The Ticket to Work Program is a federal program that helps recipients with a variety of disabilities return to work. The program allows you to find work while keeping your health care and other disability benefits from SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, or Medicare. Do you qualify for the Ticket to Work Program? This article will answer this and other questions below.

Who Is Eligible?

To qualify for SSDI Ticket to Work program, you need to be between 18 and 64 years old and receiving disability benefits from Social Security, either through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). To qualify for SSI or SSDI, a person must be able to verify, through a qualified medical professional, that they have one or more mental, physical, or developmental disabilities. A disability is any physical or mental impairment of a person that is likely to result in their death or lasts for at least 12 months and prohibits them from returning to a previous job, finding and maintaining a job currently, or engaging in any other economic activities.

SSI is given to people with disabilities that limit their ability to earn and maintain a livable income. You will receive a cash benefit every month. The amount awarded will vary, depending on your financial needs and living situation.

SSDI is given to a person with a disability who has worked in the past and paid FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions) taxes during that time. If they were disabled before age 22, they can receive CDB, or Childhood Disability Benefits. Additionally, family members, including children and spouses, of a primary wage earner who becomes disabled or dies, can receive SSDI benefits. When you have received SSDI benefits for 2 years, you will be eligible for Medicare.

The Ticket to Work program is free and voluntary, and you will have access to many beneficial services, including work assessments, job training, coaching, and placement, and any other help you may need to prepare for, get, and maintain employment. Plus, while you are in the program, you won’t have to get CDRs (Continuing Disability Reviews) while meeting progress guidelines, and you will be able to keep your health and disability benefits while you attempt the program.

As long as you are receiving SSI or SSDI and are old enough, you are automatically qualified for Ticket to Work. You don’t have to participate in the program if you don’t want to. If you are interested in finding employment, you can contact an Employment Network, or EN, an organization that can give you a variety of employment services offered by the Ticket to Work program.


Who Is Not Eligible?

Unfortunately, there are some SSI and SSDI recipients who do not qualify for the Ticket to Work program. This includes recipients who are likely to improve medically but haven’t had a continuing disability review (those who have gotten benefits for 3 years without a review will become eligible for ticket to work), receive state supplemented SSI payments or Section 301 payments while participating in state mandated rehabilitation program. You are also ineligible if you are receiving benefits during an appeal of a medical cessation decision, are still getting childhood benefits from SSI after turning 18, are getting temporary benefits under SSI’s expedited reinstatement rules, or get payments in advance for a presumptive disability or blindness.

If you have any other questions about eligibility for Ticket to Work, visit DisABLEd Workers website today.

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