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What is the SSD Ticket to Work program?

Social Security disability benefits provide a financial lifeline to those who are unable to work on account of their medical condition. For many Americans, these benefits last years, even decades, ensuring they have the stability they need to live a normal life. Yet, the program is meant to be temporary, providing cash benefits only until a disabled individual is unable to enter the workforce. The task can be challenging for disabled individuals, though, especially since going back to work could jeopardize their benefits and risk leaving them in a worse financial position.

This is why the Ticket to Work program has been created by the Social Security Administration. The program, which is available to those between the ages of 18 and 64, seeks to give disabled individuals the resources they need to obtain financial independence. This assistance comes in the form of career development services and access to employment networks. Those who choose to enter the program have their benefits protected for a period of time, and those who enter this voluntary program are able to return to their benefits if they decide they are unable to work.

So why would a disabled individual choose to enter the Ticket to Work program? The Social Security Administration states that many disabled individuals are able to obtain a higher standard of living by going back to work. The SSA also seems to feel that disabled individuals will have a sense of purpose and fulfillment if they leave the benefits roll and find their own means of making money.

Although the Ticket to Work program can be beneficial for some individuals, it's not right for everyone. Some people are too disabled to work, and that's okay. These individuals should continue to reap the benefits they have been deemed to deserve, but they should also prepare themselves for a reevaluation of their disability. For this, it may be wise to turn toward legal assistance.

Source: Social Security Administration, "About Ticket to Work," accessed on Apr. 17, 2017

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