For youth with disabilities, discovering work you enjoy and find rewarding is an important first step when thinking about entering the workforce. An internship or volunteer position can ease your transition.

Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Internships and Volunteering are a Great Start to a Career!

Jul 19, 2016

For youth with disabilities, discovering work you enjoy and find rewarding is an important first step when thinking about entering the workforce.  An internship or volunteer position can ease your transition. These jobs are often unpaid, but the experience you gain can help prepare you for a job after graduation. Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who get Social Security disability benefits (SSDI or SSI) and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

This is an image that lists the various benefits of Internships and Volunteer PositionsVolunteering and interning are great ways for you to explore different types of work. They can help you see what you might like to do and what you might be good at doing. These experiences may even help you figure out your preferred work environment (a small office, your home, outdoors), and work style (independently, as part of a team or in a large group).

Building your skills and developing good workplace habits early can set you apart from other job applicants. Employers value a candidate who has volunteer or internship experience that builds on what was learned in school. Think of using an internship or volunteer gig as a way to “test drive” your knowledge and skills!  The people you meet during an internship or a volunteer project will also help you build your network and maybe even set you on the path to a job and career.

Volunteering is also good for building your self-esteem while helping others and knowing that you made a difference in someone else’s life. 

If you’re ready to explore the possibility of finding work, contact the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (Voice) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. Ask an agent to send you a list of service providers. You can also search for providers online using our Find Help tool. For more information about Social Security’s Ticket to Work program, visit www.choosework.net.