January 11, 2023

What Is Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program?

The journey to financial independence doesn’t have to be overwhelming after a medical condition disrupts your career.

Allsup Employment Services (AES) helps former workers with disabilities return to work as participants in the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work (TTW) Program. You can become eligible for this employment assistance as a result of filing a claim and receiving approval for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Each year, about 2 million former workers apply for SSDI due to severe disability. With approval for disability benefits, SSDI participants receive monthly income, eligibility for Medicare after 24 months, and access to free Ticket to Work assistance.

At AES, our case managers provide free resources and services nationwide to help SSDI recipients who have reached medical stability to prepare for a return to employment. The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees TTW, and AES is here to connect you to the resources you need to find a meaningful career. Here's how it works.

What Is The Ticket to Work Program?

The SSA started the Ticket to Work Program to help Americans with disabilities in response to legislation by Congress. The value of SSDI, including monthly income and free employment assistance, is crucial for U.S. workers. About 7 million adults are eligible for TTW because they receive SSDI benefits.

The Ticket to Work program provides services such as:

  • Career counseling.
  • Job referrals.
  • Résumé assistance.
  • Interview preparation.
  • Job search assistance.

The assistance and services are free, and you'll continue to receive your benefits while you're in the program.

The Ticket To Work Network

The SSA collaborates with vocational rehabilitation agencies, employment networks and workforce development organizations as part of TTW. These organizations provide employment services and other resources to job seekers.

Employment Networks (EN)

An Employment Network (EN) is authorized by the SSA to provide services and can include:

  • Nonprofit organizations.
  • Government agencies.

An EN like Allsup Employment Services coordinates services for job seekers once they place their ticket with the EN. Then TTW participants can receive assistance with job placement and transition into their new roles.

Who Qualifies For Ticket to Work?

The Ticket to Work Program is available to anyone ages 18 to 64 who currently receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or SSDI due to a disability. Some job seekers may be aware that the program formerly relied on paper tickets sent by mail. But paper tickets are no longer required. Instead, your eligibility can be verified by your preferred service provider.

How Ticket To Work Impacts Your Benefits

The value of Ticket to Work is that participants will continue to receive their benefits, including their SSDI income and Medicare coverage, while they attempt to work. The program also ensures that you continue to receive Medicare (medical coverage) once you earn enough to stop receiving SSDI payments.

Those who currently receive Medicare coverage can continue to receive coverage for at least 93 months after the last month of the Trial Work Period. Learn more about the Trial Work Period.

How To Get Started

Getting started is easy if you qualify for the Ticket to Work program.

1.     Verify your eligibility. You can verify your eligibility by calling the Ticket to Work Help Line (866-968-7842). A live customer service agent will explain the program and answer your questions. Or, you can call Allsup Employment Services at 866-540-5105 to determine your eligibility. 

2.     Select your service provider. You can use the Find Help tool on the SSA website to search for providers. You can also reach out to AES to learn more about our services and the process of assigning your ticket to us. Call AES at 866 540-5105 or request a call.

The SSA provides a worksheet on finding an EN, if you’d like to download it.

Develop A Plan

Assigning your ticket means that you have selected a provider. Once you select the provider that fits your needs, you can work toward developing a plan for moving forward.

You and your service provider (or case manager) will work together to create a plan to help you reach your occupational goals. Your case manager can help guide your progress toward these goals. Your plan might include such goals as:

  • Completing educational/training requirements.
  • Working at a certain salary level.
  • Identifying skills from prior work that you can use in a new job.
  • Preparing your job application materials (resume, work history, etc.).

Along the way, you may be expected to make timely progress, which means you'll have benchmarks to meet on your journey toward independence. The timeline is based on your unique situation, and you can work with your EN to create a plan that fits you. Once your plan is complete, you can review and sign it, as you get started with your return to work.

Get The Employment Assistance You Deserve With Allsup Employment Services

Allsup Employment Services specializes in helping SSDI recipients return to work. We are an SSA-authorized Employment Network, providing free resources and services to beneficiaries nationwide through the Ticket to Work program.

At AES, it’s our mission to help former workers with disabilities rejoin the workforce after recovering from illness or injury. We have helped thousands of clients, and your first step toward financial independence can begin today.

To learn more, visit AllsupEmploymentServices.com or @AllsupESWork. Call AES at (866) 540-5105 or request a call.

Written by

Diane Winiarski