Ticket to Work Works

March 3, 2016 • By

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Last Updated: March 3, 2016

Man in wheelchair after acident at work. Worker suffering from an illness.If you’re currently receiving Social Security disability benefits and you think you are ready to work, our Ticket to Work program can help. Ticket to Work is our free and voluntary program that helps you get vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals, and other employment support services.

This program is for individuals ages 18 to 64, who are receiving disability benefits and need support re-entering the workforce or working for the first time. While many disabled individuals are unable to work, we know that some of you want to try. Work incentives make it easier to work and still receive health care and cash benefits from Social Security while providing protections if you have to stop working due to your disability.

Social Security works with employment networks to offer beneficiaries access to meaningful employment. Employment networks are organizations and agencies, including state vocational rehabilitation agencies, that provide various employment support services. Some services they may help you with include résumé writing, interviewing skills, and job leads.

Ticket to Work gives you the opportunity to choose from several employment networks. You’re free to talk with as many employment networks as you want before choosing one. If you sign an agreement with an employment network, they’ll help you develop an employment plan. We’ll review your progress for achieving the goals of your employment plan every 12 months. If you’re making timely progress in your return to work plan, we will not conduct a medical review of your disability during the time you’re in the program.

Many people have successfully completed the Ticket to Work program, and are now enjoying fulfilling careers and earning more income for their families. If this sounds like your goal for the future, you may want to explore this program to see if it’s right for you.

If you are interested in the Ticket to Work program, please call the Ticket to Work Helpline toll-free at 1-866-968-7842 (TTY 1-866-833-2967). You can also get more information on the program online at www.socialsecurity.gov/work or www.choosework.net.

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About the Author

Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


  1. Kesla S.

    I call and sent in 2 letters too have them wave my overpayment I’m homeless and do too the COVID I’m doing really bad now I had a phone interview and was hung up on I never received a answer about the waver I put in and there still taking like $79.30 are close too that amount I’ve did everything I’m barely making it

    • Vonda

      Hi Kesla, we are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing in working with Social Security. Please continue to work with your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. sherry a.

    I started a job 6 1/2 mos after I found a job. I was on ssdi….. did I need a ticket to work.. I am 66 yr old now.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Sherry. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  3. Alvin

    How much can I earn if I start working that it will not mess up my SSD

    • Ray F.

      Thank you for your question Alvin. Social Security strongly supports those individuals who want to return to the work force while supplementing their disability benefit income.
      We have Work Incentives that allow people to work and still receive their benefits. A person may still be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance 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. We hope this information helps.

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