Skipping the Ticket to Work program

Many people who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits don’t know about or aren’t interested in the Ticket to Work program. If you're eligible, take the time to look at the free services Employment Networks (ENs) offer — they can help you get work and earn more money.

Not choosing your Employment Network (EN) carefully

Not all Employment Networks (ENs) are the same. In fact, part of the strength of the Ticket to Work program is the variety of services offered by ENs. Before choosing an EN, think through your situation carefully and ask yourself what you need to fulfill your employment goals. Try and find an EN whose services best match your needs.

If you choose an EN and aren’t satisfied with the services you get, you are allowed to end your relationship with that EN at any time and sign up with another EN, no questions asked.

Not understanding medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is required by law to review on a regular basis whether or not you still experience a disability. During these reviews, called medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs), SSA is looking to see if you medically improved to the point that you no longer meet their definition of disability. If SSA decides that your medical condition has improved, you may lose your benefits.

For this reason, many people with disabilities worry that if they try to get jobs, Social Security will decide that they have medically improved and will take away their benefits. One of the biggest advantages of the Ticket to Work program is that as long as you are in it and making timely progress, Social Security will not do medical CDRs and therefore can’t decide that you’ve medically improved.

Important: If you are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and want to work, you should make sure to do it through the Ticket to Work program. That way, you don’t have to worry about your benefits stopping because of medical improvement.

Confusing Ticket to Work and Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Ticket to Work is a program in which adults ages 18 – 64 who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can get employment services. These services are supplied by Employment Networks (ENs), agencies that specialize in helping people with disabilities prepare for, find, and keep work. There are many ENs to choose from. Vocational Rehabilitation Services is a state agency that can be chosen as an EN for the Ticket program.

If you don’t qualify for the Ticket program, Vocational Rehabilitation Services may also be able to supply you with services. That’s because you don’t have to be on SSI or SSDI benefits to get services from Vocational Rehabilitation. If you have a disability and are interested in getting employment services but don’t qualify for the Ticket program, you should contact Vocational Rehabilitation.