OPA: Ticket to Work


PABSS, Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security, is a federal program funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and administered by the Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (P&A). The program is designed to provide the following services to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries:

Information and advice about obtaining vocational rehabilitation and employment services.

Advocacy and other services SSDI or SSI beneficiaries may need to secure and maintain employment.

Assistance in understanding the provisions of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act.

If you have more questions or would like additional information, call PABSS at (860) 297-4300 (Voice) (860) 297-4380 (TTY) or 1-800-842-7303 (Voice/TTY)


This booklet attempts to explain your rights under state and/or federal law and is not intended to offer substantive legal advice which can only be provided by an attorney.


Q. What is the Ticket to Work?

The Ticket to Work is a new program of the Social Security Administration (SSA). The program provides some people with disabilities new choices about which agencies can help them get ready to go to work and find a job. Before the Ticket To Work Program, the only option for people with disabilities who needed help preparing to work was the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) or, if legally blind, the Board of Education Services for the Blind (BESB). Now, with the Ticket to Work Program, many people with disabilities on SSI or SSDI can also obtain services from a variety of Employment Networks (ENs).

Q. What is an Employment Network (EN)?

Employment Networks can include:

Any agency that wants to provide support to individuals using the Ticket.

The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) and the Board of Education Services for the Blind, which are required to provide services under the Ticket Program.

Q. Who will get a "Ticket?"

People with disabilities on SSI or SSDI between the ages of 18 and 64; and,

People who have had at least one Continuing Disability Review (CDR); and,

People for whom it has been determined no medical improvement is expected.

If you do get a Ticket but do not meet eligibility requirements, your Ticket is invalid. This means that you do not qualify for the program and cannot use your Ticket.

Q. When can I expect to get my Ticket?

Social Security began mailing Tickets in November 2002.

New tickets continue to be mailed to individual social security beneficiaries as they become eligible for the Ticket to Work Program.

Q. If I donít get a ticket right away and I want to use it now, how can I get one?

Maximus is the company chosen by Social Security to manage the Ticket to Work Program. Just make a toll free call to Maximus at 1-866-968-7842 (1-866-yourticket) (Voice) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY). You can also contact Maximus through its website at www.yourtickettowork.com.

Q. What does Maximus do?

Certifies Employment Networks.

Provides consumer information about the availability of Employment Networks.

Registers your Ticket when you place it with an Employment Network.

Helps resolve disputes between ticket holders and Employment Networks.

Q. How can an EN help me?

ENs offer a number of services including:

Job training;

Job placement;

Career strategies/job coaching;

A variety of other services.

Q. Can I still go to BRS or BESB for services?

Absolutely. BRS and BESB still offer the same vocational services.

Q. Does getting a Ticket mean that I must go back to work?

No. Returning to work is completely voluntary. No one is saying that you will be cut from SSI or SSDI if you do not go to work.

Think of the Ticket as an invitation that will provide you with some new kinds of support if you choose to work.

Q. What is the advantage of using the Ticket?

People with disabilities on SSI/SSDI are subject to periodic Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs). This means that periodically SSA will review if you are still disabled enough to stay on benefits. If you participate in the Ticket to Work program, you will not be subject to Continuing Disability Reviews.

Q. What should I do if I decide that I want to use my Ticket to Work?

Contact Maximus for the names of local ENs and how to get in touch with them. Once you have this information, you can begin the process of selecting an EN. (See our booklet Using Your Ticket to Work: Working with Employment Networks for more information on ENs and how to choose one)

Q. What happens once I choose an EN?

Each EN works a little bit differently, but this is what you might expect.

First, you and the EN will decide that there is a good fit between you. That is, you both agree that the EN has services that will help you work. The EN will also verify that you are eligible to participate in the Ticket Program.

Together, you and EN staff will develop an Individualized Work Plan (IWP). An IWP is a written plan that maps out what you need to do to get a job and how the EN will help you do this.

Q. What should I do if Iím not happy with my EN?

It is possible to switch to another EN. We recommend that you do everything that you can to resolve your difficulties with your EN first.

This might involve talking to the EN staff member who handles your case, talking to his/her supervisor, or contacting Maximus or PABSS. If the problem or dispute is resolvable, staying with the same EN will save you time and energy.

Q. What if Iím not ready to go to work but may be ready in the future?

If you want to get ready to go back to work eventually, but not yet, you should wait to use the Ticket.

Q. Does the Ticket expire?

No. You are under no pressure to use it right away. As long as the program exists, you may use your Ticket.

Q. What if I lose my Ticket?

This is not a problem. Contact Maximus for a replacement. You do not need the piece of paper called "The Ticket" to receive services.

Q. Can I sell my ticket or redeem it for cash value?

No. The Ticket is an invitation to participate in a new Social Security program. It has no monetary value and is not redeemable for cash.

Q. What happens to my benefits when I get a job?

This is a complicated question to answer. It depends on many things, such as: your wages, your use of past trial work periods, and other factors. For an individualized answer you should contact the Connect to Work Center at 1-800-773-4636.

Q. What happens if I lose my job?

If you lose your job, you are automatically reinstated on to your social security benefits. Social Security will then conduct an assessment to determine if you are still eligible for your disability benefits.

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Content Last Modified on 1/12/2016 3:38:31 PM