This is an image of Ben holding balloons while walking into a grand opening buildingDid you miss the November WISE webinar? The New England Business Associates (NEBA) joined us to share information and resources for self-employment. Check out the answers to top questions we received during the webinar to help you get started on your self-employment goals.

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You Asked, We Answer! Achieving Your Self-Employment Goals

Dec 11, 2017

Image of Ben holding balloons walking towards building with grand opening signDuring the November Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinar, we shared information on self-employment resources and Work Incentives. Colleen Moynihan from New England Business Associates (NEBA) joined us to talk about NEBA's Business Development Center and the resources it offers. We also discussed Social Security Work Incentives that may be available if you want to explore self-employment.

More than 350 people attended the webinar, and we received some great questions about pursuing self-employment. Today we're answering 3 of the most popular questions we received!

You can also check out the full webinar in our WISE archives to learn more about Work Incentives such as Property Essential to Self-Support and Unincurred Business Expenses that may help you as you pursue your self-employment goals.

What is NEBA? Can I work with NEBA no matter where I live?

NEBA is an Employment Network (EN) affiliated with Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program. It serves people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSDI or SSI) in 40 states. The NEBA Business Development Center will work with you to determine your goals and talents and help you match them with self-employment opportunities and resources that may help you on the path to financial independence. Services include training in developing business concepts, writing business plans, and marketing your business. 

Is Self-Employment Right for You?

Discover tips and resources to help you on your path to self-employment in Self-Employment: Is it Right for You?

In addition to NEBA, other Ticket program service providers may be able to help you find similar services and supports. To find a service provider, you can use the Ticket to Work Find Help tool and filter your search results to include ENs who offer self-employment supports, like:

  • Business mentoring programs
  • Finding the right self-employment goal
  • Business start-up plans

You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers to find one that's right for you. Or search for service providers on your own using the Find Help tool.

May I work with NEBA if I'm already working with my State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency?

If you're already working with your State VR agency – congratulations on taking the first step toward your work goals!

You may not assign your ticket with NEBA or another EN until your State VR agency closes your case. However, through an agreement called Partnership Plus, your State VR agency may help you connect with an EN to help you continue receiving supports as you pursue your work goals.

Partnership Plus programs vary from state to state, so talking with your State VR counselor may help you learn more and connect with the support services you're looking for.

How do I find a mentor for my self-employment goals?

To find a mentor, look for someone in your chosen industry, whom you respect and who not only enjoys sharing knowledge and connections, but also encourages and supports you in your journey. One place to look is SCORE, the nation's largest network of expert business mentors who have helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops, and educational resources since 1964.

Working with a mentor may prove to be an advantage as you pursue self-employment. Read Want to start a business? Find a mentor! by Shelia Newman, the president of New Editions Consulting and a mentor for entrepreneurs. In her blog post, Shelia shares tips on starting a business and what she's learned about self-employment as an entrepreneur and mentor.

Ticket to Work and self-employment

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) 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. Self-employment is an option for people who would like to participate in the Ticket program.

Learn More

You can 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 to Work Find Help tool.

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