Graphic of the blue Ticket to Work WISEIn today's blog post, we review information and resources that were shared during our May WISE webinar on Ticket to Work for People with Mental Illness. Read to find resources that could help you on your path to recovery.

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You Asked, We Answer! Ticket to Work for People with Mental Illness

Jun 15, 2017

Graphic of the blue Ticket to Work WISEOur May WISE webinar, Ticket to Work for People with Mental Illness, highlighted how working may help people with a mental illness on their path to recovery.

During the May 24 webinar, more than 300 attendees learned how the Ticket to Work (Ticket) program offers employment supports that may help people with mental illness develop a plan for work. The Ticket program helps people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits and want to work.

We received so many great questions about people with a mental illness returning to work or working for the first time, that we selected the top questions to answer today. Read on to learn more! You can also watch the webinar in our WISE archives to find more resources and information.

How can work help me recover if I have a mental illness?

Work is so much more than a job and can have a positive effect on many areas of your life. You can meet new people, make new friends, gain new skills and create a daily routine where others depend on you. You become a productive and valuable part of your community. Work may also help you manage symptoms of a mental illness.

Working can lead to financial independence, too. Earning a paycheck can help you pay bills, reduce debt or save for the future. Money also lets you do the things you enjoy, such as pursuing a hobby, traveling, dining out or buying items you want.

I'm worried my mental illness may affect my health in the future. What if I need to stop working?

If you are concerned about your ability to work long-term, Social Security has Work Incentives that allow you to explore work to see if it’s right for you. Let’s look at one Work Incentive that is available to people who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). It’s called Expedited Reinstatement (EXR).

The EXR helps people who successfully return to work and no longer receive SSDI and SSI benefits, regain their benefit payments without submitting a new application. If your benefit payments stopped because of work and earnings and you stop work within 5 years of when your benefits ended, you may be able to have your benefits started again right away through a request for EXR. While Social Security reviews your request for reinstatement, you may receive temporary benefits for up to 6 months. This gives you time to explore your options about returning to work or to receive disability benefits.

What is Clubhouse International?

During the webinar, we mentioned the Clubhouse Model. With more than 320 programs around the world, Clubhouse offers people with mental illness chances for friendship, employment, housing, education and access to medical and psychiatric services in a single caring and safe environment. Learn more about Clubhouse International.

What is 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.

How can I learn more about Ticket to Work and my employment options?

Our monthly WISE webinars feature a variety of topics related to the Ticket program. We explore the Social Security Work Incentives, government programs and employment supports. These free webinars are designed to help you learn more about these resources and help you plan for financial independence.

Register now to join us on June 28, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., for the WISE webinar Ticket to Work for Young Adults.

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket program, visit You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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