Sometimes people just want to work but can’t because of a medical condition. At some point, they may recover enough to consider returning to work. It’s scary, though, because they still need their disability benefits. There is a way. This simple guide to the Ticket to Work program should help.
Ticket to Work 101
Disabled workers often start receiving disability benefits. Two programs that are administered by the Social Security Administration (“Social Security”) sometimes provide those benefits:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
People receiving these benefits may also be eligible for a program that helps them get back to work: Ticket to Work. Even better, the program is free and voluntary. You don’t have to participate. However, if you do join the program, you can take advantage of a number of benefits without paying a dime.
Benefits and Services
The Ticket to Work program uses work incentives to make it easier for disabled people to re-enter the workforce. You may be eligible for the following work incentives:
- Trial Work Period. Only SSDI recipients can access this program. You would be given up to 9 months to see if you are truly able to return to work. As long as you still have a disability and report your income, you will continue to receive your full SSDI benefits.
- Expedited Reinstatement. Some people’s benefits stop because of the amount of money they earned. After a short time, their disability may get worse and they have to stop working again. Through this work incentive, people can ask for their benefits to be reinstated without having to submit a new application for benefits.
- Protection from Medical Continuing Disability Reviews. In most cases, Social Security will not conduct medical reviews of people who participate in the Ticket to Work Program.
Participants can take advantage of job counseling, rehabilitation, retraining, and job placement assistance. Local networks provide most of the assistance.
Ticket to Work even helps you decide whether you are really ready to start working again. Also, participants can keep using their Medicare or Medicaid coverage until they are prepared to re-enter the workforce at 100%.
Eligibility for Ticket to Work
Not everyone can participate in the Ticket to Work Program. To qualify:
- You must be receiving Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or both.
- You must be between the ages of 18 to 64.
- Finally, you must be physically and mentally able to go back to work, despite your disability.
Are you ready to return to the workforce?
Learn More About Applying for Disability Benefits
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.