Social Security's Ticket to Work Program

The Basics

The Ticket to Work program is a federal program that helps Social Security beneficiaries with a disability achieve their employment goals. The program offers beneficiaries aged 18 to 64 who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) services to help them become employed. These services can include: vocational rehabilitation, training, referrals, job coaching, counseling and placement services. The Ticket to Work program pays for services to help you find paid work - it is not linked to special jobs for Social Security beneficiaries. The services provided through the Ticket to Work program help you to find and apply for jobs that already exist in the marketplace.

The Ticket to Work program is completely voluntary; there is no penalty if you decide not to participate. It is important to know that Social Security will suspend medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) while you are using your Ticket. This is a significant benefit if your disability or condition may change. Under normal circumstances, if Social Security conducts a medical CDR and determines that you are no longer disabled, you lose all your Social Security benefits.

The Social Security Administration made major improvements to the Ticket to Work program in 2008. The new Ticket to Work program rules have been in effect since July 21, 2008. Most adult SSI and SSDI beneficiaries can now use the Ticket to Work program. The new Ticket to Work program rules also give beneficiaries more choices in the organizations that can assist them with their employment goals.

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