Ticket to Work

Ticket to Work is a federal program that helps adults with disabilities prepare for, find, and keep a job. To qualify, you must:

Ticket to Work, sometimes simply called the “Ticket program,” offers beneficiaries many free services such as:

  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Training
  • Referrals
  • Job coaching
  • Job counseling
  • Placement services

While you are in the Ticket program, Social Security will not make you do medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) as long as you make timely progress in meeting your employment goals. That means you won’t lose your eligibility for SSI or SSDI for medical reasons.

Signing Up

If you get SSI or SSDI and are 18-64 years old, you automatically qualify for the Ticket program. When you are ready to think about employment and want to figure out what is the best way to proceed, you can participate in the Ticket program by contacting an Employment Network (EN). ENs are organizations that can give you the various employment services that Ticket to Work provides.

Here are some examples of the types of organizations that may serve as Employment Networks:

You can only get services from one Employment Network at a time. That means you have to choose which EN you want to serve you – that’s called “assigning your ticket” to an EN.

Choosing an Employment Network and Assigning Your Ticket

You can find Employment Networks in your area by searching the Employment Network Directory. If you need additional help choosing an EN, you can:

  • Call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY)
  • Email the Ticket to Work customer service office at
  • Check out Employment Network Report Cards

Once you’ve found an EN that interests you, contact it to see if the services and supports it offers are right for you. ENs offer different services based on their specialties. Make sure to talk to a few, because it’s important to find one that will be a good match for you.

Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Vocational Rehabilitation Services is a Ticket to Work Employment Network. You may consider the services it offers and compare them to those offered by other ENs.

If you have a disability and don’t qualify for Ticket to Work because you don’t get SSI or SSDI, you may still qualify to get employment services through Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Those services are explained in more detail later in this article.

Changing Employment Networks

You can change your Employment Network at any time. To change ENs, ask your Employment Network to have your ticket “unassigned.” For more detailed information:

  • Call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY)
  • Email the Ticket to Work customer service office at

Individual Work Plans

When you and an Employment Network have agreed to work together, you both will develop an Individual Work Plan (IWP) that clearly states the responsibilities you and your EN have in order to help you achieve your work goals.

Your plan should contain at least the following:

  • Your employment goals (the type of work you want to do)
  • All services your EN agrees to give you and how they will be delivered to you
  • Your responsibilities to meet your work goals and continue to receive services
  • What you can do if you are not satisfied with your EN or your plan
  • How you can change your plan if you need to

Timely Progress

After you and your EN sign the plan, you want to make “timely progress” towards reaching your employment goals, because as long as you do so, you will not be subject to a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR) by the Social Security Administration (SSA). That means you won’t lose your eligibility for SSI or SSDI for medical reasons.

To determine whether you are making timely progress, the Ticket to Work program will review your progress at the end of each 12-month period. If you have fulfilled specific requirements related to working a certain amount and making a certain amount of money or meeting specific educational goals, you don’t have to do a medical CDR. Click here to see the complete timely progress requirements.

More information about Ticket to Work

DB101’s Ticket to Work article has more extensive information about the Ticket program, including:

  • More details about your relationship with your Employment Network
  • More information about the timely progress requirement
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Examples that can clarify confusing topics

The Ticket to Work website also has answers to frequently asked questions and does webinars that can help you better understand the Ticket program and SSI and SSDI work incentives.