Social Security's Ticket To Work Program

Common Pitfalls

Skipping the Ticket to Work Program

Many people miss or ignore the Ticket to Work Program altogether because it adds complexity to their lives. But if you're eligible, and want to start working or get more earnings, you should take the time to evaluate the free services that Employment Networks (ENs) offer.

Losing Time

Under the Ticket to Work Program rules, all adult beneficiaries aged 18 – 64 who get SSI or SSDI cash benefits are eligible. You can participate in the Ticket to Work Program immediately or wait until a later time when you might be more ready to work. The Ticket does not expire.

Choosing the wrong Employment Network (EN)

Not all Employment Networks (ENs) are the same. In fact, part of the strength of the Ticket to Work Program is the variety of services offered by ENs. So, it's particularly important to think through your situation carefully and ask yourself: What is the single biggest barrier to fulfilling my employment goals? Then find an EN whose services best address that problem.

Not sticking to the plan

Beneficiaries may think that not making timely progress towards education and employment goals while using the Ticket means they will lose eligibility for Employment Network services.

Social Security cannot perform a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR) to decide if you continue to have a disability when you are using the Ticket to Work Program and progressing towards your employment goal. Social Security will check on this with a Timely Progress Review every 12 months.

Even if you are not making timely progress according to the Social Security’s guidelines, you still are enrolled in the Ticket to Work Program with your selected Employment Network (EN). However, in this case, Social Security can again do a medical CDR until you return to meeting the guidelines.

False loyalty to the Employment Network (EN)

Under the Ticket to Work Program, you are allowed to end your relationship with your Employment Network (EN) at any time and reassign your Ticket to another EN, no questions asked. So if things aren't working out with your EN, or if your situation changes and you would benefit more from another type of service, you may consider switching.

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