Monday, September 22, 2008
By Chris Jenkins, Public Affairs Specialist
Social Security Admininstration
Six years ago the Ticket to Work program was launched to help people with disabilities go to work. Since then, more than 150,000 people who get Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits have used their Tickets to obtain free vocational rehabilitation, job training and other support services.
The Ticket to Work program is voluntary. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries who receive a Ticket are not required to work, but may choose to use their Tickets to attempt to go to work. The number of people using their Tickets is expected to continue to grow as more Americans with disabilities become familiar with the opportunities the program has to offer.
A disability beneficiary can use the Ticket with either a private sector employment network or a State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency. Together the beneficiary and service provider design an individual employment plan outlining the services to be provided that will help the beneficiary reach his or her job goals.
The Ticket to Work program removes many barriers that had previously faced people with disabilities receiving benefits. Social Security disability beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare, and most Social Security disability beneficiaries now are protected by Medicare for up to eight years and six months after they go to work. Medicare coverage continues even if an individual no longer receives a monetary benefit from Social Security.
If you or someone you know is a Social Security or SSI disability beneficiary who would like to learn more about how the Ticket to Work program can help, just visit Social Security’s website at www.socialsecurity.gov/work. Or you can call Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Your Ticket to Work leaflet (Publication No. 05-10061).
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