After six months of treatment and physical therapy, Ryan thought he might be able to return to his construction job. ‘Might’ was the operative word. He wasn’t sure whether he could go back to work full-time, but part-time jobs would not pay the bills or support his family. A friend told him about a program offered by the Social Security Administration (Social Security) – Ticket to Work. He learned that it might not affect his Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. But Ryan needed to check out some reasons for getting into this work program, including those listed below.
#1. You feel like you might be ready to return to work.
Some disabling conditions are not permanent. Many people get SSDI and SSI benefits only for a while.
After completing medical treatment and occupational therapy, you might start to wonder if it could be time. But the uncertainty holds you back, especially because you are afraid you will lose your benefits for good. Ticket to Work is a work program that could be the answer to your questions.
#2. Ticket to Work allows you to ease back into working.
Instead of immediately terminating your SSDI and SSI benefits, Ticket to Work allows you to explore opportunities. Most people can take advantage of the work program’s nine-month trial work period. During that time, you retain your benefits, but you still need to report your earnings.
#3. Ticket to Work is free and voluntary.
Social Security conducts Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) to make sure SSDI and SSI beneficiaries are still disabled. If they feel you have recovered, you might lose benefits. However, they will not force you into any work program, including Ticket to Work. In fact, most participants do not go through CDRs as long as they are making progress in the work program.
Participation in Ticket to Work is not mandatory. Also, the services offered are free to people who qualify.
#4. They will assess your skills.
Some people can return to the jobs they previously held. Others will need to transfer their skills or train for another career. Staff at Ticket to Work test participants to see where their skill set fits in.
#5. They assist with career development and vocational training.
Social Security staff provide services that attract many people to this work program. One of the best ways to help people return to work is to find out what they can do. After assessing a participant’s skills, Social Security staff can help with additional training needed to fire up your old career or start a new one.
#6. Their counselors can explain how working might affect your benefits.
Government benefits are notoriously difficult to figure out. Fortunately, counselors in the Ticket to Work program can ease your fears about losing your SSDI and SSI. They can also provide guidance in working within the work program’s systems to avoid jeopardizing any benefits.
#7. They assist with job placement.
Finally, Social Security works with local providers that can help participants find a job that fits their current abilities. Looking for a new job can be scary, and it helps to have Ticket to Work staff cheering you on.
The Ticket to Work Program Might Work for You
Social Security Administration rules and regulations are not easy to understand. It can help to have someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience helping clients like you. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.