Ticket to Work

Ticket to Work connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job or maintain success while you are working. If you choose to participate, you will receive services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement and training from authorized Ticket to Work service providers, such as Employment Networks (EN) or your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. The service provider you choose will serve as an important part of your “employment team” that will help you on your journey to financial independence.

Success Stories

Meet Ben! An Introduction to Ticket to Work

Robert Statum Success Story

Larry Clay’s Success Story

Lisa Seeley’s Success Story

Michele Boardman’s Success Story

Robby McClain’s Success Story

Remembering the Greats: Subsidies and Special Conditions Work Incentive

In this weekend of remembering the past it’s worth noting that SSDI emerged from a program initiated during the Second World War to compensate and assist civil defense workers who became disabled in the course of their work to protect the nation. One of the key work...

Sorry Figures: SSA Launches Customer Service Tracking Program

A recent press release from our friends at Social Security announced the arrival of SecurityStat,  which the agency declares is “an agencywide, cross-cutting performance management program—to accelerate the deployment of customer service improvements.” Further reading...

Slimming Down: SSA Simplifies Rules on In-Kind Support and Maintenance

The former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley took over the reins of Social Security in December last year in his role as the agency’s commissioner. Naturally, it’s still o early to see what lasting effect he’ll have but he has recently overseen a change that is...

Opportunity Cost: HUD Eliminates the Earned Income Disregard

In an essay from 1976 the Italian economist Carlo Cipolla outlined some fundamental laws of stupidity. He avers that we underestimate the number of stupid people out there; we underestimate the destructive power of stupidity; stupid people are the most dangerous of...

Cleaning Up: Changes to SSI Waivers of Overpayments During Covid

Thanks to the settlement decision of a court case that was resolved in January this year up to two million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries who were recorded as having had overpayments now won’t have to pay the money back. The decision determined that...

Equality Control: Social Security and Section 504

Seventeen years before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), President Richard Nixon, of all people, signed into law the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This act was something of a precursor to the ADA but had requirements limited to federal agencies and those who...

A Little Learning: All You Need to Know about Section 301

This week we’re going to hand over the blogging reins to the inestimable Mabel Munoz, Maryland Employment Network’s Lead Benefits Counselor. She recently provided a wonderful factsheet on Section 301 which you can read below in all its pellucid glory. What does...

Beneficiary Beware: Slam the Scam 2024

Yes, it’s that time of year again.  Social Security have been in a constant battle to make everyone aware of the ever-present and ever-real threat of scammers targeting beneficiaries and doing their utmost to part them with their hard-earned cash. Each March the...

Soup’s On: Nutrition Services for Older Marylanders

Thanks to the increasingly mature Older Americans Act (OAA), instituted back in 1965, there have been funds available to every state in the land to provide nutrition services to those approaching the autumn of their lives. In Maryland, as in many states, that means...

Break Time: The Earned Income Tax Credit in 2024

Tax deadline day is fast approaching so it would certainly seem to be an appropriate time to highlight a little tax break that’s out there for those of us who are working and have ‘low to moderate’ income, in the parlance of the IRS. The Earned Income Tax Credit...

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Social Security offer the Ticket to Work program?

Many Social Security Disability Beneficiaries want to go to work, but they need certain support services in order to make that possible. The Social Security Administration set up the Ticket to Work program so that beneficiaries could find back-to-work support services in their own community.

Who can participate in the Ticket to Work program?

People who receive Title II Benefits (Social Security Disability Insurance, Childhood Disability Benefits, or Disabled Widow/Widowers Benefits) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and who are between the ages of 18 – 64 can take part in the Ticket to Work program. The program allows beneficiaries to obtain free services from a local community agency to help them go back to work. Social Security calls these community agencies “employment networks.”

What is an Employment Network?

An Employment Network (EN) is a private organization or public agency (including a State VR agency) which entered into an agreement to provide employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and other types of support to beneficiaries with disabilities under the Ticket to Work Program.

Beneficiaries can contact any EN to see if the service and supports the EN offers are right for them. The beneficiary and EN must agree to work together and develop a plan that describes the beneficiary’s employment goal and outlines the services and support the EN will provide to help the beneficiary reach the goal. Beneficiaries are free to talk with as many ENs as they wish before choosing to assign his or her Ticket. If a beneficiary assigns their Ticket to an EN and later changes his or her mind about working with that EN, the beneficiary can un-assign the Ticket and take it to another EN. When a beneficiary chooses to receive services from an EN, Social Security considers that the beneficiary is using the Ticket and therefore, is protected from continuing disability reviews.

Do I have to participate in the Ticket to Work Program?

No, the Ticket to Work Program is completely voluntary. In fact, you can still take advantage of all of the safety nets and work incentives available to all SSI/Title II beneficiaries without assigning your ticket to an EN.

How do I find an employment network?

Maximus, a private contractor for Social Security, manages the national Ticket to Work program. They can help you find an employment network that matches your needs. Call 1- 866-968-7842 or visit choose work.ssa.gov Click on “Find Help”.

How can I get help from the Maryland Employment Network?

Call 1-855-384-2844 and they will talk with you about the support services that you need to go to work.

They may ask you to take a medical form to your psychiatrist or treating doctor to see if you qualify to obtain extra services from one of the MD-EN partner agencies. If so, they will refer you there.

If you think they can help you with help in finding a job and/or with personalized benefits counseling, they will send someone to talk with you about how to assign your Ticket to the MD-EN and how they can get started helping you.

What are Continuing Disability Reviews?

Social Security periodically reviews your disability or blindness to decide if you are still disabled or blind. If you are no longer disabled or blind, Social Security will stop your benefits.

Social Security calls this review a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). The law requires Social Security to perform a medical CDR approximately every 3 years, unless Social Security determines you have a condition that they expect will improve sooner than that. However, if you have a condition that is not expected to improve, they will still review your case, but not as often as every 3 years.

What is Timely Progress?

Your participation in the Ticket to Work program begins when you signed an agreement with an employment network or state vocational rehabilitation agency. With their help, you developed an employment plan. While you’re in the program, Social Security will review your progress in achieving the goals of your employment plan every 12 months.

As long as you are making Timely Progress towards your employment goals at the end of every 12 month review period that you will be protected from Continuing Disability Reviews.

The Timely Progress Chart listed under Information Sheets how Social Security determines whether you’re making timely progress. As well as the items in this chart, earning a high school diploma or GED will satisfy the educational requirement for the first 12-month review.