Ticket to Work is a very simple but often misunderstood aspect of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program. The Self-Sufficiency program is the foundation of the Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. The SSA Ticket to Work program has the purpose of helping people who are on disability benefits from Social Security to “find good jobs, good careers, and better self-supporting futures.” While the main objective is as stated, it also has the benefit of helping some people transition from Social Security Disability benefits to full-time work or reducing the amount to of benefits recipients receive, while actually increased the funds you have available.


Eligibility for the Ticket to Work SSA program requires that an applicant be between the ages of 18 and 64 and receive SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) under Title II and XVI of the Social Security Act.

Basic Process

SSA Ticket to Work provides SSDI or SSI recipients with more choices pertaining to employment, training or support services to allow them to reach their self-selected work objectives. Participants assign their ticket to an Employment Network (EN) or they receive services from a vocational rehabilitation agency in their state. After opting for one or the other, participants receive career counseling, job placement, and ongoing employment support. That support could include transportation assistance. In addition, the EN works with each beneficiary and the Ticket to Work program to identify and pursue employment objectives and to draft an Individual Work Plan.

Gradual Wage Replacement

One of the attractive aspects of Ticket to Work is that once a person enrolls in the program they do not immediately stop getting benefits. In fact, they will receive benefits as they pass each job and work milestone and those benefits could be reduced upon passage of those milestones, but still having an increase in funds. In cases where an SSDI beneficiary receives Medicare, they may be able to keep their coverage for up to 8.5 years, after their SSDI benefits stop. For those on Medicaid, participants can continue to receive their benefits and earnings as long as those earnings are below state-specific thresholds.

The SSA Ticket to Work program is a program that helps the disabled get back on their feet, find new employment and gain a renewed sense of self-worth. By gradually reducing dependency, the participant is better able to take care of themselves but is given that transition period, which is invaluable.

For additional information about how the Ticket to Work program can help you, contact DisABLEd Workers today, at 877-290-9806.