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SSA Logo Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
SSA Logo Ticket to Work logo and The Seal of the United States Social Security Administration
Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work


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Working From Home Helped Lisa Seeley Achieve Financial Independence and Expand Her World.

Image of Lisa Seeley working on her laptop at homeThe You Can Work series continues to spotlight the achievements of job seekers with disabilities who found their path to a better future with help from Social Security’s Ticket to Work program. Our new Success Story features Lisa Seeley.

If you are a person with a disability, being able to work from home  may offer a solution that could allow you to meet career and financial goals. Working from home is just one of many job accommodations that may provide the flexibility you need to enter the workforce. Through Social Security’s Ticket to Work program, you can get free career counseling and guidance on job accommodations. That’s what Lisa Seeley did when agoraphobia, a severe anxiety disorder, restricted her life and her ability to work.    

Social Security’s most recent Ticket to Work success story celebrates Lisa’s recovery and the contribution that employment has made to her well-being.

“Crowds and open spaces were very difficult for me to handle,” she recalls. “... I had to move into a group home [because] my mom and I didn’t know how to deal with my agoraphobia and panic disorder. I was lucky to be able to receive Social Security disability benefits, and …the treatments I needed to get healthy again.”

She found help with an authorized Ticket to Work service provider known as an Employment Network (EN). Through the Ticket program, ENs across the country help job-seekers with disabilities prepare for the workforce, find employment, or advance in their current position. Because she was concerned about whether her condition would be compatible with working in an office environment or commuting, Lisa wondered whether working from home would be an option.

Lisa’s EN, Employment Options, Inc. (EO), helped her plan her future. She received career counseling and advice about job accommodations. Lisa credits employment and the help she received through Ticket to Work with improvements in her life. She believes that working has been essential to her recovery. She no longer relies on Social Security benefits, and says that life is “wonderful.”

Lisa found her path to a better future.  Find yours. Visit choosework.net for more inspiring stories, and learn how Social Security’s Ticket to Work program can help you.

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13 Comments

Gabrielle says:
November 4, 2013 at 12:23 AM

I would like to work from home and buy my house one day cause right now I'm renting one bedroom for 603.00


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
November 4, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Hi Gabrielle, if you receive disability benefits (SSDI and/or SSI) and are age 18 through 64, the Ticket to Work program may be able to help you. Through the Ticket program, you can work directly with an Employment Network (EN) or Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency that can provide you support services so that you can be successful. We encourage you to speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line to learn more about the program and options for working from home. Call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) M-F from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.

We also encourage you to check our WISE webinar page for our upcoming free online event on working from home. Visit www.choosework.net/wise next week.
Dee says:
November 8, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Thank you for the inspiration. I would like to work at home doing customer service work for someone.  But can't afford a computer on SSD. So I keep seeking work outside the home with no luck. Being 63 and having a disability is a double strike against me. I know I can work. I volunteer successfully. And do occasional temporary work at a agency. But I need a steady income. 


CONNIE says:
November 9, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I CRIED when I read ths story,I suffer from the same diagnosis and miss working.I have a degree in Health information managment as well as billing and coding. If I could find a real job working from home my life would change so much. Living on socialsecurity is almost impossible.I am very thanjful for it but would love to get back to my life. I am so proud of this young women and her accomplishments,i have walked in her shoes and know how she felt.I have signed up for two webnars on the ticket to work sight and hope It gives me what Ineed to get started,


duckbut714 says:
November 12, 2013 at 2:53 PM

For the first time im hopeful about employment, or a career bein disabled!!!!!!! Its no joke when life keeps giving and its not pretty, I thought I was disabled already and then kidney failure HIT!!!!!  So Ive had to learn patience, and tolerence. to deal with this disease, and by the goodness of the LORD im doing it day by day. Sohere goes TICKET TO WORK I HOPE YOUR MY TICKET TO RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
November 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Hi Mary Jane,
 
We are happy to hear you want to try work and we encourage you to begin exploring your options with the Ticket to Work program. Are you currently participating in the program? If not and you are age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of your disability, you already qualify to participate. We can connect you with service providers who can help you find a job that works for you. We suggest you speak to a Ticket to Work representative who can  discuss your personal situation and help you explore your options to return to work. Please call 1-866-968-7842/ 1-866-833-2967(TTY), M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST.
Also, we host a free accessible online event for you to learn about Ticket to Work. Our next webinar is next Wednesday, 11/20. Register online at www.choosework.net/wise or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY). Stay motivated and we would love you hear about your progress.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
November 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Connie,
We believe you could also benefit from the Ticket to Work program. If you meet the eligibility criteria (age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of a disability) then as you probably know, you already qualify. Attending our WISE webinars is a great way to get started. In the meantime, we suggest you speak to a Ticket to Work representative who can  discuss your personal situation and help you explore your options to return to work. Please call 1-866-968-7842/866-833-2967(TTY), M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST. Once you are on your way, we can connect you with service providers who can help you find a job that works for you using your degree in health information management. Check out our Work Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) [https://choosework.ssa.gov/about/what-is-a-wipa/index.html] if you want to continue learning from our website.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
November 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

Dee, We’re excited that you have been inspired to try work. We realize that finding work from home opportunities is not easy. However, they are out there and may take time to find. With the help of our qualified service providers, they can help you in your search and match you with a job with a job using your job skills and experiences. If you are currently receiving SSDI and/or SSI benefits, we suggest you call our Help Line and  discuss your personal situation  with a Ticket to Work representative who can help you get started. Please call 1-866-968-7842/1-866-833-2967(TTY), M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST. We also suggest you attend our 11/20 WISE Webinar. Our WISE events are a free accessible online event for you to learn about Ticket to Work. Join us next Wednesday, 11/20 at 3PM. Register online at www.choosework.net/wise or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).
 


Barbara says:
November 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Hello, all. After working 30 years without interruption, three years ago I became disabled and had to leave my job, becoming basically bedbound. Two years ago I began receiving SSDI benefits. I am massively grateful for the assistance,and it probably saved my life. Yet I find that not having a decent income and not working demoralizing and depressing. (I wish I lived in a European country where disability support is more in line with economic reality. Oh well.)

My work has been as a business systems analyst. I have bipolar one with severe depression with psychotic features and an anxiety disorder.

Questions:

1) Is the assistance you offer for job hunting/placement extended to disabled people who wish to do a trial period of working?

2) How does one explain a three-year work absence to prospective employers? It sounds terribly flaky.

Who could be my advisor?

Thank you for your help and this useful blog.

 

 


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
November 17, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Hi Barbara,

We have heard from others who have experienced your same situation and understand your struggles. We are happy  to hear you want to return to work and believe the Ticket to Work program may be able to help you. Are you currently participating in the Ticket to Work program? Since you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), if you are age 18 through 64, then you qualify to participate.

Special Social Security rules called Work Incentives make it possible for you to explore work while still receiving health care and cash benefits; they are designed to help you succeed while you are trying to work! Check out the trial work period and expedited reinstatement at https://choosework.ssa.gov/about/work-incentives/index.html. Through the program, we can connect you with service providers who can help you find a job, counsel you on explaining work absences and other and service as your employment team to advise you along the way.
To get started today, we suggest you speak with a Ticket to Work representative about your personal situation. Call our Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) 866-833-2967 (TTY) M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM ET.

Lastly, visit our Success Stories page (www.choosework.net/success) to see how others used their ticket to return to work.


Sylvester says:
December 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I am disable,and sign up for the Ticket to work program with no success,was out of work and disable for 5 years before getting involve with the program and signing up with DVR,i was provide with no help in training or job placement,they told me that they could not help with job training and they send me to a job employment service to sign up.The system did not work for me,i am happy it worked for someone.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
December 18, 2013 at 2:35 PM

Hi Sylvester, , we're sorry to hear about your situation. Ticket to Work allows you to shop around for another service provider. Through the Ticket program, you can work directly with a Vocational Rehabilitation agency or an Employment Network that can help identify employment opportunities. You can use our Find Help search tool to find a list of ENs or your state VR agency which might be able to help you. You can use our Find Help tool here: https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp. We encourage you to call our Help Line and talk to one of our representatives. They can help answer any other questions you have. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.


Choose-Work-Blog-Staff says:
October 8, 2014 at 7:33 AM
Hi Marie, thanks for reaching out, and glad to hear you are looking for work!Some multi-state or national ENs do have work from home options. You can use our Find Help search tool to find a list of ENs who might be able to help you. You may need to do some research into the ENs to find out if they will prepare you for work at home positions. You can use our Find Help tool here: https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp. There are also some employment sites that may be able to help, like Gettinghired.com, and others that focus on disability employment like http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/ and https://www.disability.gov/employment.To learn more about your options, we encourage you to speak with one of our representatives at the Ticket to Work Help Line. (1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY))Regarding the unanswered emails, are you having trouble contacting an Employment Network (EN)? Sometimes busy ENs aren't able to respond right away. However, if it has been a while, call the Ticket to Work Help Line and ask to speak with a Dispute Resolution Lead. They will be able to help you resolve this issue. The number to call is 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) and representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM ET. We hope this helps!

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