Frequently Asked Questions
Ticket-to-Work Program FAQs
What is the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency (Ticket) program?
The Ticket to Work Program provides most people receiving Social Security disability benefits (beneficiaries) more choices for receiving employment services. Under this program, most beneficiaries become eligible for the Ticket to Work Program when they start to receive SSDI or SSI benefits based on disability. Beneficiaries may choose to assign their tickets to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to achieve a vocational (work) goal. The EN, if they accept the ticket, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment.
What is the goal of the Ticket program?
The ultimate goal of the Ticket to Work program is to assist people receiving Social Security disability benefits in reducing their reliance on disability benefits. The Ticket program also seeks to promote increased self-sufficiency and greater independence for people receiving Social Security disability benefits through work.
How does the Ticket program help people receiving disability benefits go to work?
People with disabilities receiving benefits from SSA can use the Ticket issued to them by SSA to obtain services and supports to assist them in preparing for work and entering and maintaining employment. SSA pays approved providers of services, referred to as “Employment Networks” (ENs), when the Ticket Holders they are serving go to work and achieve designated levels of work and earnings. Rather than being a fee for services, these payments are compensation for assisting beneficiaries to achieve employment-related Milestones and Outcomes as they move towards self-supporting employment.
Do I have to participate in the Ticket Program?
No. The goal of the Ticket to Work program is to help people receiving Social Security disability benefits obtain employment and work toward greater independence and increased self-sufficiency. Social Security pays ENs when the people receiving Social Security disability benefits they work with achieve certain Milestones and Outcomes associated with work and earnings. The program is free and voluntary, meaning you do not have to pay for services received under the Ticket program and there is no penalty for not participating.
Do I need to have the paper Ticket sent to me by Social Security in order to participate in the program?
No, you do not need to have the paper Ticket to start working with an approved provider of vocational services and supports called an Employment Network (EN). The EN you select can contact the Ticket Program Manager to verify your eligibility to participate in the program.
What is an Employment Network (EN)? How do I find information on ENs in my area?
ENs are organizations and agencies, including your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency, that entered into an agreement with the Social Security Administration to provide employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and other types of support services to people receiving Social Security disability benefits under the Ticket to Work program.
You can contact any EN in your area to see if the services and supports they offer are right for you. Use the “Finding an EN and Assigning Your Ticket Worksheet,” to know what questions to ask and to help determine which EN is right for you. Both you and the EN must agree to work together and develop a plan that describes your employment goal and outlines the services and supports the EN will provide to help you reach that goal. If you need help in choosing an EN, visit the Find Help tool or call the Ticket to Work hotline at 866-968-7842 / 866-833-2967 (TTY). https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/
How do I un-assign my Ticket from my Employment Network (EN)?
You can un-assign your Ticket with your EN at any time; however, you are encouraged to notify the EN before requesting that your Ticket be un-assigned. To request un-assignment, please complete the Ticket Un-Assignment Form and include all of the required information.
If you want to keep your medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR) protection, it is important that you re-assign your Ticket within 90 days. If you have any questions about CDR protection, or need more information about Ticket to Work, call 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) M – F 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET
Do I need to pay anything to participate in the Ticket Program?
No. The Ticket Program is free (and voluntary) for people receiving Social Security disability benefits. The Ticket Program allows you to receive vocational services and supports at no cost to you to help you obtain employment and work towards greater independence and increased self-sufficiency. Social Security pays the Employment Network you chose to work with when you achieve certain milestones and outcomes associated with work and earnings.
Can I participate in the Ticket Program and get services from my State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency?
Yes. State VR agencies provide a wide variety of services and supports to help people with disabilities return to work, enter a new line of work, or enter the workplace for the first time. To locate the VR agency in your state, use our Find Help tool. https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/
What if I have questions about my rights under the Ticket and other Social Security programs? Is there someone I can ask?
Yes. There is a program called Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS). Protection and Advocacy (P&A) systems are publicly funded entities that provide protection and advocacy services free of charge to individuals with disabilities. Social Security provides funding to the P&As to implement the PABSS program. PABSS staff assists people receiving Social Security disability benefits with disabilities in obtaining information and advice about receiving vocational rehabilitation and employment services.
P&As provide advocacy and other related services that people receiving Social Security disability benefits may need to secure or regain gainful employment. Many P&As administer the Client Assistance Program (CAP) that assists individuals with disabilities in securing services from State VR agencies.
To find the PABSS program in your state, use our Find Help tool. https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/
What is "timely progress"? What does it mean for me if I use my Ticket?
As explained above, The Social Security Administration cannot perform a medical “Continuing Disability Review” to determine whether you continue to have a disability while you are participating in the Ticket Program and progressing towards your employment goal. Every 12 months after you assign your Ticket to Work to an EN, we must decide if you are making the expected progress toward your vocational goal. We look at progress such as completing certain education or getting and keeping a job. We refer to this as a “Timely Progress Review”.
Who is eligible for CASE services?
The CASE program serves adults, ages 18-64, who have a disability and other identified barriers that impedes their ability to obtain and maintain competitive employment. Based on consumer eligibility, free services are available through the SSA Ticket-to-Work program or through funding provided by Indiana’s Vocational Rehabilitation program.
- CMHC is an authorized national Social Security Administration (SSA) Employment Network for the Ticket-To-Work TTW CASE provides Social Security disability beneficiaries the choices, opportunities and support they need to enter and maintain gainful competitive employment. The goal of the TTW Program is to reduce and, whenever possible, eliminate dependence on cash benefit programs. Our Employment Specialists are able to provide supported employment and placement services to eligible SSDI & SSI ticketholders in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.
- CASE is also a registered vendor with Indiana’s Vocational Rehabilitation VR services program. Our Employment Specialists provide supported employment and placement services to eligible VR consumers living in Indiana, in Dearborn, Ripley and Ohio counties.
Can CASE still help me find a job if I do not live near one of their offices?
Absolutely! CASE is a registered EN for the SSA Ticket-to-Work Program and authorized to provide placement services to beneficiaries in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Our Employment Specialists ES can meet face-to-face with beneficiaries that live within a 2-hour radius of our offices in Southeastern Indiana, so long as the meeting space allows privacy to protect your personal information and it meets other program regulations. For those beneficiaries that live outside of the 2 hour radius or for those who prefer to work remotely with their ES, services can be provided by phone, email, skype or through other social media outlets.
What types of services does CASE offer?
Our Employment Specialists work one-on-one with the beneficiary to identify the services needed to help that beneficiary reach his/her job goal. Some of the individualized services that we offer are; Career planning, skills and vocational assessments, benefits education, resume and cover letter development, interview preparation, assistance completing applications and follow up, job placement services, advocacy, follow along services, support services referrals.
How can I learn more about the Work Incentives that SSA provides to beneficiaries who are considering a return to work?
CASE can provide benefits education as a service to our ticketholders. Our Employment Specialists are certified as Benefits Information Network BIN Liaisons and able to educate beneficiaries on how earned income will affect benefits. You can also go to www.ssa.gov/redbook to access the information online.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how far SSA goes in trying to make you feel comfortable about making a work attempt.
Ticketholders can also receive assistance through the Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program. If you would like to speak to someone directly, call the TTW helpline (866-968-7842). The helpline will connect you to someone in the WIPA program to provide individualized assistance.
Can CASE help pay for schooling?
Unfortunately, CASE is not able to financially help pay for school or long-term trainings. However, depending on what type of training you are interested in obtaining and the State you live in, we can refer you to a financial assistance programs that might be able to help.
What type job will CASE help me to find?
Our goal is to help you to find the type of job that satisfies your identified job goal. Prior to starting your job search, our Employment Specialists will do a thorough assessment of your skills, abilities, education & training, preferred job field, salary expectations, past work history and the current job market to make sure your job goal is a good fit.
Will I have to pay a fee for any of the CASE services?
No, the ticket-to-work program is a free and voluntary program. You do not have to pay for any services received under the Ticket program and there is no penalty for not participating.
How do I enroll in the CASE program?
In order to enroll in the CASE program and begin your journey to financial independence, you simple need to click on the “Apply Now” button on our website, complete the enrollment information and then hit the “submit” button. As soon as CASE has had a chance to review your information and determine eligibility, one of our qualified Employment Specialists will contact you to help develop your Individual Work Plan IWP. The ticket can be assigned and services can begin after the IWP has been completed, reviewed and signed by all parties.
Is there someone who can help me with benefits counseling and understanding my options?
Yes! WIPA projects provide free benefits counseling to Social Security disability beneficiaries to help them make informed choices about work. Many VR agencies and Employment Networks also offer benefits counseling. To find a WIPA near you, visit our Find Help tool. https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/
Will I lose my Social Security benefits when I participate in the Ticket Program to get vocational services and supports?
You will continue to receive your benefits until you begin earning wages or self-employment income above the applicable earnings limit for the Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance program. In addition, Social Security cannot perform a medical “Continuing Disability Review” to determine whether you continue to have a disability while you are participating in the Ticket Program, including receiving services from the State Vocational Rehabilitation agency, and progressing towards your employment goal.
How much you can earn before it will affect the amount of your monthly benefit will vary for each individual. This is due in part to the fact that you can subtract certain amounts from your gross earnings by taking advantage of Social Security Work Incentives. For more information on Social Security Work Incentives, check out the Social Security Red Book at www.ssa.gov/redbook.
What are Work Incentives?
Work Incentives are disability program rules that allow you to reduce your countable income so that you can continue to receive a cash benefit while you explore work or look for a job that is right for you. Examples of such Work Incentives include the extension of Medicare and Medicaid coverage while working, Impairment-Related Work Expenses, and Plans for Achieving Self-Support. In addition, if your work attempt is unsuccessful, Social Security has made it easy for you to get back on benefits when and if needed.
To learn more about these and other Social Security Work Incentives, check out the Social Security Red Book at www.ssa.gov/redbook.
Will I lose my Medicare eligibility if I participate in the Ticket program?
No. As long as you continue to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefit payments, you will continue to remain eligible for the same medical coverage. There are also Work Incentives that allow you to continue your medical coverage once you begin earning enough that you stop receiving SSDI payments. If you currently receive medical coverage through Medicare, you can continue to be eligible for coverage for at least 93 months after the last month of your Trial Work Period.
Will I lose my Medicaid Coverage if I participate in the Ticket program?
No. As long as you continue to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, you will continue to remain eligible for the same medical coverage.
If you currently receive Medicaid, you might be eligible to continue to receive Medicaid even after you stop receiving SSI benefits due to work. Your coverage might be extended in two ways. First, you might be eligible through a Work Incentives created by Section 1619(b) of the Social Security Act. You need to meet certain other requirements to qualify for this Work Incentives. You can find more information regarding this program at www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/wi/1619b.htm.
Your state might also have a program called the Medicaid Buy-In Program, which allows you to keep your Medicaid coverage by paying a monthly premium, provided you meet the other eligibility requirements established by your state. To see whether your state has a Medicaid Buy-In Program and whether you might be eligible, contact your State Medicaid agency. You can find a link for your state’s Medicaid agency at www.nasmd.org/links/state_medicaid_links.asp.