top five graphicDo you receive Social Security disability benefits and have questions about working? Check out the answers below to our top five most frequently asked questions from people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

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Access to Employment Support Services for Social Security Disability Beneficiaries Who Want to Work
 
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Your Top Five Frequently Asked Questions about Ticket to Work

Sep 16, 2015

top five graphicDo you receive Social Security disability benefits and have questions about working? Check out the answers below to our top five most frequently asked questions from people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

1) How does the Ticket to Work program help me go to work?

If you are receiving Social Security disability benefits, and are age 18 through 64, you can use the Ticket to Work program to obtain services that can help you find a job. These services can help you prepare for work and enter and maintain employment. Organizations called Employment Networks (ENs) and State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies provide these services at no cost to you.

Taking part in the Ticket to Work program is voluntary. The goal of the Ticket to Work program is to help you become self-sufficient and achieve financial independence through work.

Learn how Vilmarie Sostre-Lamb found work through the Ticket program after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

2) How does an Employment Network provide me with the resources I need to find work?

Employment Networks (ENs) are a type of Ticket to Work service provider that can help you prepare for and find a job. ENs are private or public organizations that can provide career counseling and assistance with job placement and can help you understand how working may affect your benefits.

Visit choosework.net’s Find Help Tool to find an EN that fits your needs.

Learn more about how an EN can help you meet your work goals.

3) If my benefits stop due to my earnings, but then I can no longer work due to my disability, do I have to reapply for benefits all over again?

Not necessarily. If your benefits stop because of your work and earnings, and then you have to stop working because of your disability, you may not have to reapply for benefits all over again. That’s because of two Work Incentives: the Extended Period of Eligibility and Expedited Reinstatement.

  • If you receive SSDI and begin working, but then must stop working or work less, you can still receive your benefits any month in which your earnings drop below a certain amount. Learn more about EPE here.
  • Another Work Incentive called Expedited Reinstatement (EXR) allows you to request that your SSDI or SSI benefits start again, but you must make this request within five years from the month your benefits stopped.
  • Under EXR, you do not have to complete a new application. In addition, you can receive up to six months of temporary cash benefits, and Medicare and/or Medicaid if eligible, while Social Security reviews your request.

Listen to or read a success story about Armida Stokes, a beneficiary who had multiple back injuries and felt more comfortable looking for work because of Expedited Reinstatement. Armida has since increased her earnings through full-time work.

4) Can I use Ticket to Work resources to become self-employed or start my own business?

Yes, you can obtain services and supports through Ticket to Work to help you become self-employed or start your own business. The first step to pursuing self-employment is to tell your service provider about your specific goal. Keep in mind, however, not all service providers may serve people who are interested in becoming self-employed.

If you’re interested in working for yourself or starting your own business, watch or read about how Megan Riggs became self-employed with the support of her EN.

5) Can Ticket to Work help me continue my education and provide tuition assistance?

Yes. If you obtain job support through a VR agency, they may be able to help you pay for school or other training. Workforce (WF) Employment Networks can also provide you with free training options.

Learn how Tony Harris got help paying for school after being diagnosed with MS in 2009. Also, see how Jason Faust received career counseling, education and training through his VR counselor and went on to achieve his work goals.

We are here and happy to help answer your questions! To get even more answers, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET to answer your questions.

You can also post your questions in the comments below!