The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program offers resources to disability benefit recipients seeking to reenter the workforce. When a qualifying injury or illness leaves people unable to work for 12 months or more, some may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance. Upon resuming work, those who receive SSDI generally no longer qualify for benefits.
Understanding the Ticket to Work program may help people who previously suffered incapacitating injuries or illnesses to test the waters of going back to work, without risking the benefits they depend on.
Qualifying for the program
According to Social Security, those who receive SSDI benefits, SSI benefits or both generally qualify for participation in the Ticket to Work program. Participants must be between the ages of 18- and 64-years-old.
The SSA provides benefit recipients with assistance through the Ticket to Work program; however, participation requires that people progress while involved in the program. To this end, participants must make timely progress toward certain goals within specific timeframes set by Social Security. These goals include receiving the training and education needed to succeed at work, obtaining and maintaining a job, and reducing dependence or eliminating the need for cash benefits.
According to Social Security, people may qualify for expedited reinstatement of benefits if they find themselves once again unable to work. Going through the Ticket to Work program, SSDI recipients often eliminate their need for benefits. Should their injuries or illnesses once again cause disability, the SSA may provide them with provisional benefits while examining their applications to reinstate benefits.
People receiving Social Security benefits may pursue options such as the Ticket to Work program to gain greater independence and self-sufficiency without risking the support they need.