Programs That Support Work

The Basics

If you are on a public benefits program, there are many rules called “work incentives” that can help you try out working without losing your benefits. You don’t have to worry that if you get a job, you’ll immediately lose your health coverage, such as Medi-Cal or Medicare, or your cash benefits, like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

In this article, we’ll also discuss the Ticket to Work program. It helps anybody who gets SSI or SSDI benefits by offering services like vocational assessments, training, job placement, job coaching, and other help you need to prepare for, get, or keep a job. The great thing about this program is that you can get all of these services without immediately losing your benefits eligibility.

If you have a disability, you may also be able to get these types of services directly through the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), even if you don’t qualify for Ticket to Work. Another good place to get help as you start thinking about work is your local America's Job Center of California (One-Stop).

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