(NAPSI)—It may be easier for people with disabilities to achieve financial independence than they realize with Social Security’s free and voluntary Ticket to Work (Ticket) program. Adults ages 18 through 64 who receive who Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to a disability qualify. The program connects eligible individuals with Ticket program service providers—Employment Networks (EN) or State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies—that can help with career counseling and job search assistance. Some can also help people understand how work will affect their benefits.
For example, Matt, who received SSDI due to hearing loss and other medical issues, was ready to explore work. He connected with an EN and created an employment goal of finding a job in the human services field and a plan to achieve it. Because he needed a sign language interpreter to work, Matt was uncertain about his prospects. If he asked an employer for things other candidates didn’t need, would it hurt his chances? In addition, the thought of losing his benefits worried him. What would happen if his disability interfered with work? Matt’s EN put his concerns to rest.
His EN told him about his right under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to request that an employer provide reasonable accommodations. These are adjustments that make it possible for a qualified employee with a disability to perform a job. Matt was reassured that good employers would comply with the ADA.
Next, Matt learned about Social Security’s Work Incentives. These rules and programs make it easier for people to work by allowing them to maintain their benefits as they start working. Matt was relieved that he would not immediately lose his SSDI or Medicare when he began working. He’d have time to see how employment would work for him.
With many of his concerns addressed, Matt pursued his goal and started working as a Human Resources Assistant. “I am in a supportive environment and position that [are right] for me,” he said, “...now I can afford things I could not have before.”
Matt’s work gives him the stability to build the future he wants. In 2019, he purchased a home, an achievement that seemed so remote years ago. Ticket to Work made it possible. Matt made it happen.
This could be the year to find out what’s possible for you. To learn more, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET or visit https://choosework.ssa.gov.