Image of a hand adding coins into one of 4 vases in which a plant is growing. The more coins he puts, the bigger the plant.Graduating from high school and entering adulthood is exciting, but you may have questions about managing your money. Our tips and resources may help you make a plan for budgeting, creating savings goals and managing your disability benefits.

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Money Mondays: Calling All Young Adults with Disabilities

Apr 16, 2018

Image of a hand adding coins into one of 4 vases in which a plant is growing. The more coins he puts, the bigger the plant.Graduating from high school and entering adulthood is an exciting time, but you may have questions about how to manage your money. Whether you're planning to work or go to college, today's Money Mondays post can help you get a start on financial independence.

High school to work

If you're planning to work, Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program can help. The 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.

If you're eligible to participate in the Ticket program, you can connect with a Ticket program service provider, like an Employment Network (EN) or your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency,  who may help you find a job and transition to the workplace.

Your service provider may also have a Benefits Counselor on its staff who can explain how working will affect your disability benefits and identify Work Incentives that may help you.

Once you're working and earning income, consider how you're going to manage your money.  You may want to open a bank account and build your credit. Your service provider may help you plan by connecting you with financial wellness resources. Your service provider can also offer important information about your responsibility to report your work and wages to Social Security.  

ABLE to Save

Keep in mind that there are savings and resource limits to SSI. If you're eligible, an ABLE account can help you save money for qualified disability expenses. And funds in an ABLE account up to $100,000 aren't counted toward your resources determining your SSI eligibility.

Learn more about ABLE accounts:

High school to college

If you plan to attend college, you may have access to financial education through your school. Many schools provide workshops, courses, or one-on-one sessions to teach students how to become financially responsible. Ask your college counselor about available classes.

To help you pay for college, you may consider a variety of resources, including scholarships and financial aid. You can check with your high school or the college you plan to attend to find out about available options. You can also find scholarship options online for students with disabilities, including:

As a young adult, you can also contact your local Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project to find out about working as a student. WIPA projects are another type of Ticket program service provider, which are staffed by Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWICs). CWICs can help you better understand your benefits and learn more about your options, including Section 435 of The Social Security Protection Act of 2004, which provides a 9-month resource exclusion of grants, scholarships, fellowships and gifts that are used to pay for school expenses for SSI recipients.

Learn more

As you start the transition to adulthood, it's important to have an understanding of finances. These resources can help you learn about money and set your own financial goals. Congratulations on starting your journey!

For more information and resources, visit:

To learn more about the Ticket program or connect with a Ticket program service provider, 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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