended Period of Eligibility. During this time, you will receive your benefits check in months where your income falls below SGA amount. We encourage you to speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help to learn what options are available. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


clarissa says:
February 7, 2014 at 4:40 PM

I would like to go back to school to become a certified nursing assistant but I do not have the money to cover the cost of the classes. Is there any way to get some help with the costs for this? 

Thanks!!!

 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
February 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Hi Clarissa, if you are a SSDI or SSI beneficiary age 18 through 64, the Ticket to Work program may be able to help you. Educational pursuits can be part of your Individualized Work Plan in the first year you’re in the Ticket to Work program. There are several programs that might also help, depending on your income and the type of benefits you receive. You can learn more about the program on our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/work. You can also speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line to learn more! The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Cher says:
February 12, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Hi. I have been on SSDI since Feb 2011. I am interested in trying to go back to work but I am not sure if I can handle full time due to my mental disorder. I keep reading conflicting information and I am trying to get a clear picture of how things are going to work. I am actually using my "Ticket" and working with DARS here in TX, however, my counselor hasn't been able to clearly explain it to me either. I understand that if I make over a certain amount it will count toward my 9 months. I also understand that I should  not stay under that amount on purpose. But, what if I am only able to work 15 hours a week for years and I stay under that amount? Does that send up a flag and cause me to be re-evaluated? See, I get that when I got approved disability it was because I could not work. Honestly I don't know if I can now. I just want to know what will happen if my disorder keeps me from ever working full time again.

Thank you. I apologize if you have explained this before. I just ran across your site tonight and I haven't gotten to read everything. 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
February 13, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Hi Cher, thanks for your question! As you probably know, while many individuals start with part-time work, the goal of the program is that over time you are able to work enough to earn your way off of benefits. Your service provider will be committed to that goal! We encourage you to call our Help Line and speak with one of our representatives. They can answer your questions more thoroughly. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Cher says:
February 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Thank you so much for the phone number. I really wish I had written down the name of the lady that I spoke with just now. She was so helpful and so patient and I FINALLY understand how it all works!! 

Thanks again!!!

Cheryl


bam says:
February 21, 2014 at 10:04 PM

i had a big bleed inside my brian on 2-12-13. returned to work on 6-3-1013 i only worked part time 20 hrs a week up until 2-12-14. anyway my employer was basiclly just giving me $$$ id been with the company for 15 years. had i rough last 3 years heart attack 1-1-2010 my wife died 9-3-2011 my stroke then my brother died 9-27-2013. anyway ive since had to give up work. my employer said i was liked by all so much but its time to move on. with the pain meds im on i cant work. even thou i did for a while doing nothing but drawing a check for 9 months mainly for the insurance but i cant anymore to tired with left side still not recovered with blind spots in left eye still yet. whats a guys chances of getting ssd at age 40 these days i n michigan? not going to hold anyone to thier answer


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
February 25, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Hi Bam, we encourage you to visit Social Security’s website on disability benefits. It has information on who is eligible for benefits and how to apply. The website is http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pgm/disability.htm. You can also call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (V) or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) or visit your local Social Security office. If you don’t know the location of your local office, you can use the field office locator here https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp. We hope this helps!


dajax says:
March 13, 2014 at 10:28 PM

13 years ago, I tried to work a few years after I qualified for SSDI.  I can't remember the months but it included sporadic attempts from '99 through maybe 'o1, all minimum wage.  Due to my disability, I could not sustain the effort and was told by my doctors to stop the attempt and focus on my health.  Literally, now 13 years later, I was encouraged to apply for a job at the VA.  I called Ticket to Work and Social Security and was told that I would qualify for Trial to Work because I hadn't worked in over a decade so with that security in mind, I applied for the VA job and got it.  I started this week.

BUT today, I received a letter from Social Security telling me that I did not qualify for a Trial to Work period, even though they send me records from 5/2004 on that show I did not work, and say I am already in my extended period of eligibility.

This is crazy!!!  I don't know if I can sustain this job!!   How can I be denied a trial work period now? 13 years after the first attempt?  13 years is a long time.

When I planned to move forward with this opportunity, I had planned on using that money to help with childcare costs.  Now I am barely going to make it financially, which is stressful and makes this all the more riskier.

Is this fact?  Do you only get one chance? even if you took it before you were ready 13 years ago?


monty says:
March 21, 2014 at 10:54 AM

I go to DARS, they recomended I return to college and get a business degree, how long will I be able to attend colege in the ticket to work program . 2 year associates degree? 4 year bachalor degree? 6 year masters?


dan says:
March 23, 2014 at 10:59 PM

i would like to work part time because what i recieve is not enough to support me and my pregnant girlfriend who may not be able to work for the next few months. but i know the pain that i have do to my disability will not allow me to work full time. my question being how much am i allowed to make per month without my benifits being affected at all? and do i need to notify SSA before i start working how does this process work?


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
March 24, 2014 at 11:56 PM

Hi dajax, we are sorry to hear about your situation. Please call our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842(V)/
866-833-2967(TTY) where one of our representatives can check your work record with Social Security and help determine what your options are. You can also consider consulting with a Work Incentive Planning & Assistance (WIPA) organization near you that can provide one on one counseling about your benefits and work. You can use our Find Help tool at www.choosework.net/findhelp/ to find your local WIPA.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
March 25, 2014 at 12:15 AM

Hello Monty, while participating in the Ticket to Work program, you will avoid Continuing Disability Review as long as you are making timely progress towards your work goal as determined in your Individualized Work Plan determined by you and your Ticket to Work service provider. Receiving education towards completing a degree can be considered timely progress by Social Security. Please note that while most Employment Networks cannot financially support a college degree program, your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency may be able to assist if its determined the program will help you reach your vocational goal. You can use our Find Help tool at www.choosework.net/findhelp/ to find your local VR or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842(V)/
866-833-2967(TTY).


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
March 25, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Hello Monty, while participating in the Ticket to Work program, you will avoid Continuing Disability Review as long as you are making timely progress towards your work goal as determined in your Individualized Work Plan determined by you and your Ticket to Work service provider. Receiving education towards completing a degree can be considered timely progress by Social Security. Please note that while most Employment Networks cannot financially support a college degree program, your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency may be able to assist if its determined the program will help you reach your vocational goal. You can use our Find Help tool at www.choosework.net/findhelp/ to find your local VR or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842(V)/
866-833-2967(TTY).


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
March 25, 2014 at 12:19 AM

Hi Dan, if you are on SSDI, you are eligible for the “Trial Work Period” (TWP), a time where you receive your full disability benefit while you test your ability to work. Any month in which you earn over $770 is considered a TWP service month, and the TWP continues until you have worked 9 service months (not necessarily consecutive) within a rolling 60-month period. If you’re receiving SSI, then almost any amount you make can impact your benefits. For example, if you have not made $770 in any given month in the last 5 years, your first TWP month would be the month you made $1,200 (the 5th month in your example). If you make more than $770 in any month in the next 5 years, it counts as a TWP month. After the 9th month within that 5-year period you make over $770, you will enter your 36-month Extended Period of Eligibility. During this time, you will receive your benefits check in months where your income falls below SGA amount. We encourage you to speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help to learn what options are available. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


MikefromNY80 says:
March 26, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Hello, my name is Mike.  My CDR is coming up soon and I'm realizing that going back into the field of work I was in, will not be possible.  My intention is to go back to college and get a degree for something in the same field but more focused on the office/administrative path.  My question is, are there employment networks out there that could help me work out a game plan for going back to college, completing my degree and securing a job?  I recently applied for financial aid and was approved and I've already made contact with the school and started the process of enrolling.  I'm trying to avoid going to voc rehab because I already have funding and I also found out that if I apply to voc rehab, it's possible I can lose my financial aid/funding.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
March 31, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Hi Mike, educational pursuits can be part of your Individualized Work Plan in the first year you’re in the Ticket to Work program. There are several programs that might also help, depending on your income and the type of benefits you receive. You can learn more about the program on our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/work. You can also speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line to learn more! The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


BEN says:
April 1, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Hi, I dont really understand the guidelines for working under SSD. I think I may be able to handle say 15 hours a week, I have many medical issues and know I can never go back to any meaningful employment but still want to feel like a useful member of society. I heard different explanations of work rules and really dont understand. Can I work 15 hours a week forever? 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
April 4, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Hi Ben, while many individuals start with part-time work, the goal of the program is that over time participants are able to work enough to earn their way off of benefits. With that said, we understand that every situation is unique and not everyone who wants to work full-time can do so. We encourage you to call our Help Line and speak with one of our representatives. They can answer any specific questions you have about the program. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Sonya says:
April 14, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Hi, I would like to ask a question please. I'm 54 years old. I have been on Social Security Disability for just 9 months. I would like to do something other than set and watch the clock tick. Since winning I got me a small apartment and I feel independent once again after living two straight years with my daughter with no income. I 17 years in the Medical Field. More or less Admin jobs and Clinical settings. Several different departments. Billing, MRI, Scheduling, Credentialing, Hospital Lab (data entry) and I also went to school for Accounting which I am good at and have lots of experience in running a Business. (Not my own but a friend of mine I worked for at one time). I'm depressd though, even though I am 54 I don't want to settle for doing nothing and just drawing my SSDI check,  I want to feel productive at something.  I am Bipolar which i never knew till a couple years ago after being evaluated. (explains a lot)  short term memory loss due to depression called Pseudo Dementia. Had wires put on my head for three days to find that out. Rather in denial of that, I think I just have to much stress of not doing anything with my life just setting around feeling empty. No car and not many friends.  Also, I have numerious issues with my neck, herniated disks, Stenosis, Ridiculopathy, pinched nervers etc. Lower back herniated disks that causes R-leg problems. Thus causing me to have issues setting to long looking at a computer makes my neck stiff, arms/hands go numb and my lower back and leg start feeling numb. So I need to get up and move around more so than a person who doesn't have all this. So it would be very difficult for a regular employer to hire me between the physical and mental conditions that I also have to take medications for. I throughly read all about the Ticket to Work program and I thought maybe this program could improve my mental quality of life. To feel like a normal working citizen again.  I haven't worked in 3 years after spending a life time working since age 15.  My question is: Is it to soon to apply for the ticket to work program since it has only been 9 months since i won? I love having a my little place of my own once again (been a really really long time since that). I can maintain the expenses, rent, electric, cell and just internet no cable. I would like to feel useful instead of feeling this is it for me plus a little extra income would help greatly. Thank you for your time.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
April 22, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Hi Sonya,

It’s not too early to participate in the Ticket to Work program. Through the Ticket program, you can work directly with an Employment Network (EN) or Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency that can provide you support services so that you can be successful. Some Employment Networks (ENs) have work from home options, including National ENs that you can work with over the phone or by email. We recently published a Success Story about how a Ticket to Work participant named Lisa Seeley was able to work from home in order to meet her career and financial goals. You can read the full story (http://bit.ly/1fzfLoy) or watch the video (http://bit.ly/1bsbuCt). If you would like to learn more, we’re hosting a free Work Incentives Seminar Event webinar tomorrow (April 22nd) at 3 p.m. ET about working from home with Ticket to Work. You can sign up for the free event here: http://bit.ly/WJSZyz. We also encourage you to speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line to learn what options are available. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Bb says:
April 23, 2014 at 3:22 PM

I am 24 My parents put me on disability when I was a job I would like to take  2yr rn program at a school nearby will the program cover my tuition?


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
May 6, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Hi, educational pursuits can be part of your Individualized Work Plan in the first year you’re in the Ticket to Work program. There are several programs that might also help, depending on your income and the type of benefits you receive. We encourage you to speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line to learn what options are available to you. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Chip says:
May 11, 2014 at 1:01 AM

SSA seems to punish people for going to back to work. If you make a penny over SGA, you will be hit with an overpayment of your full benefit amount, unless you are in your TWP. However once you use your TWP and go back to work, SSA will reopen your case and decide whether you were even disabled in the first place. It is not uncommon to be slapped with a $40,000+ overpayment after you've returned to work and left the SSDI system, even if you follow your reporting duties. The Ticket to Work Program failes to inform beneficiaries of the risks involved with returning to the work force and the overpayment allegations made by reopening your medical reviews, even if you have passed a CDR time and time again. Until they address this deficiency it is in your best interest not to return to work, otherwise they will argue that you could have worked all along, and hit you with multiple overpayments.


Mixelflick says:
May 17, 2014 at 1:29 PM

I'm on SSDI for bi-polar disorder, want to work but unsure if I can. My biggest issue is FINDING a job! There are none out there, unless it's a "sales" job... :(

Does Ticket To Work actually help PLACE you in a job?

So frustrating when you WANT to work, KNOW you can add value but - there are no jobs...


Kay says:
May 18, 2014 at 1:33 AM

So far, the "Ticket to Work" program has not worked for me. Not only did it not offer any assistance helping me pay for my undergrad degree, but despite applying for work and attending "Job Club" for the past 6 months....it has not granted me an interview or guaranteed employment. Unfortunately, SSI just decided to kick me off of SSI despite my disability becoming worse, and despite the fact that I've only been on SSI for less than 4 years.


Jason says:
May 20, 2014 at 6:34 AM

Hello I am 35 years old, About 10 years ago I was told I have a condition known as ankolsin spdolidist(AS) I have been collecting SSI and SA for about 11 years now. Within that time frame I have earned two college degrees - bachelors in accounting and an associates in managment. However because of my disabilty, even with my education I am still finding it very hard to find employment in either field. I have been on quite a few interviews but because of my condition the vertabra in my neck and back are fused together witch makes it very hard for me to maintain eye contact and sit up straight  during interviews, which I'm sure palys a big part in why I cannot get pass the interview level. I was wondering if the ticket to work program would be able to help me find employment within the field/s that I recived my degrees in are is it a take what you can get program?  


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
May 28, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Hi Chip, thank you for your comment. We know that benefits can seem complicated. We have some resources that can help you prevent overpayments. Overpayments can be avoided by keeping your information up to date with Social Security, including when you have started or stopped working, your rate or pay, wages earned, or changes in living arrangements or financial situation. You can watch our March 2012 webinar, “Preventing and Managing Overpayments: A Webinar for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries,” to learn more! (http://bit.ly/12sguSs) You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line and speak to a representative to learn more. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET. We hope this helps!


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
May 28, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Hi there, many people we hear from share similar concerns, but the Ticket to Work program has supports that can help you determine if you feel ready to work, and to help you get on the path to financial independence when you do. The program connects you with a service provider that will provide you free career services such as career counseling and job placement. You can learn more about the program on our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/work. You can also speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line about your personal situation. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET. We hope this helps!


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
May 28, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Hi Kay, we’re sorry to hear about your difficulties. If you no longer receive disability benefits, there are still resources that can help you get on the road to financial independence. We encourage you to visit www.disability.gov and click on “Employment” to explore some options. We hope this helps!


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
May 28, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Hi Jason, the Ticket to Work program is committed to helping disability beneficiaries achieve their goals! The program connects you with a service provider that will provide you free career services such as career counseling and job placement. You can learn more about the program on our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/work. You can also speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line about your personal situation. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET. We hope this helps!


Crayola says:
June 9, 2014 at 6:14 PM

Don't beloved in ticket at work and don't push your condition and health to the limit for a couple of dollars. If you're really disable and your life depend of your medical treatment just work part-time if you can and never tried to get out of disbility. Don't believe in these empty promises. Good Luck and Keep your health up ! 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
June 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Hi, many people on disability benefits face similar challenges when they cannot perform the work they did in the past anymore due to their disability. The good news is that a Ticket to Work service provider can help you assess and develop skills that can be used for new types of jobs. Some Employment Networks (EN) can help coordinate accommodations. Alternatively, some ENs have work from home options, including National ENs that you can work with over the phone or by email. It is important to remember, though, that while many individuals start with part-time work, the goal of the program is that over time you are able to work enough to earn your way off of benefits. Your service provider will be committed to that goal! If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help to learn what options are available. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Donna says:
July 6, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Hello.  I chose to use my work ticket and it has proven to be a disorganized mess from day one.   Am considering changing providers because of continuing lack of communication, knowledge and cooperation between the differing components of DARS.

Does DARS have ANY component or experience working with clients with professional credentials that need and desire to renter their field?  If so, who and where are they?

If not, who may you suggest that does?  I am not a veteran, but have heard the VAMCs are more conversant working with people who do have advanced degrees, and have worked within the Federal and Military areas.  How do I contact people who have this kind of knowledge and experience, as have found DARS is not interested.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
July 11, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Hi Donna, that is a great question. We just answered this question in our response to your other question here: http://www.chooseworkttw.net/blog/jsp/blog.jsp?post_id=326


jeany33 says:
August 18, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Hello, i am on ssi and ssd, I want to go back to school and get my bachelors degree so that I can be self sufficient. Can i go back to school for my degree and take out a school loan while im recieving ssi and ssd?


jeff says:
August 20, 2014 at 1:14 AM

I received a phone call 11 months ago from NTI, offering training and placement for telework jobs. I completed the NTI, (National Telecommuting Institute), training 10 months ago, and I have been through several training classes for different jobs, and even though I scored highly in the classes, I always am informed that I am not hired. And I start the process over again. Now, NTI has asked me to train for an IRS order entry position, and its taking forever for them to even get me to the background check point. And, I have read that NTI actually takes ones TTW, gets paid by SS, and often just gives us the run around, and doesn't hire you.

Can you tell me exactly how NTI gets paid by having my TTW? And, how can I get my TTW back from NTI, and use it elsewhere? And, are there other agencies like NTI, but maybe better? I have read some poor reviews about NTI.

Any advice is much appreciated,

jeff


jeff says:
August 20, 2014 at 2:09 AM

Hi, me again,

I Googled EN, (employment networks), and SS, and I found a large list of ENs in my area and state. So, I'm figuring out how to change or try other ENs besides NTI.

However, could you tell me if it was SS or NTI that first called me 11 months ago and first told me about TTW? Does SS cold call people like that? I'm very curious, and I'd like to know in case I have to call NTI at some point. NTI is very fast to email you and tell you if you do something wrong, but very slow if you try contacting them.

Thanks,

-jeff

 


hotwheels says:
August 21, 2014 at 10:06 PM

I am on SSDI and have been for 22 years from a spinal cord injury.  I have been on many programs and lately, Working Healthy.  I may finally be looking at other employment.  My question is:  if I go off of SSDI due to the fact that my employment will pay more then SSDI, if I find I cannot work the 40 plus hour work schedule, will I have any difficulty getting back on SSDI.  I am wheelchair confinded and am 62 so my years left on the program are limited.  What "wheels" need to turn in order to get on SSDI once employment is not an option?


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
August 26, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Hi Jeany, Ticket to Work program service providers are able to work with you on going back to school and taking out loans.  Loans generally do not count as income, so they are not likely to affect your benefits, but it  depends on your personal situation.  There are options  to save for education by using the Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS), for example.  Check out our blog, Money Mondays: Expenses to Consider Before Attending College or a Vocational Program (http://www.chooseworkttw.net/blog/jsp/blog.jsp?post_id=243) to learn more. We encourage you to see what options are available by contacting the Ticket to Work Help Line. A knowledgeable representative will be able to speak with you about your personal situation. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
August 26, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Hi Jeff, If you are working with an EN and you are not satisfied with them, you can find a new one. Visit our FAQs to learn more about choosing a new EN and reassigning your ticket at http://www.chooseworkttw.net/about/frequently-asked-questions/index.html. (See Q: What do I do if I want to change my Employment Network (EN)? and Q: How do I un-assign my Ticket from my Employment Network (EN)?) Our online Find Help tool (www.choosework.net/findhelp) can help you look for another EN and you can review report cards and customer satisfaction ratings for some providers. If you would like help choosing a new EN, an expert from our  Help Line can assist you. Call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET. And, yes, you may have received a call from Social Security’s Ticket to Work program. Sometimes we call  eligible beneficiaries to notify them about  participating in the program.
You may also contact the Ticket to Work Program Integrity Hotline. This Hotline helps identify issues and  concerns so that Social Security may investigate and address them. This is a confidential phone line and email address where you can report suspected fraud, waste or abuse. You can report your concerns 24 hours, 7 days a week by calling 1-888-407-4723. You can also send an email to: programintegrity@maximus.com.

 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
August 26, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Hi Hotwheels,

We are happy  to hear you want to  earn more money by working. The Ticket to Work program may be an option for you. Since you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and are  age 18 through 64,  you qualify to participate in the Ticket program. The program allows you to explore work while still receiving health care and cash benefits, test your ability to work  and getting back on your benefits if needed. Special Social Security rules called Work Incentives serve as a safety net and are designed to help you succeed while you are trying to work.  One Work Incentive that may be a good fit for you is  Expedited Reinstatement which allows a person to request to have their benefits reinstated without having to complete a new application. While Social Security determines your benefits reinstatement, you are eligible to receive temporary benefits for up to six months. Learn about other Work Incentives at http://choosework.net/about/work-incentives/index.html. The program can connect you with service providers who can help you find a full time job, and counsel you Work incentives, getting back on benefits if you are not able to continue working and other employment support. To get started today, we suggest you speak with a Ticket to Work representative about your personal situation. Call our Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) 866-833-2967 (TTY) M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM ET.


Jeannette says:
August 29, 2014 at 4:06 AM

I have some questions regarding the ticket to work program.  Unfortunately, the local SSA office is very nasty and near impossible to get information from.  I have earned my RN degree and already have one in business administration and accounting.  I think that if I could find a postion as a Nurse that allowed me to work in management, administration, or as a supervisor of some kind that I might be able to do the work with all my medical limitations.  I had 18 years in managent positions and have owned 5 businesses in the past before becoming disabled and getting my nursing degree (I started that while waiting almost 4 years for a disability decision and since I wasn't sure what the outcome would be, I took a couple classes at a time and did clinicals in 5 hospitals for 2 days/wk/6 hours (not paid).  It was not always easy to get through.  To this day, my physicians don't think that I will be able to work again.  I am 43 years old.  I miss working and being independent!!! The financial stress of so little money each month scares me because I think I will end up homeless if I don't do something.  I have read the booklet about the program and I don't need help finding the job.  Is there a way to try the ticket to work program without their assistance?  I could apply w/o additional education or anyone's help?  I also want to know that if I can push my body to make it through the 9 months and then stop, will they stop my benefits (then or while I work)?  My goal would be to make as much money as I could in that time period so that I can slam my mortgage.  There is no penalty for me to pay down the principle early which would help later when I stop working and only have SSD to live on.  I figured that if I could do that, the bank would be more willing to work with me when I can't make big payments to finish paying it off in the amount of time they want me to.  They want 15 years but it will take me 27 so they don't have to work with me if they don't want to.  They will not renegotiate the loan, I have tried.  They do however, call to speak to me every 30 days asking if my income is higher.  I continue to explain that my only income is SSD.  So, can I work 9 months, assuming my body lets me, then stop and just do the best I can from then on out?  I know I will loose my SNAP benefits while working but that's okay.  Additionally, I have a question that I have received conflicting information about:  can I work part time while on SSD as long as I stay below a certain amount of money each month without loosing my benefits?  Not just for the 9 months but as long as I can?  For example, if I found a Per Diem Nursing position for 1 weekend a month or something like that.  I remember my lawyer said I could as long as I made no more than $800-$900 per month but I can't find that in any information given and do not want to mess up my benefits.  I am waiting to receive a copy of my decision because I lost mine.  I have met people that say "people on SSD can work part time as long as they never make too much"  I don't know if this is true or if I will loose my benefits.  My disability is "very rare" and that's all I heard for years and even now.  I just want to be informed, so please, if anyone can help explain what I can and can't do and any rules or time limitation, I would be so grateful.  I don't have family to go to, I don't have parents, but I know that if I could get that house payment gone, then I could get by, barely.  Thank you for your time.  I look forward to your response.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
September 3, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Hi Jeannette, The Trial Work Period allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During your TWP, you will receive full SSDI benefits no matter how much you earn as long as your work activity is reported and you have a disabling impairment. You do not have to participate in the Ticket to Work program in order to use your Trial Work Period. You can learn more about the Trial Work Period here http://www.ssa.gov/redbook/eng/ssdi-only-employment-supports.htm#a0=0 . After the Trial Work Period, you will continue to receive benefits during any month you make less than a level called Substantial Gainful Activity ($1,070 in 2014) for 36 months. This is called the Extended Period of Eligibility. Before you start working, you should check with Social Security to make sure you have not already used any of your Trial Work Period months.

Please note that the impact of work on benefits varies from person to person and state to state,  so we encourage you to talk to your local Work Incentives Planning and Assistance project about your personal situation. You can find yours using our Find Help tool. Also, if you decide you want to make a long-term goal of working your way off of benefits, the Ticket to Work program can provide you free employment support services to help you reach your goal of financial independence! If you want to get your questions answered about Ticket to Work, call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET to discuss your personal situation.


JD says:
September 7, 2014 at 4:55 AM

How does this affect SSI benefits?   Does the ticket to work apply if you go through a program like ACCESS?  I would like to know because I'm hoping to use ACCESS in the future.  My condition that caused me to get SSI, might be stabilzed enough to go back to work.   I was told several years ago by VESID (as it was called before) to come back when my condition was stable.   I would like to go back to school (preferred), or get job training.   But when the time comes, I don't want to be left out in the cold.   I don't want to just lose my benefits as I start school or training.   How would I pay for housing, bills, et?. I wouldn't have any income to replace my benefits for atleast two years+.   I would like a hand up.   Not a kick in the face while doing it.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
September 10, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Hi JD,

It’s great to hear that you are able to try working again and you’re interested in the Ticket to Work program ! Once of the best things about the program is that it allows you to maintain your cash benefits while you try work so you can continue to pay your living expenses. We have a network of providers that can support you as you explore your options.  Since you are concerned with learning about how working may impact your benefits, we encourage you to contact a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project for more information. WIPA projects are community-based organizations that will work with you one-on-one to help you understand how working may impact your SSI benefits.

Once you feel ready to go back to work or receive job training, your WIPA can help you find the appropriate services which may include working with an Employment Network. To get started today, here are two options:

1- Call our the Ticket to Work Help Line and speak with a program expert about your personal situation and have your questions answered. Call1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET. We hope this helps!
2- Use our Find Help Tool to locate a WIPA near you. Visit www.choosework.net/findhelp.
We would love to hear from you in the future if you participate in the Ticket to Work program or even better- find work!


Heather says:
September 13, 2014 at 4:04 AM

What do you do when your doctor tells you, and your health enables you, to work?  Because of financial reasons I was going to try 2 days. Of course I would like it to be more, but if it's not and I signed up for these programs do I get dinged? Can I find my own job or does the business have to participate in the program? My medication and doct bills cost so much even with Medicare idk what else to do. I haven't been approved for very long. I was told by three random people I would get my benefit taken away and fined for trying to work too early after receiving it.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
September 16, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Hi Heather! It’s great to hear you are able to try work! And, we understand you may be hesitant about where and how many hours you may be able to work, but rest assured you are not alone!  We have head similar concerns from other people like you and think the Ticket program may be a good fit to help you explore your work options. First, if you are age 18 through 64 and receive SSDI and/or SSI, you automatically qualify and can enroll by calling the Ticket to Work program Work Help line today! One of the benefits of participating in this program is that you will work with an employment expert that will determine the best work schedule for you and you can keep your benefits while trying work (Learn more by reading this information about not losing you benefits: http://www.chooseworkttw.net/Assets/docs-materials/SSA_3_Biggest_Myths_Flyer-Final-2.pdf). We often hear from people who want to start working part time. The Ticket to Work program  is for the person, not the employer or business. And, your participation is not dependent on any employer.  Our program participants work in a wide- range of jobs.

We suggest you  contact a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project, a community-based organizations that will work with you one-on-one to discuss your potential working options. They can also give you counseling on the impact working can have on your benefits and then guide you to the right continued support while you look for a job or while you’re working.

To learn more about our services and to talk with someone about your personal situation, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.  Best to you on your journey!


Dave says:
September 17, 2014 at 10:45 PM

A friend of mine is on SS Disability but he would like to go to school. He is afraid that he will lose his benefits if he does.  Will he?  Will participation in a program like this protect his benefits?  He feels he needs to get additional training before getting back to work but wants that to be his ultimate goal.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
September 19, 2014 at 9:50 AM

Hi Dave,

The Ticket to Work program may be an option for your friend.  The goal of Ticket to Work is to help people like your friend explore work while protecting their benefits. If he is interested in training, there are programs that might be able to help him, depending on his personal situation. Two examples are:

1- Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) which allows a person to exclude earnings from income. You can find more information on SEIE at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-student-earned-income.htm.

2- Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS), a Work Incentive that allows a person  to set aside income or resources and pay for training, equipment, support services and employment-related expenses that can lead to a better job and higher earnings. You may also get more information about PASS at www.socialsecurity.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/pass.htm.


Student loans and grants generally will not impact disability benefits or access to health care, but we suggest speaking to Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) for details on your friend’s personal situation. A WIPA project  in the community has a Community Work Incentives Coordinator who can work with your friend one-on-one to provide in-depth counseling about benefits and the impact working may have on those benefits. A local Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency and some Employment Networks (EN), including American Job Centers,  may also be able to help with training options. A service provider can be found in our Find Help tool at www.choosework.net/findhelp.
We encourage you or your friend to call the Ticket to Work Help Line to see what options are available! The number is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET. We hope this helps!


JJ says:
October 21, 2014 at 12:01 PM

My wife get ssd and ssi she would like to go back to work or school for training we dont have a car and we dont have money for uniforms if she gets a job does this program help with stuff like transportion and uniforms ?????


buck says:
October 22, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Hello  and thanks, I was involved in a major auto acident, others fault while working in 2005 . this accident left me with 19 operations, major TBI , and Chronic non stop pain.  I currently remain in Dr.'s Care and suffer, bladder and kidney failure as well also intestine and bowel failure, requiring manual release of both bowels and bladder. My Axion Shearing has left me confussed, gravely altering my mental ability. I am treated by specialist Dr's who have stated no cure for the bladder, kidney and bowels. I have been treated with narcotics for the last 10 years.  Since the onset of the accident, my wife and son have contended that i could still work, if only I tried. That my problems are mental, and of my choice. This has left me very concerned, as a person who loves his family.  My wife and son say I am a fake and should just suck it up. I am gravely depressed because of this, and my pain level is beyond pain felt before. My question is simple, I would rather work, crawl , cry and die before I continue to be seen as scum. I do not know what to do even after the number of operations and the massive pain, my faimily offers zero respect or support and daily tells me I am worthless and sorry scum. how best do I return to work  ? Does Social Security offer any  prograns. thanks 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
October 28, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Hi Buck, we’re sorry to hear about your situation, and we want to help. Ticket to Work exists to help disability beneficiaries make the transition to employment. Working can give you a greater sense of independence, fulfillment, and self-worth. Ticket to Work can connect you to an organization called an Employment Network (EN) that can help you explore your career options and provide you services to help get you started. To learn more, call our Help Line to speak about your personal situation at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY). Take a look at our Success Stories, too – real people have found success through the Ticket to Work Program. Watch how they got started on the path to work here: http://bit.ly/TTWsuccess. We hope this helps!


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
October 28, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Hi JJ, good question! There is a Work Incentive called PASS (Plan to achieve Self Support) that might work for your wife. PASS allows you to set aside income or resources in order to pay for items or services needed to achieve a career goal. With PASS, your wife could save money for expenses such as uniforms or transportation. Learn more about PASS by reading Michele’s story here: http://choosework.net/about/success-stories/story_michele-b.html. For more help getting started, your wife can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY). We hope this helps!


Alexandra says:
November 3, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Hi,

I am a financial advisors who works primarily with people with disabilities and their families. I woud like to know th answer to this question:

If a client of mine qualifies for SSDI on his own work record by working at a level consistantly below SGA, but then upgrades his skills and begins to work at a level consistantly over SGA, can he keep his Medicare?  I know that there is a way to keep Medicaid but am unsure on Medicare.

Thank you,

Alexandra


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
November 4, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Hi, Alexandra - Health care coverage is a very important consideration when making the decision to return to work. Most persons with disabilities who work will continue to receive at least 93 consecutive months of Medicare after the 9-month trial work period. Although cash benefits may cease due to work, they have the assurance of continued health insurance.

We encourage you to call our Help Line and talk to one of our representatives. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET. We hope this helps! 


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