Do you have a Ticket to Work Question?
The Ticket to Work Program was created by the Social Security Administration to offer those who receive disability benefits with the opportunity to get into or back to the work place in a way that benefits everyone. Sometimes we get questions about the Ticket to Work and how we at Walton Options can work with you to take advantage of the program. Our Employment Services Team has compiled this list of frequently asked questions to help you understand Ticket to Work a bit better.
Q: What are some of the basic guidelines for being eligible for the Ticket to Work Program?
The Ticket to Work program is a free and voluntary Social Security Administration (SSA) program that is available to individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits those between the age of 18 and 64 who want to work, return to work and or sustain employment. Recipients that are eligible for Ticket to Work can chose to contact any Employment Network/Vocational Rehabilitation Agency to discuss services at https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/. Walton Options is a certified Employment Network agency.
Q: How is Ticket to Work different than the Work Incentives Planning & Assistance?
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Planning & Assistance are two different SSA Programs that can be used jointly for the maximum efforts for beneficiary wanting to become more self-sufficient and independent of SSA benefits. The Ticket to Work (TTW) program works to provide employment support and protective status for beneficiary to reach their ultimate economic independence goal. Work Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) helps consumers understand in detail how going to work will impact benefits and advise of various work incentives access that can bring financial freedom toward self-sufficiency.
Q: I have heard that if I go back to work I will automatically lose my benefits and even healthcare. Is this true?
No. Individuals/beneficiaries utilizing the Ticket to Work program can access unique “work incentives” to reach their employment goal for financial freedom. It is easy to access support programs like Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Planning & Assistance which can allow a person with a disability receiving SSI/SSDI to keep their cash benefits and medical coverage as they attempt to transition successfully to the world of work. In addition, there are safety nets in place if a person is unable to work to regain access to cash benefits. Call the Ticket to Work Help Line to get questions about working while on benefits answered at 1-866-968-7842 / 866-833-2967 (TTY).
Q: What type of jobs can I actually get through Ticket to Work?
There are no limits on the type of job(s) an individual/beneficiary can work under the Ticket to Work program. The person with a disability can work any job they feel they have the skills to meet the essential job duties of an employment position. The Ticket to Work program is established for beneficiary of SSA and Employment Networks to work collaboratively with each other regarding beneficiary employment goals. Efforts are centered on the personal choices of the beneficiary.
Q: Is there a limit to how many hours I can work with Ticket to Work?
The Ticket to Work program understands that every individual/beneficiary journey will not be the same towards self-sufficiency. TTW understands that through mutual collaboration and set guidelines based on the Timely Progress of the Ticket to Work program, an individual can work varying hours at different times while on their journey to financial independence. For examples of specific time-frames in the Timely Progress set by Social Security, visit https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10062.pdf.
Q: Does Ticket to Work cover training to gain employment?
Walton Options, as a Center for Independent Living and an Employment Network for Social Security Administration, offers employment supports in the area of employment skills training to help individuals/beneficiaries with their employment goal/s for financial self-sufficiency. Some examples of services offered includes Gaining Preparedness Skills (GPS):
- Career Advising
- Job search assistance
- Job readiness skills training
- Connection to job fair events/local hiring employers
- Soft skills/social skills in the work place
- Resume assistance/review
- Mock interviews
- Accommodation resources/guidance
- Benefits and Work Incentive counselling/referral
- Regular scheduled contact/follow-up
- Access to other independent living services from a peer perspective on topics such as money management skills, self-advocacy, transportation access, health and nutrition, emergency preparedness, personal assistance management, youth transition, and much more.
Walton Options services uniquely cater to the individuals but offer training in group setting as integrated component of the work place for those wanting to building upon those essential skills for work readiness based on request.
Q: If someone is interested in the Ticket to Work Program, what should they do to get started?
To learn more about the Ticket to Work program, first take the step to review the Choose Work website to get a list of Employment Network based on your needs that you would like to work with by visiting https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/. Choose the EN that best fit your need and then call and contact them for more detail information and possible appointment regarding working in collaboration with the EN of your choice regarding possible ticket assignment. Social Security Administration understands that making the decision to work is an important step toward achieving financial independence. When you or a person you know is ready to work, the Ticket program is here to help. You can sign up for self-pace tutorial on your own at https://choosework.ssa.gov/training/ and or you sign up for a free Wise Webinar to learn more about Ticket to Work and Work Incentives at https://choosework.ssa.gov/webinar/.
The Ticket to Work Program is a service we provide for our entire service area. If you have any other questions or are interested in the Ticket to Work Program, please submit a Self-Referral Form or give us a call at 706-724-6262.
If you are a consumer in South Carolina, you could also be eligible for the Works Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) Program in addition to the Ticket to Work Program. To find out more about WIPA and the Walton Options Project 20/20, go to our WIPA page.