Social Security Administration's Ticket To Work

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ticket to Work program?

Adults who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to a disability may be eligible for the Ticket To Work (TTW) program.  If you are eligible for a Ticket To Work, you select a provider agency from an approved list – Vocational Rehabilitation or another Employment Network (EN) approved by SSA.  These agencies work to help you reach your employment goals and enter or re-enter employment.

What is an Employment Network?

Private organizations or government agencies (like Vocational Rehabilitation) that have agreed to work with Social Security to provide employment services and other support to beneficiaries with disabilities and state vocational rehabilitation agencies.

Do I have to participate in the Ticket Program?

No. The Ticket To Work program is free and voluntary.  You do not have to pay for services and there is no penalty for not participating.   The goal is to help people receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to disability obtain employment and work toward greater independence and increased self-sufficiency.

Do I need to have the paper Ticket sent to me by Social Security to participate in the program?

No, you do not need to have the paper ticket to start working with an approved provider of vocational services and supports called an Employment Network (EN). The EN or state vocational rehabilitation agency you select can contact the Operations Support Manager, MAXIMUS, to verify your eligibility to participate in the program.

Can I work with my state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agency as well as another participating Employment Network (EN) provider at the same time?

No. Your ticket is assigned to one organization at a time.  However, once you complete your program and have your case closed, your ticket may be assignable to a different EN for further services.  Ticket assignability is only available to one organization at a time.

If I have decided to choose the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services as my provider under the TTW, how do I get started?

This website lists office contacts for the various services and locations at www.rehab.alabama.gov/Office-Locations. Select "Vocational Rehabilitation Service" under the services option, then select your county of residence from the drop down box list.  The office that serves your county will be indicated with street address, phone, toll free number, fax number and TTY contact.  Call and request an appointment with a rehabilitation counselor.

What are the other benefits for me if I decide to use my Ticket?

While your Ticket is assigned to a provider and you are meeting SSA’s definition of timely progress, Social Security cannot perform a medical "Continuing Disability Review"(CDR) to determine whether you continue to have a disability.  So, only your earnings from work can affect your benefit eligibility.

What is a Timely Progress Review?

Once you have selected an agency to help you achieve your employment goal and your Ticket To Work is placed “in use” with the state vocational rehabilitation agency or is “assigned” to an Employment Network Provider, the Social Security Administration (SSA) cannot perform a medical "Continuing Disability Review" (CDR) to determine whether you continue to have a disability.  However, once you place a TTW "in use," SSA conducts periodic reviews every 12 months to determine if you are making adequate progress toward your vocational goal. If you are not meeting SSA's standard at the time of the Timely Progress Review, you may be placed back in rotation for a CDR.

How can I find out more information about the Ticket To Work program, other Employment Networks, and resources?

More information can be found at www.yourtickettowork.com or at www.ssa.gov/work.

How do I get my Ticket To Work unassigned from the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services?

For vocational rehabilitation agencies to submit a request for ticket unassignment, your case must be closed.  If your case is still open, you should contact your counselor and request case closure.  The counselor notifies the state VR TTW coordinator and the information is transmitted to SSA.

If I do go to work, how much may I earn (wages from employment or self-employment) before it will affect the amount of my monthly benefits?

This will vary for each individual. This is due in part to the fact that you can subtract certain amounts from your gross earnings by taking advantage of Social Security work incentives. For more information on Social Security work incentives, check out the Social Security Red Book at www.ssa.gov/redbook.

How can I get help calculating how wages impact my benefits or other work incentives?

The Social Security Administration publishes the SSA Red Book, which outlines work incentives available to SSDI beneficiaries and SSI recipients, at www.ssa.gov/redbook.  The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services offers benefits counseling by trained, qualified benefits counselors who can discuss the work incentives with you.

How do I find a benefits counselor with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services?

Call the toll-free Benefits Counseling Information and Referral line at 1-877-816-4607.  A trained and certified community work incentive counselor will be glad to discuss your options.