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

What’s In a Number? 1619(b) in 2023 

The somewhat lesser broadcast Section 1619(d) of the Social Security Act winds its way through the statement that "(t)he Commissioner of Social Security and the Secretary of Education shall jointly develop and disseminate information, and establish training programs...

2023 Federal Poverty Levels Released

The Department of Health and Human Services has just published the new Federal Poverty Levels (FPL). As might be expected by the name, the basic 100% poverty level is low and comes in at annual income for a household of one of $14,580. Broken down to a monthly amount...

A Mixed Review: News on ABLE Accounts

There’s been a recent development in who can set up and use an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account. Since the ABLE Act was passed and signed into being in 2014 by President Obama it has allowed individuals with disabilities to set up tax-free savings...

Your Turn: What Do You Want to Discuss in 2023?

As we start another trip around the sun, we’ll keep the updates coming as they arrive but all the while we’d like to look to you to give us any suggestions on what you’d like to know more about, or to ask us any benefits-related questions that we haven’t yet...

Looking Forward to ’23: Reminder of the New Facts and Figures

Another year in the books and off we go again! As we wish you all the very best of luck and happiness in 2023 here's a quick look once more at some of the pertinent figures that we'll need to be aware of in the coming months. Maryland's minimum wage continues its...

Happy Holidays from MDBCN!

How did we get here again, and so quickly too? Another year has raced by and has served us up, to different degrees and with new variations, the quotidian grind interlaced with despair, sorrow, hope and even, perhaps, moments of genuine joy. We hope that 2022 was, on...

Social Security Sanctions Self-Selecting Sex for SSN Records

Not a title for those with a lisp, but the SSA recently announced a policy change that will allow anyone to self-select their sex designation no matter what the records on their birth certificate may show.  There's no need to provide any documentation at all but if...

Worth Remembering: SSA Resources and Benefits for Veterans

Armistice Day commemorates the ending of the First World War on November 11, 1918 and although the US were hardly involved in that conflict it is observed in this country each year in on that date. Here it's known, of course, as Veterans Day and has come to...

Change of Plan: Transferring State Benefits When You Move

Well, you can't. There is actually no provision for a simple transfer of any state-regulated benefit such as SNAP (aka Food Stamps) or Medical Assistance. Each state has their own eligibility rules and regulations so if you should up sticks and move to another state,...

An Extra Serving: Maryland Food Bank and CSFP Helping Seniors in Baltimore

The Commodity Supplement Food Program (CSFP) is a federally run program that helps low-income seniors around the country by providing them with monthly food packages. In Maryland the program is known as “My Groceries to Go!” and is administered by the Maryland Food...

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.