November 6, 2023

Cancer Survivor Shares SSDI, Ticket To Work Story With CBS

Motivated to work again, Verna Boyd finds help from Allsup Employment Services

Allsup Employment Services Client Story In CBS Spotlight

Conquering cancer is a tremendous achievement, but what comes next can be unexpectedly challenging. Verna Boyd, a central North Carolina resident, offers practical insights into how to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and use the Ticket to Work Program to get back into the workforce.

Meet Verna, a highly regarded member of the Wilson community known for her unwavering positivity. She keeps a contact in her phone named “Beautiful Woman,” symbolizing her ability to uplift those around her. However, in March 2021, life took an unforeseen turn when both Verna and her mother were diagnosed with breast cancer within a week.

While they emerged victorious over cancer, Verna faced a new obstacle: securing income. Her medical condition made this task significantly more complex, leading her to dive into the intricacies of applying for SSDI. Then, after securing vital disability insurance income, she was able to turn her attention to medical recovery and working again.

Cancer Survivors Can Face Difficult Employment Environment

Verna’s story is not unique. Many cancer survivors, like her, face the daunting challenge of finding employment, with unemployment rates among this group 40% higher than those who have not faced cancer. Nonetheless, Verna’s determination, coupled with the invaluable support of the Ticket to Work program offered by the Social Security Administration and guidance from her Employment Network, Allsup Employment Services, ultimately led her back into the workforce. She was able to secure a position at a local hospital.

This combined federal insurance program – Social Security Disability Insurance and Ticket to Work – serves as a transformative solution for more than 159 million U.S. workers, who are covered for these vital services in the event of a severe, work-disrupting disability.

Indeed, getting approved for SSDI is an attainable goal when equipped with the requisite knowledge and unwavering determination. In combination with Ticket to Work, it facilitates a smooth transition back into the workforce, preserving vital benefits. Surprisingly, nearly 70% of SSDI beneficiaries remain unaware of this invaluable resource. If you find yourself wondering how to qualify for SSDI and aspire to resume working despite health-related obstacles, Verna’s journey shows that it is indeed achievable.

Today, Verna's mission extends beyond her own employment. She dedicates her time to educating others about breast cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and general health. Her message is one of unwavering encouragement: do not lose sight of your aspirations. Even when facing disabilities, opportunities for meaningful employment persist.

Learn more in the full report from CBS 17’s Chloe Rafferty, “Career challenges after cancer: Central NC breast cancer survivor encourages resources, hope.”

Get started with Allsup Employment Services today by calling 866-540-5105. Chat with us at