Happy mothers dayIn celebration of Mother's Day, today's blog post highlights Ticket to Work success stories about moms with disabilities. Plus, find tips that may help moms who are pursuing employment goals.

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Happy Mother's Day!

May 10, 2018

Happy mothers dayBest wishes for a happy Mother's Day from Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program! Today, we're showcasing Ticket program success stories about moms with disabilities and providing some tips to help you on your path to employment.

Working Moms

Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits. The Ticket program is free and voluntary.

Through the Ticket program, you can work with a service provider, like an Employment Network (EN) or State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency, who will provide you with supports and services to help you find work and earn your way to financial independence.

In addition to helping you explore career options and assessing how up to date your skills are, your service provider may help connect you with job and skill training opportunities. Ticket program service providers may also provide tips on resume writing, including how to address gaps in your resume if you were a stay-at-home mom.

More resources

The Disabled Parenting Project offers a directory of health, legal, and social service providers as well as programs that have expressed a commitment to providing competent and welcoming care to parents with disabilities, prospective parents, and their children.

You may also consider talking with your local Center for Independent Living to learn whether they have resources for parents with disabilities.

Ticket to Work success stories feature a variety of stories about people with disabilities, including parents, who have achieved financial independence with the program.

Rae-Anna is a mother of 3 and has worked as a nursing assistant; but after a car accident, she had trouble finding work.

"You don't realize how much confidence you can lose not working," Rae-Anna says. "I had no clue what to do in an interview, or whether I would be able to work in a capacity related to nursing again," she says.

After finding employment with the help of her Ticket program service provider, Rae-Anna achieved financial independence. She enjoys her role as a "Med Tech" and Personal Care Assistant. She helps with meals, medication, and personal care, offering companionship in the process.

"[Work] totally changed everything. I went from not working to having two jobs, being able to pay bills, and take care of the house in ways I wasn't able to do before. I can buy new clothes for my kids. I no longer have to shop for everything at the thrift store. It's nice to know I have choices. When I was on disability I could not look beyond the next day. Now I can make some plans. I'd like to get a medical assistant's degree. Before I didn't think I could get into school or pay for it. For the first time since 1986, I think maybe I can!"

Lisa's agoraphobia prevented her from working, but with help from an agoraphobia coach, Lisa eventually completed school and found work. When Lisa became pregnant with her son, she decided to stay at home with him. His needs pushed her to venture outside of her comfort zone: to the pediatrician, to the playground, to "Mommy and Me" classes. Each new experience became more comfortable.

As her son grew and she felt ready to return to work, she explored her options to help support her family. Using her Ticket, she now works from home and is financially independent. Working from home has helped Lisa manage her disability and find a path to recovery. It has also offered her the flexibility she needs now as a parent of 2 children. She is able to integrate work with running her household and says she has found the perfect job.

"Working makes me feel empowered. It has helped me grow. I do not suffer any longer from agoraphobia. I actually travel… for work meetings and look forward to the trips. I am now able to run a household while helping other people like me find their calling."

Considering work after parenthood

Lisa and Rae-Anna are just 2 examples of moms with disabilities who have achieved financial independence with the Ticket program. If you're thinking about working after being a stay-at-home mom, consider these tips:

  • Determine your priorities and interests. First, think about why you want to work. Do you want to make more money or meet new people? Next, think about what kind of work motivates you. When your children were young or in school, were there volunteer projects that you enjoyed? Identifying why you want to work and what motivates you may help you explore career options and find an interesting job.
  • Assess your skills. When you identify a career field, read job descriptions to learn what skills are required. Are yours up to date or do they need refreshing? Computer skills are especially important in many markets. Check out community colleges, libraries or online courses to prepare yourself. Remember: you developed skills as a parent! Parenting requires time management, organization, caretaking and other skills. Navigating parenthood as a mom with a disability may have also offered you the knowledge of the types of accommodations you'll need, such as a flexible work schedule or assistive technology.
  • Spread the word. Let people know you're looking for work. Be specific about your goals, so that they know what you need from them. You may be surprised to discover that you have a large network In addition to colleagues from your previous jobs, you can talk with people that you've worked with on volunteer projects as well as friends and neighbors. They may offer insight on the industry you're pursuing — or they may be able to connect you with a professional in that industry to learn more about job responsibilities, potential listings and openings, or ways to build your experience, skills and resume.

We hope these tips and resources help you on your journey to financial independence. Remember, Ticket program service providers are available to help you along the way. Happy Mother’s Day from the Ticket program!

About Ticket to Work

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.

Learn more

To learn more about the Ticket program, 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 program Find Help tool.

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