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Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work

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Money Mondays: Six Tips to Protect Yourself from Financial Fraud Online

The Internet has become an integral part of daily life for many of us for both work and play. While we are using the Internet increasingly to shop and manage our money, we are also hearing more and more about data breaches and hackers stealing online financial information. While some data breaches are impossible to prevent, there are steps you can take to guard your financial information to reduce the risk of fraud.

You can use these six tips to help protect yourself against fraud and identity theft.


  1. Protect your information. Online or offline, start by not giving your financial and personal information – such as your bank account, credit card numbers, personal identification (PIN) number, social security number, date of birth, or address – to people or organizations you don’t know or trust. Use these tips to keep your personal information secure.


  1. Watch what you post. What you post online is widely available and forever exposed. Be careful of what you post, as those with malicious intent may be able to find it online for years to come. Note that Social Security will never ask for personal information on third party networks, such as Facebook. Do not post your Social Security number in blog comments or send it via email, and beware of phishing scams that ask for personal information. Think twice when a site asks you to enter a username or password. Here are more tips on how to protect your privacy online.


  1. Use strong passwords and change them periodically. Although online banking and shopping websites often work to try to protect you from financial crimes, hackers can still sometimes gain access. Make sure to always use strong passwords, to change your passwords periodically, and do not use the same passwords for different accounts.  Use these tips to create secure passwords


  1. Keep your computer software up to date. Keeping your computer software – such as security software – up to date can deter a hacker and protect your financial information.

Watch this video from OnGuardOnline.gov for steps you can take to keep your computer secure


  1. Be wary of public wireless networks. Wi-Fi hot spots like those found in coffee shops, airports and hotels are often not secure. Do not log in to sensitive financial websites from these locations – including from your mobile device – if you can avoid it. Have your own wireless network at home? Use these tips to make sure your wireless network is secure.


  1. Know the signs to watch for. These signs may indicate someone is trying to steal your information.


Do you suspect someone has stolen your financial information? Follow these steps to report it. If identity theft strikes, take immediate action to help prevent the thief from doing more damage.

Remember, you can never be too careful with your financial information online. If you wish to discuss your personal situation in relation to your Social Security disability benefits and the Ticket to Work program, the safest way to do that is to call our Help Line at 1-866-968-7842/866-833-2967 (TTY) M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM ET.


You can create a free personal online my Social Security account today!

Nearly 14 million people have already signed up for "my Social Security" accounts and you can too!

Creating a "my Social Security" account gives you access to tools and services to understand and update as needed your personal status with Social Security.  From your working years to your retirement years, this account will allow you to keep track of how much you have contributed to Social Security and inform you of how much you should receive when you start claiming your benefits.

If you currently receive Social Security benefits or Medicare, this account will allow you to:

If you are not yet claiming benefits, your account will help you to:

  • get your Social Security Statement,
  • review your estimates for retirement, disability, and survivors benefits,
  • verify your annual earnings,
  • estimate the Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid, and
  • request a benefit verification letter stating that you’ve never received Social Security benefits, Supplementary Security Income or Medicare.

If you receive Social Security benefits or plan to someday, think about creating an account today! Check out this document for instructions on how to create an online account.


Employment and Mental Illness: Steps along the Road to Recovery

By Dania Douglas, NAMI State Advocacy Manager

People living with mental illness are a diverse group with a wide range of talents, who can—and do—work in all segments of the U.S. economy. But they still often have problems in finding and keeping jobs. Each year one in four people in the United States is affected by mental illness. But even though it is common, mental illness still carries a stigma, and those living with it often face discrimination.

Work can be an important part of recovery. Work can provide a structure, a sense of purpose, income and benefits.  Despite this, people with mental illness are often unemployed or underemployed.  Almost 80 percent of the 7 million individuals in the public mental health system are unemployed, though studies show that at least 60 percent of them want to work.

The good news is that we know there are effective and innovative systems that have helped people with mental illness find and keep competitive employment. The bad news is that these systems are not widely available. Supported employment services are available to less than 2 percent of the people who need them.

In July, NAMI released Road to Recovery: Employment and Mental Illness, a report that explored these challenges and highlighted effective employment programs:


Start Your Job Search Today at a Career Fair!

Throughout this month, both in-person and virtual career fairs will take place nationwide. Career fairs can provide you with great opportunities to interact with employers and recruiters who are hiring and help keep you informed of their latest job openings. This is a great time for you to engage with organizations and advance your career search!

Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fairs (In-person)

Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fairs (DED) provides the opportunity for local and national employers to meet and interview qualified candidates from diverse communities.

  • September 18, 2014 – Milwaukee, WI
  • September 25,2014 – Miami, FL

Hiring our Heroes for Veterans (In-person)

Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, helps Veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 560 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.


Dice Technology & Engineering Virtual Career Fair (Virtual)

This is an online career fair that will connect job seekers with top employers in live, engaging conversations via instant chat. This event will allow you to connect with multiple companies in an efficient, online environment.

Verizon Wireless Virtual Career Fair (Virtual)

Verizon Wireless is hosting a career fair that can connect you with Verizon representatives as the company looks to add to its growing team.


Manufacturing a Promising Future: Josh Schneiter's Story

Image of Josh Schneiter smiling at work Our You Can Work blog series continues to celebrate the achievements of adults with disabilities who have found their path to a better future with help from the Ticket to Work program. This month, we introduce Josh Schneiter, a young man who was determined to improve his independence after experiencing a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as a child.The Ticket to Work program helped Josh understand how employment would affect his Social Security disability benefits.

Like many people considering employment, Josh was concerned about his benefits. Through the Ticket to Work program he learned about special Social Security rules called Work Incentives which allow many people to transition into the workforce while continuing to receive healthcare benefits, and some cash benefits from Social Security.

Once Josh understood what working would mean for his benefits, his high school transition specialist introduced to him to Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center (PARC), a local Employment Network that helped him participate in the Ticket to Work program. The staff at PARC helped Josh identify internship opportunities in the manufacturing industry, and he began an internship with Futura Industries. Futura is an aluminum manufacturing facility, where Josh was paired with a partner to move packages and dye aluminum strips. Futura provided the job accommodations he needed and the internship worked out well for everyone.

In September of 2013, he accepted a full-time position with Futura. Josh is a valued member of the team, and he enjoys the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie he gets at work. Josh is happy to be contributing to his community through employment. He feels free of the limitations imposed by relying on a fixed income, and enjoys spending time with his girlfriend. Josh is living the “normal” life he imagined for himself. Read Josh’s full story.

With the right support, Josh found his path to a better future. Find yours!

Visit our website for more inspiring stories, and learn how Social Security’s Ticket to Work program can help you.


Walk to End Alzheimer's This September

The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the largest national event aimed to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in all 50 states in more than 600 communities, this event rallies volunteers of all ages to become activists in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

You can help raise awareness by participating in a free local event near you!  

At the Walk events, you can learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and the support programs and services offered by your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter. You can also get involved with the cause through advocacy initiatives and clinical trial participation.

You can find a walk near you by visiting the Walk to End Alzheimer’s homepage and entering your zip code. 


National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities: Advocating and Educating to Remove Barriers to Education and Employment for People with Disabilities

By Karen J. McCulloh, RN, BS, and Beth Marks, PhD, RN

NOND logo
The National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2003 in the state of Illinois. As a grass roots organization established by nurses with disabilities, NOND’s mission is to promote equity for people with disabilities and chronic health conditions in nursing through education and advocacy by:

  • promoting best practices in education and employment
  • providing resources to individuals, nursing and disability organizations, disability services professionals, healthcare professionals, educational and healthcare institutions
  • influencing the provision of culturally responsive nursing practice, and
  • creating systemic improvements in education and employment.

Through NOND, we are challenging the stereotypes and myths about people with disabilities who want to become nurses or have become disabled after earning their license and want to return to or remain in the workforce.

To enter healthcare educational programs, candidates must be academically qualified.  Some students may take courses ahead of time to be better prepared for consideration for admission.  After admission, the greatest challenge for students with disabilities may be obtaining reasonable accommodations that can assist them in their success as they move forward through a program. 

Participation in the labor force by people with disabilities is 21 percent compared to 69 percent of their non-disabled peers without disabilities. To increase participation, NOND supports the legal changes made in the last 30 years to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Learning about your civil rights and responsibilities should begin prior to entering a health care educational program or returning to work as a nurse with a disability. Visit www.NOND.org and learn more about your rights and how to advocate.


In September We Recognize Suicide Prevention

One suicide occurs every 40 seconds, claiming 1 million lives worldwide each year. This includes 300,000 Americans, making suicide the third leading cause of death for people age 15 through 24 and the second leading cause for people age 24 through 35. According to the CDC, there is no single cause of suicide, but risk factors can include a history of depression or mental illness, alcohol or drug abuse, physical illness, family history, and feeling alone.Suicide prevention logo

You can participate in activities to help combat this issue.  The American Association of Suicidology sponsors National Suicide Prevention Week, September 8-14, as part of the recognition of World Suicide Prevention Day on September 10, sponsored by the  International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

If you are working and struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, your employer’s Human Resources department may be able to provide confidential assistance to employees dealing with these issues.

Suicide is preventable. You can Learn the warning signs and risk factors for suicide.  If you or someone you know is in a suicidal crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- 8255 (TALK).


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