Understanding the Ticket to Work program and its benefits

An individual who suffers from a disability due to a condition or illness encounters many obstacles; the onset of the disability or illness is a life-changing event. Many people can no longer work or provide for their families the way they once could.

Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits are available to help individuals with disabilities. Both monetary and medical assistance is available. So many people are grateful to have such life-saving services available to them. However, many often feel that these benefits take away both self-sufficiency and the satisfaction gained from a hard-day's work.

Fortunately, a program is available for those collecting Social Security Disability benefits who wish to gain more independence.

The Ticket to Work program

The program is known as the "Ticket to Work" program and is free. Specifically, it is available for individuals ages 18-64 who receive disability through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Essentially, the Ticket to Work program helps beneficiaries reduce their dependence on Social Security benefits by offering various services, support and training to re-enter the workforce in a variety of different capacities.

Specifically, individuals use the Ticket issued to them by the Social Security Administration to obtain services either through either Employment Networks (ENs) or Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (VR).

Because each person's disability and circumstance is different, each beneficiary will receive an individualized plan by the selected service provider. The plan will not only be tailored around the specific beneficiary's physical and mental capabilities but the beneficiary's goals as well.

Continued benefits

Many beneficiaries are concerned that if they start working they automatically lose their benefits. However, it's important to note that beneficiaries will continue to receive their disability benefits throughout their training; the benefits won't cease until each person begins to earn income.

For beneficiaries who receive medical coverage through Medicaid, they will continue to remain eligible for at least 93 months after the last month of their trial period. In some instances, individuals will still be able to qualify for Medicaid thereafter.

Additional help

Those who are currently receiving Social Security benefits are encouraged to visit the Ticket to Work Website for more information. Beneficiaries can find out How it Works and learn how to get started. They can also access a list of FAQs to clarify common questions.

Individuals who wish to apply for benefits due to the inability to work because of a disabling condition or illness are encouraged to seek the help of a Social Security Disability attorney. A lawyer practicing in this area of law can help navigate the intricate application process.