Let Social Security Help Guide You Back To Work

September 19, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: September 19, 2016

ticket to workThere’s no denying that we all need a helping hand every now and then. Whether it’s to change a tire, move into a new home, or build a tree house, knowing someone is there to lend a hand is always reassuring. Social Security offers this same assurance to all those we serve each day, including beneficiaries with disabilities. When you’re ready to return to work or work for the first time, we’re here.

Our Ticket to Work program offers beneficiaries with disabilities access to meaningful employment. Employment occurs with the assistance of Ticket to Work employment service providers called Employment Networks. The primary goals of employment networks are to assist you with a variety of work-related tasks to prepare you for the workforce. Our beneficiaries get help finding a job and staying employed, as well as instruction on their wage-reporting responsibilities to Social Security. Ultimately, they assist in guiding you back to work!

The program is free, voluntary, and offers help to people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits. If you’re interested in this program, we’re here to provide support throughout your journey. In fact, this program focuses on your financial independence. Beneficiaries go to work, get a good job that may lead to a career, and become financially independent.

One major benefit of this career starter is that as a beneficiary, you’re able to keep your cash benefits and Medicare or Medicaid. Throughout your transition to work, there are protections in place to help you return to benefits if you find you’re unable to continue working due to your disability.

Take advantage of the Ticket to Work program today, as you connect the right mix of free employment support services and approved service providers that best fit your needs. If you’re ready for the workforce, we’re ready to help guide you all the way!

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About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications


  1. John M.

    where do I find guidelines about how much I can work/make before it affects my bennifits? I want to know the specific dollar amout I can bring in weekly / monthly.

    • Kenny O.

      Hello John. See our “Getting Benefits While Working” web page for information on this topic. Hope this helps. Thanks!

  2. Donna H.

    I am back to work Part time 17.5 hr. woeek

    • Ray F.

      Hello Donna.

      Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot update information on your record.

      The law requires you to report your wages when you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or if you get Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI).
      Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  3. Brett j.

    I’m on SSA benefits ,I receive 853.00 per month,I’ve be offered a light effort job for which I will receive 600.00 per month in income,I’ll work 15 hours a week,60 hours per month,can I still receive my disability benefit monthly,or will I lose this income. Thank you

    • Ray F.

      Hello Brett. A person may still be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program if they work. However, their earnings cannot exceed a certain amount. This is called the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. In 2018, the SGA limit is $1,180 per month (or $1,970 for blind applicants). In addition to the amount of money you make, Social Security may also look at the number of hours you’re able to work.
      For more information visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability. We hope this information helps, thanks!

  4. Cynthia P.

    I’m disabled and would like help finding part time work.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Cynthia: See our Frequently Asked Questions web page on how you can work while receiving Social Security disability benefits.

  5. Ernest J.

    I was placed on partial disability for COPD AND bi-polar disorder. I would like to know the what percentage of disability I am on. I know it is not full disability. How much can I legally earn per month? I have already read and printed the information on monthly reporting of my income.

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Ernest. Social Security pays disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. No benefits are payable for partial or short-term disability.

      Social Security does have special rules called “work incentives” that can help you keep your disability benefits while you test your ability to work. There are different work incentives based on the type of disability benefit that you’re receiving. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. For more information about the ways we can help you return to work, check out our brochure “Working While Disabled: How We Can Help” and visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability for more information.

      If you have specific questions about your situation, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask one of our representatives to assist you.

  6. John E.

    My Doctor released me 5/31/18. Now I’m looking for employment. I have some limitations, but for the most part – I can do most things. I had my own Dairy Delivery business for over 20 years; my last job was as a Account Executive in Sales & Marketing. Please contact me – I need a job as soon as possible. Thank you

  7. Kristl G.

    I am unable to sustain a comfortable living and would like to meet someone to discuss the ticket to work program.

  8. ROBIN H.

    I am at a loss for words I was granted SSdi three years and a few minutes the ago just found out it was 100 percent disabilities it is unacceptable I have been trying for more ths to get an appointment I have one this week it is unbelievable that a government system never sent me anything I am not in my eyes 100 percent disabled never ever said that I am an amputee with severe arthritis I hope I get answers I’ll pay every penny back I’m at a loss for words how this can happen I can’t even get an access code to sign in horrible thing but like I said how did I get approved when it was a secondary disability with repetition and weight issue and I had surgery made it worse but I’m tough hope social security finds better avenues to fix no communication while approving 100 percent disability

  9. Robert S.

    I am almost 78 and I have had a 7 bypass heart surgery and then recently 2 new stents put in. They tell me there is nothing else that can be done to save my heart.
    Then I find out that I have prostate cancer. I have yet to hear what the medical procedures are going to be put into place to fight it. I have lost 20 pounds. However, I am still going to work to sell furniture……on my feet 8-10 hours a day. I know I can’t do this much longer.
    How do I apply for disability and is it in place of my social security?

    • Ray F.

      We are sorry to hear of your medical difficulties, Robert. Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries attain their full retirement age. If a person has reached his or her full retirement age (Currently 66 + 4 Months) and is receiving Social Security retirement, they will not be eligible for disability benefits.
      We hope this helps to clarify this issue.

  10. Lynn B.

    looking for help on retraining for a different job as a senior. I have a bad back and standing is very difficult for me, I used to be able to take four hours and now I can’t do that. I need help. I don’t get enough to pay my bills and buy food. Being in retail the hours are cut more and more each week. Please help.

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