EN, VR and WF iconsIn Part 2 of our blog series about service providers, learn about State VR agencies and ENs. Find out how these two Ticket to Work service providers can help you reach your work goals with services like skills training, resume tips, and even job placement!

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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Meet Your Employment Team: ENs and State VR agencies

Feb 16, 2017

In Part 1 of the Meet Your Employment Team blog series, we introduced you to WIPAs and PABSSs. This week, in Part 2, we’ll talk about two other types of Ticket program service providers: Employment Networks (ENs) and State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies.

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. Support services may include job coaching, job counseling, training, benefits counseling and job placement.

Employment Networks (ENs)

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ENs are public or private organizations approved by Social Security to provide free career planning, job placement and ongoing employment support services to Ticket program participants. In addition to these three broad types of services, some ENs offer other assistance. For example, some provide help with transportation or resumé writing, others focus on helping people with certain types of disabilities and still others specialize in work at home opportunities for their clients.

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The way ENs work with participants can also vary. Some ENs work only with participants who live in a particular state while others work with participants in more than one state or in a specific region of the country. Finally, other ENs work with Ticket to Work participants throughout the United States. Many ENs may work with participants in person; others provide help over the phone, or through an online chat feature. When you’re ready to look for an EN, use the advanced search feature on our Find Help tool to find one that offers the services and options that best match your needs.

Some ENs may also be part of a state’s Public Workforce System. In addition to career planning, job placement and employment support, Workforce ENs may offer training and special programs for youth in transition and veterans. When you assign your Ticket to a Workforce EN, you may work directly with the state-run Workforce EN or with local providers within the Workforce system, like American Job Centers.

State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies

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State VR agencies are another type of Ticket program service provider. Each year more than one million people with disabilities are served by State VR agencies across the country.

While State VR agencies offer many services similar to ENs, they usually work with people who need intensive services and supports before they are ready to work. In some states, this includes training, education, rehabilitation, career counseling and job placement guidance. Like Workforce ENs, some State VR agencies also offer training programs and special programs for youth in transition and veterans. State VR agencies may also offer counseling to help you understand the effect working may have on your Social Security disability benefits, and other benefits you may receive

ENs and State VR agencies are just two types of Ticket program service providers. Read Part 1 of our Employment Team blog series to learn about Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects and Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) programs.

Additional Resources

There are several resources to help you explore and learn more as you search for and choose a service provider that is right for you:

  • If you choose to work with an EN, it’s important to choose one that provides the services you need to support your work goals. Because not all ENs provide the same services, it’s important to talk with many ENs to see what they have to offer before you assign your ticket. Our fact sheet Choosing the Right Employment Network for You will guide you through your decision-making process.
  • Once you understand what an EN can do for you, use the Finding an EN and Assigning Your Ticket Worksheet to keep track of the ENs you've contacted and to know what questions to ask.
  • Join us for our next webinar on February 22, Choosing a Service Provider That’s Right for You! We’ll go into more detail about Ticket program service providers, including ENs and State VR agencies.
  • Use the Find Help tool to search for service providers by zip code, state or provider name.

About Ticket to Work

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) 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.

Learn More

To learn more about Ticket to Work, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/work and contact the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (Voice) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket to Work Find Help tool.