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What is the Ticket to Work program for those getting disability?

In general, in order to receive Social Security disability benefits there must be an inability to work. Therefore, recipients may fear that even making the attempt to try and work will result in a full loss of SSD benefits. However, for Tennesseans who would like to try and get back to work and meet the qualifications, it is possible to take part in the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work program. It is important to fully understand the various aspects of the program including who is eligible, its goals and its advantages before moving forward.

Ticket to Work is for those who are between the ages of 18 and 64 who are suffering from blindness or have a disability and are getting Social Security disability through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. The goals of Ticket to Work are the following: the provide those who are disabled to have alternatives when they seek service and support to get back to work or keep employment; raise the ability to self-support for those who are disabled; and lower or perhaps end the need to SSD benefits.

There are several service providers that the recipient can use to try and get back to work including State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) or Employment Network (EN). A paper Ticket is not required to take part. The service providers can provide training, career counseling, job placement and more. The advantages of this program are the it gives the person the chance to try and get back to work without a threat of immediate loss of SSD benefits. There are work incentives that can be used to maintain their income until they can self-support. The benefits can be restarted if they stop working; they can keep their healthcare; and they are shielded from a disability review while participating and making expected progress.

For those who are getting disability benefits and are interested in trying to get back to work, Ticket to Work is a viable option to make that attempt. If there is an issue or any confusion related to Ticket to Work and how it affects Social Security disability benefits, having legal help is an imperative. Speaking to an attorney experienced in SSD benefits can help.

Source: ssa.gov, "Ticket to Work Program Overview," accessed on Dec. 25, 2016

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