Social Security Disability and the Ticket to Work Program

November 11, 2016

Once you have surmounted all of the obstacles and have begun receiving Social Security Benefits, your health condition might begin to improve and you start thinking about getting back out there and working again. You might wonder if there are any incentives that will help you to ease back into the working world, while still having the safety of your SSDI benefits in case things do not work out as you had hoped they would. There are several incentives built into the structure of the SSD program.

First, the monthly benefit payments are so low that a person can just barely survive on the money. This creates an inherent incentive because if a person is able to work they would do so rather than try to scrape out a living on a meager disability payment.

The next built-in incentive is in just how difficult it is to get approved for benefits. Even if you can prove your medical or mental disability and you have the work record to qualify, a significant portion of applications are denied on their first try. It is also becoming increasingly difficult to qualify for SSDI because more and more people are applying for benefits every year. If you find yourself in the position of beginning to recover from a disabling condition and wanting to try to go back to work, you have the option of several incentive programs that ease you into resuming full-time work while keeping your benefits for as long as possible. In this post, we will focus on the Ticket to Work program but there are additional programs such as the Trial Work Period, and the Extended Period of Eligibility which will be covered in another post in this series.

Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program

The SSA’s Ticket to Work program is completely voluntary and it is available to people between the ages of 18 and 64 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or SSI benefits but want to transition back to work. The goal of the program is to provide expanded services and supports for disability recipients who are looking to enter, re-enter or maintain their employment. Ticket to Work (TTW) helps those on disability to increase their financial independence and self-sufficiency while reducing and ultimately eliminating their dependence on disability benefits.

Those who are interested in participating in TTW can sign up with a participating employment network (EN) or a state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency, which will coordinate and provide appropriate service to help the beneficiary to find and maintain employment. Some of the available services include, vocational rehabilitation, job placement, and other support services. Through their involvement in the TTW program, disability beneficiaries receive the support they need in order to explore the work options available to them without losing their benefits right away. They also retain the option to return to their benefits if they are unable to resume working, and they can continue to receive their health care benefits.

A good first step for exploring work incentives through the SSA is to sign up for a free Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinar, which is an online event for people who receive SSD benefits and are considering ways in which they can get back to work.

As you begin to recover from the illness or injury that qualified you for Social Security benefits in Philadelphia, you may have questions for one of our experienced Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates. Please contact us or call us at 888.PITT.LAW to schedule an appointment today at any of our office locations serving Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties to find out more today.