woman studying a tablet screenHave a question about Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program? This blog answers some of our most frequently asked questions. Get the answers you need without having to call the Ticket to Work Help Line.


5 Frequently Asked Questions About Working While You Receive Disability Benefits

Jun 14, 2022

woman studying a tablet screen

We know many of you have called Social Security's Ticket to Work Help Line recently and experienced long hold times. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working hard to shorten your wait. Today's blog post answers some of the most frequently asked questions.

1. Can I work while receiving Social Security Disability Benefits?

The short answer to this question is yes. Social Security wants to help you get started in the workforce without having to worry about your benefit status. Social Security's Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program and other Work Incentives are in place to help you see if working is right for you. Connect with a Ticket Program service provider to get started.

2. What is 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 (SSDI/SSI) and want to work. Through this free and voluntary program, eligible participants can work with service providers to receive the supports and services they need to find and maintain employment as they move toward financial independence through work.

This Fact Sheet provides more detailed information.

3. Am I eligible for the Ticket Program?

Individuals ages 18 through 64 who receive SSDI and/or SSI are eligible to participate in the Ticket Program.

4. How can I enroll in the Ticket to Work Program?

You can enroll in the Ticket Program by following these three steps:

  1. Determine your eligibility for the program. (See above)
  2. If you are eligible, find a service provider that offers the services you need by using the Find Help tool.
  3. Contact the service provider to determine next steps to create a work plan.

Once you connect with a service provider, they will contact Social Security to share that you are working together. Now, your Ticket is assigned to that provider, and you're enrolled!

5. What is the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount for this year?

Social Security uses the term "substantial gainful activity" (SGA) to describe a level of work activity and earnings. If you receive SSDI, Social Security uses SGA to decide if your eligibility for benefits continues after you return to work and complete your TWP. Social Security generally compares your monthly earnings to set amounts, known as earnings thresholds, to evaluate if your work activity is SGA.

In 2023, the SGA monthly threshold is $1,470 per month. The Social Security Act specifies a higher SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals, so for people who are blind and receive SSDI, the SGA monthly amount in 2023 is $2,460.

Still have questions?

If you have questions about how work will affect your benefits, we encourage you to give the Ticket to Work Help Line a call. An agent will be able to connect you with resources that can help as you transition to employment. You can reach us at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET. If you experience a long hold time, you can choose to request a call back while keeping your place in the system.

Thank you for your patience as we work hard to improve your experience with the Ticket to Work Help Line. Here are some other ways to receive timely updates from Ticket to Work!

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If you're interested in receiving text messages from the Ticket Program, please text TICKET to 1-571-489-5292. Standard messaging rates may apply. We'll send updates from our blog, identify steps on the path to employment and more. We hope you'll find this way to stay in touch helpful. You can opt out at any time.

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