Disability, General, Medicare

Disability: Part of the Equity Equation

October 27, 2022 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: October 28, 2022

AmyEveryday people with disabilities play an important role in a diverse and inclusive workforce. In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we’d like to tell you about Amy and her path to financial independence through work.

Meet Amy

Amy has a developmental disability that affects her speech, learning, and social interactions. When she was ready to find a path to financial independence through work, Amy turned to her State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency for help. Amy’s VR counselor told her about Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program.

The Ticket Program supports career development for people with disabilities who want to work. Adults ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) qualify for this free and voluntary program. Through the Ticket Program, service providers offer free employment support services.

Amy had questions about how employment could affect her benefits. Her State VR counselor connected her with Full Circle Employment Solutions. Full Circle is an Employment Network (EN) with benefits counselors on staff who explained how working might affect her disability benefits.

Amy’s benefits counselor also told her about Work Incentives. Work Incentives make it easier for adults with disabilities to enhance their job skills and gain work experience. They do so while receiving Medicaid or Medicare and Social Security or SSI benefits.

With a better understanding of these supports, Amy was ready to explore her employment options. She pursued an internship with Project SEARCH, a training program for young adults with developmental disabilities. Through Project SEARCH, Amy landed an internship that led to a permanent position with her local government.

Amy earned her way to financial independence and no longer receives SSI. Now, she’s a union member, receives benefits through her job, and enjoys the security and stability that come with full-time employment. She’s grateful for the support she received through the Ticket Program and looks forward to building the future she always hoped for.

“This job makes me feel needed and welcomed,” she says. “I have learned about what motivates me and how to keep going, even when things get hard.”

Learn More

To learn more about the Ticket Program, visit choosework.ssa.gov where you also can see a list of service providers. Or you can 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, and ask for a list of service providers.

You can also learn more by registering for a free, online Work Incentives Seminar Event webinar. Or you can text TICKET to 474747 to receive Ticket Program texts. Standard messaging rates may apply, and you can opt out at any time.

Please share this information with friends and family who need it.

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  1. Jan I.

    I was judged “disabled” by a judge in NY. I remember him saying to me that “ no one can ever take it away from you”. How can you change it now, is it legal?

    I am not able to get the help I need because I cannot get Duel Medicare.

    Jan Irvine

  2. Tony

    When making policies you have to look at the definitions.

    A “disabled individual” as define by Section 1614 (42 U.S.C. 1382c). This individual cannot perform any substantial gainful activity.

    An “eligible individual” as define by Section 1619 (42 U.S.C. 1382h) This individual a disabled individual who has performed substantial gainful activity.

    The eligible individual is not a disabled individual because a disabled individual cannot perform any substantial gainful activity.

    If you look at the title of Section 1619, then you will see that it is “Benefits for individuals” and not “Benefits for disabled individuals.”

    How long does benefits last for a individual who is not disabled? Does subsequent month mean subsequent months or is it just one month?

    Why has the SSA changed the definition of disabled individual and exempt SSI from Step 1 of the CDR process for substantial gainful activity?

  3. Tony

    In Section 1619(a), eligible individuals shall qualify for a monthly benefit under this subsection for such subsequent month.

    Does subsequent month mean subsequent months and they can collect this benefit forever while working Substantial Gainful Activity? Or does it mean only one month?

    The SSA made policies that are not even written in Section 1619.

    Public Law 99-643 (Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act) amended Sections 1619(a) and 1619(b) of the Social Security Act. The law provides that disability benefits for Title XVI recipients will not cease due to performance of substantial gainful activity (SGA). The law eliminated SGA as a basis for cessation, the trial work period (TWP), and extended period of eligibility (EPE) provisions for Title XVI recipients. Title XVI disability recipients who work will continue to remain eligible for disability when earnings exceed SGA amounts, see SI 02302.200 (unless earnings exceed the State or individual threshold amounts). See SSA POMS DI 13005.016

    The SSA minus well eliminated the definition of disability for SSI beneficiaries.

    • Tony

      Why is the SSA ceasing people SSI benefits for working SGA? The SSA is violating their own policies.

  4. Tony

    Step 1 of the CDR for disabled beneficiaries applies to both SSDI and SSI.

    Public Law 99-643 doesn’t exempt people under Section 1611 from performing SGA.

    Public Law 99-643 only provide cash benefit for one subsequent month after their benefits cease due to SGA. The “cash benefit” is not SSI. The one month of cash benefit is paid as if they were receiving SSI.

    Substantial Gainful Activity is an earnings test under Step 1 of the CDR. The field office make this decision and not the State DDS. It is not a medical decision.

    The SSA is stupid. They don’t know that STEP 1 is first and it doesn’t require medical evidence. You don’t go to the other steps and then go back to STEP 1.

    Under SSR 84-25, SGA-level work lasting more than 6 months cannot be a UWA regardless of why it ended or was reduced to the non-SGA level.

    If they perform SGA level work which is an earning test for more than 6 months, then their disability ceases at Step 1. It was a successful work attempt.

    The trial work period doesn’t protect them from having their benefit cease before the 9 months is completed. SEE 20 C.F.R. 404.1592(e)(3)

    They have to reapply for SSDI and SSI. For those on SSDI, they can only reapply if their work credits have not expired the date after their benefit ceased.

  5. taksafir

    Thanks for your very good explanation.
    By the way, I posted some points from your article on my website.

    • Tony

      Under Public Law 99-643 section 1619(a) is titled “Cash Benefits” and not ” Section 1611(SSI)”

      To be eligible for cash benefits under Section 1619(a), their benefit under SSI must cease due to SGA.

      “Cash Benefits” under Section 1619(a) is not Section 1611(SSI) benefits.

      Their SSI benefit has to cease due to SGA before they are eligible for Section 1619(a) cash benefits. Even the old law before it was amended stated the SSI had to cease before they were eligible.

      The SSA policies violates this law by skipping the part where the SSA ceases the SSI benefits due to SGA and just awards them Section 1619(a) cash benefits without having their SSI benefits cease due to SGA..

      The SSA misinterpret Public Law 99-643 in policy SSA POMS DI 28005.015. The SSA is violating the law by exempting SSI beneficiaries from Step 1 of the CDR process and not ceasing SSI benefits due to SGA

  6. Tony

    The Ticket-To-Work(TTW) program is an expensive program that cost taxpayers money to pay the Employment Networks or the State Rehabilitation Services.

    The jobs in the TTW should all be SGA earning level. TTW should not be below SGA earning level. It is called a TTW and not a Trial Work Period.

    SSI beneficiaries are not eligible for a Trial Work Period. When the SSI beneficiaries participate in the TTW, there is no Trial Work Period.

    Originally, the determination as to whether a person engaged in SGA was based on criteria as to the energies, responsibilities, skills, hours, earnings, regularity and related factors pertaining to the work performed. Later it was found that this method was not satisfactory because it frequently resulted in inconsistent decisions. It was decided that earnings provided an objective and feasible measurement of work. Therefore, an earnings test was established and it has been the primary SGA guide since 1958. SEE SSR 83-33

    The far left somehow got the SSA to pass policies that violates the federal public law.

    Public Law 99-643 (the Employment Opportunities for Disabled Americans Act) amended sections 1619(a) and 1619(b) of the Social Security Act.

    Public Law 99-643 provides that the SSA will not cease Title XIX(Medicaid) for SSI beneficiaries who perform SGA.

    Section 1619(a) and 1619(b) is amendment to Medicaid. It is not amendment to Section 1611 which is SSI.

    The far left got the SSA to misinterpret the public law to mean the SSA will not cease Title XVI(SSI) for SSI beneficiaries who perform SGA.

    The far left effectively eliminated STEP 1 of the CDR process for SSI beneficiaries making it more difficult for taxpayers to cease SSI.

    STEP 1 of both the initial and CDR is an earnings test call SGA.

    Under SSR 84-25, SGA-level work lasting more than 6 months cannot be a UWA regardless of why it ended or was reduced to the non-SGA level.

    If the SSI beneficiaries complete more than 6 months SGA in the Ticket-To-Work, then their benefits would cease and they will need to request Expedited Reinstatement or apply for SSI again.

    Their Medicaid will continue until their Expedited Reinstatement is denied. Their Medicaid would cease if they submit a new application instead of reinstatement.

    • Tony

      The policy I was referring to is SSA POMS DI 28005.015.

      How can Title II (SSDI) cease due to SGA and Title XVI (SSI) continue?

      It is suppose to be Title XIX (Medicaid) and not Title XVI (SSI).

    • Tony

      Section 1619(a) cash benefit is just for one subsequent month after their SSI ceased due to SGA just like Title II (SSDI) get two month after their benefits ceased due to SGA.

      It state subsequent “month” and not “months” The SSI beneficiaries only get one month which is paid as if they were receiving SSI.

  7. Alisa

    Well, I am glad there is some sort of help because people with any kind of disability, even if it doesn’t show outwardly, are targeted for mean and cruel treatment by coworkers and management alike at some jobs. People are cruel and I have met with many that truly made me not want to even try to work because they did not understand me or that I was working hard and care about the kind of job I do. It is hard to stand up for myself, or try to ignore mean comments and it makes me feel so bad.

  8. Georgene E.

    I tried this ticket to work but they took out more than I could survive so I quit my job to get what they gave me .

    • amby

      Exactly!!! Plus when someone takes advantage of going back to school just be aware that when you graduate they expect you will be able to do more than just menial labor. Be very careful and read all the fine print before signing anything

  9. Maureen M.

    This is pure BS! Race/ Color, sick of that card being played!

    • Donna S.

      What’s BS??

  10. hecham k.


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