Basics of the Ticket to Work Program

The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers the Ticket to Work Program (TWP) to most Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) benefit recipients. This program helps people with disabilities who want to work while retaining their Social Security benefits and healthcare coverage.

The main goal of the TWP is to provide more opportunities for disability recipients who are ready to transition to a work environment to work with various governmental and private entities to possibly gain employment in the future. It is a beneficial program for all involved.

The TWP helps many disabled people currently receiving Social Security benefits find a job, work towards a new vocation or seek other work-related opportunities. The program allows eligible recipients to contact entities in the SSA employment networks, which are governmental agencies, private organizations or referral services. Once the employment network and the TWP participant reach an agreement to work together, the employment network staff begins to help the participant plan and reach specific employment goals.

Recipient Eligibility for the Ticket to Work Program

While not all Social Security beneficiaries are able to, or will want to, participate in the TWP, most are eligible for TWP based on certain SSA criteria. The SSA issues actual tickets to all who are eligible, who may then choose whether to contact one or more employment networks.

Currently, over 12 million ticket-holders may elect to participate in the TWP, which is a nationwide initiative. To date, California, Texas and New York are the top three states for participation in the program, with a combined total of more than 2.5 million people.

When recipients of Social Security benefits elect to participate in TWP, there are additional programs over and above the job help they receive from the employment networks. Participants can chose to continue their healthcare benefits, as well as easily have their Social Security benefits reinstated if the job placement does not go as expected. In addition, various other SSA work incentive programs are still available for use, such as the trial work period, deferral of medical continuing disability reviews and a plan for achieving self support.

Beneficial for All

The TWP is just one example of how various entities can work together to support disabled workers and help anyone with the desire to transition back into a work environment. The SSA also gives people with disabilities the ability to safely try out new work opportunities without loss of benefits or healthcare, which gives everyone peace of mind. If you are a disabled person who would like more information about SSA benefits and other programs like TWP, contact a local Social Security Disability benefits attorney to discuss your options.