Social Security's Ticket to Work Program


The Ticket to Work Program offers services to help Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities become employed. These services can include:

For example, you might get help from a job counselor with finding jobs to apply for, advice on improving your resume, or instruction on how to successfully interview for a job. The Ticket to Work Program can also coordinate resources to help you get training, education, and assistive technology.

Delay of Continuing Disability Reviews

Part of the adult definition of disability used by Social Security is that you be unable to work. Many disabled persons worry that if they try to get a job, Social Security will decide they are able to work and will take away their benefits. One of the biggest advantages of the Ticket to Work Program is that as long as you are in it, Social Security will not decide you aren’t disabled.

That’s because Social Security won’t make you do a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR) while you’re participating in the Ticket to Work Program.

Here’s how it works:

  • If you are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and not doing the Ticket to Work Program, Social Security will review your medical disability status on a regular basis to see if you still meet their medical eligibility rules for disability benefits. During these Continuing Disability Reviews, if they decide that you are not disabled according to the rules, SSA could stop your benefits.
  • If you are doing the Ticket to Work Program, Social Security will stop your medical disability reviews for as long as you are working towards your employment goal. You can even get a job and start earning money and they still won’t review your disability status.

The Ticket to Work Program is not linked to specific jobs and does not guarantee that you will find a job. This program offers services to help you become employable and to find a job.

Eligibility for the Program

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 have an expiration date.

Signing Up for the Program

There are a few ways to get started:

How the Program Works

By using the Ticket to Work Program, you can access employment services offered by Ticket service providers called Employment Networks (ENs) or by the Arizona Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA). ENs can be employment agencies, employers, or other types of organizations. The Rehabilitation Services Administration is an Arizona state agency that helps persons with disabilities reach greater independence and gainful employment.

You can work with any Employment Network instead of the Rehabilitation Services Administration, so long as they agree to work with you. You can change your EN at any time if you are not satisfied with the services they offer. It is also possible to get services first from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and then switch to an EN to get personalized support once you start working. However, tickets in use with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) may not be assigned to an EN until VR services are complete or your VR case is closed.

You and your EN will decide which services you need to reach your employment goals. Your EN will then create an Individual Work Plan (IWP) for you. If you work with the Rehabilitation Services Administration, this document will be called an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The 2 types of plans are very similar documents and serve the same purpose – they map out the steps you’ll need to take to become employed.

As long as you are following your plan and making timely progress, Social Security will not subject you to a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR).

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