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Posted by Andrew Forsman
An Open Message to Social Security Disability Beneficiaries from Associate Commissioner Bob Williams
Every year, thousands of people with disabilities find jobs and leave behind Social Security disability benefits to support themselves and create better futures. As you think about going to work, Social Security wants you to be confident in your choice and to understand what Ticket to Work is all about:
The Ticket program offers you the help you need to work, earn more money, and support yourself as much as possible.
The Ticket program is voluntary. You decide if it’s right for you.
Ticket to Work gives you the choice to partner with an approved Employment Network
(EN) or your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agency to get the career counseling, job placement, ongoing support, and other services you need to be able to become or stay employed or find a better job.
The goal of Ticket is for you to earn a better quality of life through work than you had on benefits and to give you a safety net while you work toward supporting yourself.
By participating in the Ticket program, you are agreeing to try your best to earn your way off cash benefits.
Social Security understands that going to work is a major change, and if you can’t completely eliminate your need for cash benefits, you won’t be blamed.
You shouldn’t limit your earnings on purpose to keep cash benefits.
Ticket to Work call center agents and service providers can tell you about the advantages of working and the risks of leaving cash benefits.
Social Security has special rules called “work incentives” that let you keep some cash benefits while you earn money by working.
Social Security understands that your medical benefits are, undoubtedly, a major concern. If you receive Medicaid, you may also be able to keep it indefinitely, even when you go to work. If you receive Medicare, you can keep your premium-free coverage for at least 93 months, even when you go to work.
To figure out which work incentives apply to you, visit www.choosework.net or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).
If you are committed to finding a job and supporting yourself through work, Social Security is here with the services and help you need to do it!
Bob Williams Associate Commissioner Office of Employment Support Programs Social Security Administration