Dad mentoring sonAs summer ends and young adults start college or enter the workforce for the first time, Social Security's Ticket to Work program and Work Incentives can help make the transition to college and working easier. Learn more about these resources in today's Work Incentives Wednesdays blog post.

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Work Incentives Wednesdays: Tips for Young Adults

Aug 29, 2018

Dad mentoring sonIt's August! Time to start thinking about transitioning back to school, starting college or training, or entering the workforce. Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) program and Work Incentives may help you plan the next stage of your life.

The Ticket program and Social Security Work Incentives are designed to help you transition to work while continuing to receive Medicare or Medicaid and, in some cases, cash payments. Certain Work Incentives can also help if you are planning to attend college or pursue additional training. Today we'll take a look at options that may be particularly useful for young adults as they transition from high school to college or pursue their work goals.

Ticket to Work Program

First, let's talk about the Ticket program. This program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The program is free and voluntary.

Employment supports

By participating in the Ticket program, you'll have access to a wide variety of free services provided to you by service providers. These service providers can become your "Employment Team," ready to support you on your journey to financial independence.

Connect with a service provider to find help identifying your work goals, discover training and employment opportunities and more. They can also help you find resources to plan for your financial future and even help you write your resume or prepare for an upcoming job interview.

Benefits counseling

Whether you're transitioning directly to the workforce or attending college after high school, you may want to consult with a Benefits Counselor. Many Employment Networks (EN) have certified Benefits Counselors on staff, or you can connect with your local Work Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) project to talk with a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC).

WIPA projects work with people who:

  • Are age 14 – 25, not necessarily actively pursuing work
  • Are working
  • Have a job offer pending
  • Are actively interviewing for jobs
    • Have had an interview in the past 30 days or have an interview scheduled in the next 2 weeks
  • Are veterans

A Benefits Counselor or CWIC can review your benefits with you and help you better understand how working and earning income will affect all of the benefits you receive (including Social Security) and introduce you to Work Incentives, which may help you as you transition to work.

Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE)

Plan to Achieve Self-Support

Do you have an employment goal in mind? A Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) may help you reach it if you’re eligible or can become eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

You can learn more about PASS, including where to find application forms, in our Work Incentive Series: Plan to Achieve Self-Support. Or talk with a Benefits Counselor or CWIC to understand or establish your PASS.

If you're going to college or job training after high school, you may find that you'd like to start working so that you can gain work experience and earn some money to help you pay for school or training costs. If you're under age 22, receive SSI, and regularly attend school or job training, a Work Incentive called Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) may help.

With the SEIE, Social Security will deduct part of your earnings from a job from your countable income to help you keep part or all of your cash payment.

You can find more details about SEIE in our blog post, "Making the Grade at School and Work." Or, you can talk with a Benefits Counselor or CWIC to learn more about SEIE, and how to accurately report your work and wages to Social Security.

Learn more

You can learn more about Work Incentives in Social Security's Red Book and on the Choose Work! Blog's Work Incentives Wednesdays series. Or attend a free, monthly Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinar to learn about the Ticket to Work and a variety of employment topics.

To find a Ticket program service provider, including a Benefits Counselor or CWIC, 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 Find Help tool.

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