Social Security’s Ticket To Work Program: Celebrating 20 Years Of Career Development And Support

(NAPSI)—December 17 marks the 20th anniversary of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act—legislation that established the Ticket to Work (Ticket) program and other incentives to increase access to employment for adults with disabilities who want to work. Since 1999, the Ticket program has helped over one million Social Security disability beneficiaries work for the first time or return to work and find their path to financial independence.

Today, the Ticket program continues to serve people with disabilities ages 18 through 64 who receive SSI or SSDI. If you’re eligible, it can connect you with free employment services that help you prepare for, find and maintain employment. The program provides services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, job development, placement and training from authorized providers (known as Employment Networks) and/or your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency.

If you are ready for work, don’t let the fear of losing your benefits stand in the way. As long as you continue to have a disability, you can explore work while maintaining access to some or all of your Social Security disability benefits, and Medicare and/or Medicaid coverage. Rules known as Work Incentives provide you with the support to enter, re-enter or stay in the workforce by protecting your eligibility for benefit payments and/or healthcare until you achieve your employment goal. (Continued Medicaid coverage may also depend on your state’s programs and other factors.)

If you go to work and your disability interferes with work later, you may be able to return to benefits without a new application. Because each person’s circumstances are different, you are encouraged to consult a Benefits Counselor—a professional equipped to help you understand how employment will affect your SSDI or SSI, healthcare and other public benefits.

This could be the year to find out what’s possible for you. Visit the Ticket website to learn from a score of program participants who improved their sense of control, self-esteem, financial independence, social engagement and their options when they found work with help through the Ticket program. The prospect of entering the workforce may be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone.

To learn more, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET or visit https://choosework.ssa.gov.

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