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A common misconception about Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits is that receiving either one prohibits an individual from working. While there are stipulations about work and a person’s eligibility to continue receiving benefits, employment doesn’t always mean a complete cutoff of benefits. If you feel you’re ready to begin the process of getting back to work, you’ve come to the right place! In today’s post, we’re covering what you need to know about the Ticket to Work program. Take a minute and learn more about the program and how you can participate.

Get to Know Ticket to Work

Most people entering or re-entering the workforce appreciate a little encouragement. Some need more than a few encouraging words. They need a team. Think of the Ticket to Work program as your employment team. Before you fill out a job application or enroll in a training program, Ticket to Work connects you with a variety of employment services. First, you’ll receive help determining if it’s the right time to go back to work. Other services provided by the program include:

  • Career Counseling
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Training
  • Job Placement

If you’ve signed up with an Employment Network (EN) authorized to work with program participants, most services will come through that service provider. You may also receive your employment services through your State Vocational Rehabilitation agency.

Why Participate in the Program?

The main goal of the Ticket to Work program is to help people who can work rely more on themselves than their disability benefits. Most benefit recipients would like to live a self-sufficient life if possible. The program allows individuals to ease back into that type of experience. Imagine what life could be if you were more independent and had more financial resources. Through the Ticket to Work program, you will have services and support while you begin your journey.

How Much Does the Program Cost?

If you’re worried about paying for a program that’s supposed to help you prepare for employment, we have great news. There is no cost to you if you decide to participate in the program. Social Security pays your EN. Not only does the program cost you nothing but your time and effort, it’s voluntary. If you can’t participate or decide working isn’t right for you at this time, you will still receive your SSDI or SSI benefits without any penalty to you.

Ticket to Work and SSI Benefits

While you’re exploring careers, looking for jobs, or going through a training program, your benefits will continue. Once you start working and your wages rise above the earnings limit for the SSDI or SSI program, then your benefit amount will likely change. The earnings limit varies depending on each individual’s unique situation. When you meet with a member of your employment team, they can provide you with benefits counseling or direct you to information provided by Social Security designed to help you navigate the program and your benefits.

Finding Your Employment Network

Since they’re an essential part of your employment team, you’ll want to find the right EN. You may have one right in your local area! When you research ENs, look for one that offers services like assistance looking for a job and help to find tuition for education if you’ve decided to go to school. Some Employment Networks even provide financial supports to help you purchase the goods and services you need to work! Find an EN with staff members who are happy to explain the Ticket to Work program and how it works with your disability benefits. The team at DisABLEd Workers can help with all of this and more! DisABLEd Workers makes sure that everyone that reaches out finds the right assistance for their individual situation. Contact us today for more information.