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Social Security Ticket to Work Program

February 10, 2009 by The Sawaya Law Firm

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a program to assist disability beneficiaries in getting assistance to get back to work. It’s called the Ticket to Work Program. Beneficiaries are often unwilling to return to work for fear of losing their benefits and, more importantly, their healthcare if the job does not work out. This program is VOLUNTARY; no beneficiaries are required to participate. SSA sends the eligible beneficiary a letter (the Ticket), the beneficiary can then take the Ticket to a local agency to obtain services such as job coaching for assistance in finding and keeping a job. The Ticket to Work Program includes work incentives which allow beneficiaries to keep cash benefits and Medicare or Medicaid while testing their ability to work. Each state has a Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project where beneficiaries can find out how their participation in the program could affect their disability benefits.

While a beneficiary is actively using their Ticket they can continue to get their healthcare benefits, return to monthly benefits through the expedited reinstatement process and will not have their case reviewed to see if they have medically improved. This program allows beneficiaries to try to find and keep employment without the fear of losing benefits during the attempt. The rules around this program are complicated but the program can provide support to help some SSA disability beneficiaries get back to work if and when they are ready. For more information about SSA’s Ticket to Work Program please see: //www.ssa.gov/work/.

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