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Social Security Ticket To Work Program

What Is Social Security’s Ticket To Work Program

What is the Ticket to Work Program?

Ready to work but not sure where to start? If you’re searching for support on your path to work, you’re in the right place. Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program can help you reach your employment goals!

The Ticket Program is a good fit for people who want to improve their earning potential and are committed to preparing for long-term success in the workforce. It connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job and be successful at work.

Work Incentive Seminar Events

Social Security conducts national Work Incentive Seminar Events webinars online each month for beneficiaries with disabilities and their families to learn more about the Ticket program and available Work Incentives through accessible, informal learning opportunities. The goals of a WISE webinar are to encourage SSDI and SSI beneficiaries to explore their work options and join the workforce.

Looking For More Support

Work Incentives Planning & Assistance projects are organizations authorized by Social Security to provide free benefits counseling to eligible Social Security disability beneficiaries to help you make informed choices about work.

Have a disability related employment issue? Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security organizations represent eligible beneficiaries to remove barriers to successful employment and will help you understand your rights regarding conditions of employment.

The next step is deciding what kind of service provider is right for you. Authorized Ticket Program service providers, such as Employment Networks or your state Vocational Rehabilitation agency, provide services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, job placement assistance and training. The service provider you choose will serve as an important part of your “employment team” to help you on your journey to financial independence.

Depending on your needs, you may choose to work with either an EN or your state VR agency. This worksheet provides important questions for you to consider when making your decision.

Concerned about long-term support? Many people find they need continued support once the state VR agency closes their case. That’s where an EN may be able to help by providing the continued support you need. This arrangement, known as Partnership Plus, can help you make a smooth transition to your new working life.

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Get The Facts About Ticket To Work

Ready to work and looking for support on your employment journey? Check out our fact sheet that tells you what you need to know to get started.

You may have received a paper Ticket in the mail, but you don’t need a paper Ticket to participate! The service provider you select will verify your eligibility. You can also find out your eligibility status by calling the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

You may have received a paper Ticket in the mail, but you don’t need a paper Ticket to participate! The service provider you select will verify your eligibility. You can also find out your eligibility status by calling the Ticket to Work Help Line at or Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

You Forfeit Up To 30% Of Your Benefits By Claiming Early

Ticket to Work Program FAQs

The full retirement age is 67, but if you claim at 66 and 11 months, youll receive only 99.4% of your full payment. If you claim at 65, youll receive just 86.7% of your benefits. You can claim as young as 62, but if you do, youll receive only 70% of your full payment for life, if you dont withdraw your claim within a year.

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State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies

A State Vocational Rehabilitation agency can help beneficiaries who want to return to work or to work for the first time, but who need more significant services to make work possible. State VR agencies can help beneficiaries get ready to work, and, when VR services have ended, the VR agency may be able to help the beneficiary find an EN who can help them keep the job and make more money. When a beneficiary chooses to receive services from a State VR agency, Social Security considers that the beneficiary is using the ticket and, therefore, is protected from medical CDR.

Use the Find Help to locate a State VR in your area.

Work Incentives And The Ticket To Work Program

Work Incentives make it possible for you to explore work while still receiving benefits. They are designed to help you succeed!

  • You may be able to keep your Medicaid/Medicare while you work.
  • You have access to individualized support services.
  • You can try work with confidence, knowing you may be able to keep some or all of your benefits during your transition period.

Social Security has many Work Incentives designed to fit your individual situation. For more information about all of Social Securitys Work Incentives and how they can work for you, check out The Red Book A Guide to Work Incentives.

Here are examples of some of the Work Incentives that may be available to you:

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Eligibility For Ticket To Work Program

Most SSDI and SSI beneficiaries are eligible for the Ticket to Work program however, the program is not available to those who:

Suspension Of Continuing Disability Reviews

Ticket to Work and your SSA Benefits

Whileyou are pursuing a Ticket to Work program and meeting your timelyprogress requirements, Social Security cannot initiate a continuing disability review. But Social Security can complete any review that beginsbefore you assign your Ticket to Work. If you fail to meet your timelyprogress requirements, you once again become subject to continuingdisability reviews.

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What Is Ticket To Work

“Ticket to Work” is a Social Security Administration program for people receiving SSI or SSDI due to disability or blindness. It may provide more options for you to go to work. By getting the help you need to go to work you can improve your standard of living. Also, you may become a contributor to Social Security when you work, which will increase your monthly income when it is time to retire.

This program is voluntary. The Social Security Administration mails a “Ticket” to you and you may take it to an Employment Network. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is an Employment Network. If an Employment Network accepts your ticket, they will develop a plan to help you get a job. This will include the type of work you choose, as well as describe the services necessary for the achievement of your goals. You will have to sign a formal plan before services begin, called an “IPE” . You will receive a copy of your plan. It will explain your rights including:

  • Your right to take back your Ticket and choose another Employment Network
  • Information on advocacy services to help resolve disputes

If you are interested in the Ticket program, you may contact your local VR office or call MRC at 1-800-245-6543 .

What Is Social Securitys Ticket To Work Program

Individuals receiving Social Security disability benefits have a medical condition that prevents them from obtaining employment or engaging in substantial gainful activity. SSDI beneficiaries often want to try and return to work, but they fear that they may lose their SSDI benefits or Medicare coverage. The Social Security Administration noticed that very few SSDI recipients make it back into the workforce, so they designed the Ticket to Work program to help those beneficiaries who wanted to return to work. This program provides many great benefits and protections for SSDI beneficiaries who want to try and work again. Keep reading as we give you all the details about this important program.

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What Employment Networks Do

Employmentnetworks are available to provide vocational training, job readinesstraining, resumé writing classes, and other vocational services to SSDIand SSI beneficiaries. Some ENs specialize in providing services only topeople with specific disabilities ,while others serve all beneficiaries irrespective of the nature oftheir disabilities. Some ENs are businesses that rely on the EN systemas a means to employ people with disabilities for their own businesses.These ENs are alternatives to the state departments of vocationalrehabilitation.

For a list of ENs doing business in your area, see www.yourtickettowork.com.

Getting Started With Ticket To Work

Ticket to Work Program

So, how can Social Security disability beneficiaries get started with the ticket program and gain financial independence? Here is how to get started. First, you should contact the SSA Ticket to Work helpline associated with the program at 1-866-968-7842. You can speak to a representative who will be able to answer all your questions about the program and send you a list of available providers in your area. You can also use the programsonline Ticket to Work tool to find providers in your area. Once you find a provider that you wish to work with, you will assign them your ticket. This begins your participation in the program.

You will then work with your selected provider to identify your employment goals and put together a plan to achieve them. Participation in the program is free and voluntary, but your participation requires you to make progress toward the employment goals you identified. Although you will not be subject to a continuing disability review during your time in the program, Social Security does perform annual reviews to ensure that you are making progress toward your goals. Your participation in the program can last up to seven years. If SSA finds that you are not progressing toward your goals, then you might become subject to a disability review once again.

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Ticket To Work Program


  • Ticket to Work is a Social Security Administration incentive program to help people with disabilities find jobs if they want to go to work.


  • Most Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability beneficiaries will receive a ticket they may use to obtain vocational rehabilitation, employment or other support services from an approved provider of their choice.
  • The Ticket to Work program is voluntary.


All SSI and SSDI disability cash beneficiaries are eligible, who are 18 through 64 who are blind or have a disability, except:

  • Beneficiaries whose conditions are expected to improve, and who have not had at least one continuing disability review
  • Beneficiaries who have not attained age 18
  • Childhood SSI beneficiaries who have attained age 18, but who have not had a re-determination under the adult disability standard.




Will Your Disability Benefits Be Reduced Or Stopped

Unfortunately,even though the Ticket to Work program doesn’t do away with the trialwork protections of SSDI or the PASS protections of SSI, many disabilityrecipients believe that using the Ticket to Work program would risktheir entitlement to Social Security benefits, so not many people havetaken advantage of the program.

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Why Ticket To Work

In determining your eligibility for benefits, Social Security found that you could not earn enough money to support yourself. But with the right opportunities and supports, many people can earn a higher standard of living by going to work and leaving the benefit rolls. The Ticket Program can help you find your path to work.

While earning a living through employment is not for everyone, it may be right for you. The rewards far outweigh the risks. Take the time to learn about the employment services and supports Social Security offers beneficiaries with disabilities through the Ticket to Work Program. You may be surprised! We are here to help you learn more and start on your journey to financial independence.

Making Timely Progress After You Assign Your Ticket

Returning to Work | Ticket to Work | Social Security | Invisible No More Show!

Your road to employment through the Ticket Program is a two-way street: You receive free assistance from your service provider to prepare for, find and keep a job, while you work your way towards financial independence. In return, you pledge to Social Security that you will take specific steps determined by the plan you developed with your service provider within specific timeframes set by Social Security to:

  • Work at a specified earnings level or,
  • Complete certain educational or training requirements.

When you participate in the Ticket Program, you are working with your EN or VR to reduce or eliminate your dependence on SSDI and/or SSI cash benefits.

Taking the agreed-upon steps toward employment within Social Security’s timeframes is called making “timely progress” towards:

  • Receiving the education and training you need to succeed at work and your long-term career
  • Becoming and staying employed
  • Reducing your dependence on SSDI or SSI payments
  • Earning your way off cash benefits, if possible

For you, the return for making “timely progress” is that you succeed in achieving a more financially independent life.

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Free Services Available With Ticket

SSDIand SSI beneficiaries may sign up for services with an EN, or withtheir state department of rehabilitation, by assigning their Ticket toWork to the EN or department of vocational rehabilitation. ENs, like thedepartments of rehabilitation, must provide services to beneficiariesfree of charge. .

Notethat an EN may accept or reject you as a client, but your statedepartment of rehabilitation has to must accept you as a Ticket to Workparticipant if you meet its disability criteria.ou can change ENs bywithdrawing and reassigning your Ticket to Work, but changing ENs doesnot extend the time you have to complete your Ticket to Work program.

What Are Employment Networks

Employment Networks are private or public organizations providing services to help you find a job and go to work, such as MRC. Services provided under your ticket are at no cost to you . When calling or visiting an EN you should have your ticket with you. You will be asked about your work history, disability and other subjects to see if the Employment Network can help you. Information may also be obtained from the Social Security Administration.

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What Is The Ssas Ticket To Work Program

The Social Security Administrations disability benefits program is designed to support individuals who are unable to work due to a disability that lasts for at least 12 months. Many people think that receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits prevents you from having a job, but thats not true. Tennessee residents who want to work without compromising their SSDI benefits may want to consider joining the SSAs Ticket to Work program.

The SSAs Ticket to Work program offers a lot of advantages, but like most facets of SSDI, it can be confusing to navigate. If you have questions about your eligibility for SSA disability benefits or want assistance with your application or appeal, The Law Offices of Michael Hartup can help. Call our Jackson, Tennessee, office at 424-5559 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Duration Of Ticket To Work Program

Success Stories

Onceyou assign your ticket to an EN or your state department of vocationalrehabilitation, you begin a seven-year program of education, jobtraining, and work. Timely progress requirements are required during thefirst six years, but vary depending on whether you are a student duringthose years . Duringthe seventh year, you must complete six months of work at the SGA level AND receive no SSDI or SSI benefits due to work during those six months.

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How Expedited Reinstatement Works

Expedited reinstatement is a term that’s a bit of a misnomer. Individuals who have had their benefits stopped due to work are eligible for a faster decision and provisional payments while they wait for a decision. Ideally, the EXR process is fast, but in reality, beneficiaries can wait months for a decision and provisional payments are not always processed quickly. Like everyone, individuals on benefits who have started or returned to work and are concerned about a possible need to go back on benefits should have a robust emergency fund to weather any payment or decision processing delays.

How Long Can Ticket Holders Receive Health Benefits

After benefits stop, workers can apply for continued coverage of Medicare. This allows participants to receive healthcare for an additional 93 months, even though they no longer receive cash payments. After this free coverage period, participants can apply for coverage at a reduced rate with Medicare Savings Programs. It may also be possible to receive Medicaid, depending on the state where the ticker holder lives and their income level.

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Ways You Can Lose Your Social Security Benefits

Social Security serves mostly older retirees, but also the disabled through Social Security Disability Insurance . The Supplemental Security Income program gives extra help to the most vulnerable people, those who are disabled or blind and have limited resources. Together, the Social Security Administration paid $1 trillion to 65 million monthly beneficiaries in 2021.

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If you collect benefits or plan to in the near future, its important to understand how the things you do or dont do can shrink your slice of that pie. Keep reading to learn about how you could lose some or all of your Social Security benefits.

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