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Register Now! Social Security's Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar: August 27, 2014: Ticket to Work: Finding and Keeping the Job That's Right for You

If you are a Social Security disability beneficiary and want to make more money through work, Ticket to Work can provide the support you need to transition to financial independence.

The August 27 national WISE webinar will present information about special Social Security programs and rules that can help you on your path to financial independence! A special guest speaker will discuss:

  • Exploring your work goals
  • Building your employment team
  • Work Incentives that can help you once you have a job

Register online at www.choosework.net/wise or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

Approximately 2 days before the event, you will receive an email with instructions on how to log in to the webinar. Please be sure to check your spam folder. Registration information will also be available online the day of the webinar.

When you’re ready to find a good job that leads to a good career and a better self-supporting future, attending a WISE webinar is a great way to start. Our next WISE webinar is September 17 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. Register online or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

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Ballroom Dancer is Inspired to Keep Moving: Megan Riggs' Story

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 catch up with Megan Riggs, a young woman who recently started her own business (Dance4 Life & Health, LLC), which provides a range of classes for seniors who want to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Megan feels lucky to be earning money doing something that makes her feel alive. It is a personal achievement few can claim, and one she would not have imagined possible six years earlier.

In 2008, clinical depression robbed Megan of the energy and momentum that she needed to thrive. When she became sick, she lost her job and struggled. Megan began receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and focused on healing. When she was feeling better, she had a strong desire to go back to work, and found help when she connected with TransCen, Inc., a Ticket program service provider, that introduced her to resources that could help her succeed in the workforce.

TransCen began by addressing Megan’s concerns about the risks connected with going back to work. She learned about Social Security rules called Work Incentives, which make it easier for people to explore work and still receive health care and some cash benefits. With a Bachelor’s degree in Forensic Science, Megan was well equipped for the job she landed months later at a biomedical research company. She regained the focus she had lost, along with a greater sense of control in her life. She made progress at work and by 2011, earned enough money to leave cash benefits behind. Megan resumed competitive ballroom dancing, recovered her physical health, and went back to the social lifestyle she missed.

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Start Your Job Search Today at a Career Fair!

Throughout the month, in-person and virtual career fairs are taking place around the country. If you are looking for work, a career fair gives you an opportunity to get connected with employers who are currently hiring and talk directly with their recruiters. Additionally, virtual career fairs offer a unique opportunity for you to engage in real time from wherever you are with employers who are ready to hire!

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.

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.

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Webinar Spotlight: Alliance Professional Services and Arizona Bridge to Independent Living!

Section 503

Join us on July 30, 2014, for a national WISE webinar: More Jobs for People with Disabilities: What New Regulations Can Mean for You!

The national WISE webinar will present information about Social Security programs and rules that may apply to you, including details about Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 503 requires federal contractors and subcontractors to take action to recruit, hire, train, promote, and retain people with disabilities.

Our presenters for this webinar represent two Employment Networks (EN): Susan Webb from ABIL Employment Services (AES) and Pam Walker from Alliance Professional Services. ENs can work with you to discuss Section 503, including job opportunities, self-identification and reasonable accommodations.

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Celebrating Independence on the 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA

Earlier this month Americans celebrated our nation's independence. This week, we celebrate the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

On July 26th 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. The ADA, he declared, was “. . .the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities.” Its impact was monumental. From employment and transportation, to government services and telecommunications, the ADA promised equal access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities from all walks of life.

For twenty-four years the ADA has ensured people with disabilities protection from employment discrimination, equal access to public places like schools, businesses, and government buildings, and access to communications technology enabling the free transmission of ideas and information. And as a result, more people with disabilities than ever are able to achieve their potential. In the words of Bob Williams, former Associate Commissioner for Social Security's Office of Employment Support Programs, “The Americans with Disabilities Act works.”  Mr. Williams was a leader in the fight to pass the ADA and witnessed the signing ceremony.

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Money Mondays: Expenses to Consider Before Attending a Vocational Program or College

Money Mondays logo

Are you preparing to start college or a vocational program? If you are, it is important to begin to learn about financial matters, like creating and managing a budget and saving for emergencies. In order to manage a budget, it helps to know what to expect.

Here are some common expenses for students in college or a vocational program:

  • Tuition: Tuition will probably be your single largest expense, ranging from a few thousand dollars per year for an in-state college to $35,000 for private colleges.
  • Books & Supplies: The cost will vary depending on the course you’re taking. A good estimate for your book budget is about $500 per semester. You will need a constant supply of pens and paper, especially if you do not have a computer or tablet, as well as other items such as a backpack, organizer, binders and highlighters. Today, many find having a computer or tablet and a printer essential for schoolwork and research. Computer labs at schools are also available for students, but hours and space are limited.
  • Housing: Most colleges have student residences or off-campus housing that range in price. If you are considering living off-campus, you will need to budget for monthly utility bills. The most cost-effective choice is to live at home and commute, if that’s an option.
  • Food: Most colleges have prepaid meal cards that you can use to buy food on campus. However, you should still budget money for when you go off campus to purchase food or additional snacks.
  • Entertainment: It is good to estimate how often you plan to go out with friends to movies, concerts or restaurants.
  • Clothing: Take into account climate, seasons and the fashion culture of the school you will be attending.

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New Revised Regulations Create a Brighter Future for You

Picture of Ticket Talk Logo

In our latest Ticket Talk episode, we share information about an updated law, Section 503, which can support you on your journey to financial independence.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 has supported people with disabilities for more than 40 years by offering services, promoting awareness, and providing fair opportunities for people with disabilities. The newly revised Section 503 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against people with disabilities and requires employers to take affirmative action in recruiting, hiring, training, promoting and retaining people with disabilities.

These new rules are expected to create more employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

Are you wondering how these changes can affect you?  In our Ticket Talk podcast, we’ve highlighted a few facts about the new regulations that every Social Security disability beneficiary who is exploring their work options should know. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript to learn what you need to know regarding these changes in Section 503.

Subscribe to Ticket Talk Podcasts for interviews with program and disability experts, success stories from real beneficiaries, and program news and updates!

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Your Questions Answered! June 25th Facebook Questions & Answers (Q&A) Transcript

Following our June 25th WISE Webinar, “Ticket to Work: Free Support Services for Young Adults in Transition,” we took to our Facebook page to answer your disability employment-related questions. We addressed a variety of questions about the Ticket to Work program, Work Incentives and the path to financial independence for youth in transition. Thank you to all who participated, and we hope to see the rest of you next time! Follow us on Facebook (http://facebook.com/choosework) to receive announcements of future events! If you are interested in work and would like to discuss your situation now, speak with a Ticket to Work representative at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) or find a service provider using our Find Help tool.

Check out the transcripts of the June 25th Facebook Q&A below:

Note: Questions are listed first in each section. Responses from the Ticket to Work experts are labeled “Expert Response.” Additional comments from fans are labeled “Fan Comment (or Fan Response).” Comments from the moderator are labeled “Moderator Comment.” This transcript was recorded from the chat itself and to preserve authenticity, only egregious spelling errors were corrected and some responses were rearranged to group by question. Please excuse any additional grammar or spelling errors.

Below are acronyms used throughout the chat:

EN: Employment Network

SSI: Supplemental Security Income

SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance

TTW: Ticket to Work

VR: Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

WISE (webinar): Work Incentives Seminar Event

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