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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.

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

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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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Ticket to Work's Top Reasons to Consider Self-Employment

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Have you ever considered working for yourself? Do you have a passion for entrepreneurship? Self-employment may be an option that can put you on the path to financial independence.  In our latest Ticket Talk podcast, we share some reasons to try self-employment as a work option. Entrepreneurship is a way to both be your own boss and become financially independent.

There are many reasons to try self-employment. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript to learn about why you may want to consider it. Self-employment can be rewarding. Decide whether working for yourself is right for you.

To hear more about why self-employment may be the way to achieve your work goals, you may also want to check out our recent webinar, “Working for Yourself with Ticket to Work: Achieving Financial Independence.” This link takes you to a recorded webinar with audio and closed captions.

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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Money Mondays: Personal Finance Tips for Youth-in-Transition

For those who are graduating from high school or college, now is the perfect time to make some important financial decisions to start your summer on the right track!

Many graduates decide to enter the workforce after school, and it is important to get your finances in order so you can successfully make the transition to work.

One way to minimize the stress of transitioning from school to employment is to organize a budget so you know how you will spend and save to pay for your expenses and reach your goals. It will also prepare you for when you start making more money at your new job!  

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Live Life to the Fullest with Disability.gov - Your Guide to Information

Disabilitygov

By the Disability.gov Team

People visit Disability.gov for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for information on how to apply for disability benefits, and others want to know where they can find affordable and accessible apartments. As the federal government website for information on disability policies, programs and services, the Disability.gov team’s number one priority is to evaluate every resource to ensure you are connected to information that helps you live life to the fullest. Essentially, Disability.gov is a huge directory of resources from government agencies, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.

If you have a disability and want to return to work, the Ticket to Work program can help you explore your options. You’ve found the Ticket’s website, but what if you need to access public transportation or paratransit service to travel to job interviews? What if you’re attending college or vocational training in a new city and need to find a doctor who specializes in your disability or want to connect with a support group? That’s where Disability.gov comes in.

A few months ago, Disability.gov launched the “Guide Me” tool to make searching on the site easier by walking visitors through four steps.

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Money Mondays: Tax Resources for People with Disabilities

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Tax season is here! If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to organize your financial information and start preparing and filing your tax forms. There are a number of resources available to help you file your taxes, and you may qualify for some additional tax benefits.

If you or someone you know has a disability and need help filing taxes this year, there are a number of resources that are available:

  • Download accessible forms and publications. The IRS offers content in a number of accessible formats to accommodate people who use assistive technology including screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays, and voice recognition software. The tax forms and publications can be downloaded or viewed online.
  • Watch the IRS Accessibility video. The video highlights how to find accessible tax information, products and services.
  • Visit an IRS volunteer tax site. The IRS offers volunteer sites that help individuals with a low- to moderate-income (about $52,000 or less) obtain free tax preparation assistance. These sites are managed by volunteers that are certified by the IRS. Visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Find-a-Location-for-Free-Tax-Prep to find a site in your state.
  • File your taxes online for free with MyFreeTaxes.com. The service helps people access free tax preparation and filing assistance services online at home, at a community center or with the help of a nonprofit partner.

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Subscribe for Ticket to Work's Interactive Email Series, "The Journey to Financial Independence"

Ticket to Work Email Campaign

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program is pleased to announce the launch of our email series called “The Journey to Financial Independence.”

This email series will provide information about how Ticket to Work can help you or someone you know achieve the goal of becoming financially independent through work. Ticket to Work is a free and voluntary service for Social Security disability beneficiaries age 18 through 64 who are interested and able to work.

When you opt-in to participate, you will receive emails once every week or two. They will contain information and resources to help you on your journey to make more money and eventually eliminate your reliance on benefits. You will learn more about the Ticket to Work program and how to access resources that may be available to you.

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Register Now! Social Security's Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar: Ticket to Work: Support for People with Disabilities on the Journey to Financial Independence

Lisa Seeley

Join us for our next WISE Webinar on January 22, 2014 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EST. Register online at www.choosework.net/wise or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

This webinar is a great opportunity for individuals who have previously participated in a Ticket to Work and Work Incentives webinar to learn more about the path to financial independence.

The January 22 webinar will present tips, tools, and resources that help you:

  • Learn how to save what you earn
  • Understand tax benefits that may apply to you
  • Gain basic financial knowledge such as budgeting and expense tracking

If you cannot make the live event, wish to review the information, or are looking for a particular webinar topic, our most recent webinars can be downloaded from our webinar library.

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