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The Ticket to Work Team Raises Program Awareness

Social Security’s Ticket to Work team was busy this summer at conferences nationwide talking with current and potential beneficiaries, people interested in exploring their work options, parents and disability employment professionals about the Ticket to Work program.

In July, the team attended the 25th annual Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE) National Conference in Long Beach, CA. APSE has advanced employment and self-sufficiency for people with disabilities through advocacy and education for 25 years, as it offers the only national conference focused solely on the advancement of integrated employment. The team presented, “Using Your Ticket to Work: Help on Your Journey to Financial Independence.” This covered TTW basics including eligibility and services available to Social security beneficiaries. Attendees also met “Ben,” the Beneficiary received a demo of our Find Help Tool, and heard an inspirational Success Story from Megan Riggs.

The team’s next stop was at the 8th Annual Project SEARCH conference in Omaha, NE. Since 1996, Project SEARCH has aimed to secure employment for people with disabilities, especially youth in transition. Joined by a Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project and Employment Network (EN) representative from Nebraska Easter Seals, they offered information on Ticket to Work program and Work Incentives. Many attendees expressed interest in getting to know more about the Work Incentive PASS (Plan to Achieve Self Support). PASS plans are for people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and offer them an opportunity to set money aside for a work-related goal. Many beneficiaries, like Michele Boardman, have used PASS Plans to set aside money to purchase a car or pursue training or certifications. Learn more about the PASS plan, and talk to a service provider about the process for creating one.

In September, the team attended the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) conference in Washington, DC. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by a mental illness. The team answered more than a hundred questions between the exhibit booth and presentation session. Many people asked questions including “how long can I work while keeping my benefits?” and “what will happen to my child’s healthcare?” If you or a family member have these same questions, learn about common Work Incentives, which are special Social Security rules that enable people to explore work while still receiving health care and cash benefits.

The team’s last stop was at the 4th annual National Employment Network Association (NENA) conference, in Las Vegas, NV.  The team ‘s presentation shared updates on Ticket web and digital activities, provided free materials for service providers, and featured the Find Help tool. We also attended sessions led by Social Security's Associate Commissioner David Weaver, as well as other providers on topics including Section 503 and Partnership Plus.

We give a special thank you to Katie Pitts, from Full Circle Employment Solutions, who co-presented with the team on our conference tour and offered expert answers many questions about Ticket to Work and Work Incentives!

To check out some of our notable moments from the summer and see who took photos with “Ben” the Beneficiary, visit the Choose Work Twitter using the hashtag #MeetBen.

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