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Ticket To Work

 
Picture of a sample ticket to work

Overview of the Ticket to Work Program

Ticket to Work and Working

Other Ticket to Work Programs and Benefit Planning Resources

Contact Information

Timely Progress Requirements


Overview of the Ticket to Work Program

What is "Ticket to Work"?

“Ticket to Work” is a voluntary program of the Social Security Administration for people who receive SSI or SSDI and want assistance to go to work or earn more money. You can assign your Ticket to a service provider in return for vocational services they provide to help you go to work or earn more money.

What is SSI?

SSI is Supplemental Security Income. SSI is a cash assistance payment for people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. The money comes from the general funds of the federal government.

What is SSDI?

SSDI is Social Security Disability Insurance. The money comes from all workers’ federal salary deductions. In addition to being a disabled worker, some people receive SSDI through programs called Social Security Disabled Adult Child (SSDAC), Social Security Childhood Disability Benefit (SSCDB), and /or Social Security Disabled Widows Benefit (SSDWB).
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What are vocational services at DVR?

DVR offers services based on your individual needs and circumstances. They may include: counseling and guidance; job placement services; job coaching; job training; and other specific services required to achieve an employment goal.
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Who will be eligible for Ticket?

Anyone with a disability on SSI or SSDI, 18 to 64 years of age, who receives a cash benefit from SSA will eligible for a Ticket to Work.
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Can I use the Ticket to receive a cash payment?

No, the Ticket does not provide cash payments for vocational services.
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Does it cost anything to use the Ticket?

The Ticket does not cost anything to use.
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Where can I use my ticket

You can use your ticket with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) or you can choose another provider approved by Maximus as an Employment Network (EN).
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What is an Employment Network (EN)?

An Employment Network (EN) is a public or private organization that has agreed to provide employment services to people with disabilities on Social Security benefits. An EN can provide the services you need to work or to earn more wages, at no cost to you. The Ticket Program gives you the opportunity to choose from a variety of ENs.
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Where do I find the ENs providing services in Washington State?

ENs are listed at the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work Employment Network Directory. You can call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (tty) to request a list of ENs.
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Can I use my Ticket at DVR and at another EN at the same time?

No. You can use your Ticket with one entity at a time, either DVR or another EN. Choosing to pursue an Individual Plan to Employment with DVR is choosing to use your Ticket.
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When does "using the Ticket" actually start?

A Ticket is considered “in use” once you sign an Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) or an Individualized Work Plan (IWP) with an Employment Network (EN). You cannot work with DVR and another EN at the same time. If you choose to work with DVR, you can assign your Ticket to another EN when your DVR case is closed.
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How may I benefit if my Ticket is “in use” or “assigned”?

As long as your ticket is “in use” with DVR or assigned to an Employment Network, Social Security will not conduct a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR) to determine whether you meet the medical requirements to continue to receive Social Security benefits.

You will be exempt from CDRs as long as you are making timely progress on your plan to work. Each year, you will need to complete educational or work goals to a certain level to maintain your CDR exemption.
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What is timely progress with the Ticket to Work Program?

See the end of this document for the current definition.
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What if I am already a DVR customer?

If you are already a DVR customer and have a signed Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) with DVR your ticket is considered “in use” by Social Security as long as you are making “timely progress”.
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What happens after DVR helps me find a job and my DVR case is closed?

After your case is closed, you can “assign” your Ticket to an EN (Employment Network). DVR can help you become employed and the EN can provide longer term support to help you maintain employment.

You will need to assign your ticket to an EN within 90 days after your DVR case is closed to maintain your protection from a CDR. Your timely progress timelines still apply.
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How do I choose an EN?

You will need to think about what employment services are most important to you and then talk with different ENs to find which ENs provide the services you need. ENs have the right to choose you, just as you have the right to choose them.
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Ticket to Work and Working

Is there a guarantee that I will get a job if I use my Ticket?

No, there is no guarantee. Both DVR and ENs will partner with you when you are ready to go to work and find employment.
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Can people who are working and eligible for a Ticket use the Ticket to get help with keeping their current job?


Yes. A Ticket is for anyone who is receiving Social Security Benefits, either SSI or SSDI, even if they are already working as long as they are still receiving a cash payment.
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If I use my Ticket, go to work, then lose my job, can I go back and use the Ticket again?


Depending on where you are with your timely progress, you may still be able to use the Ticket. You will need to talk about your specific details with someone from the Ticket to Work Program.
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Whom can I talk to if I am unhappy with the Ticket services I am receiving?

Disability Rights Washington can provide advocacy, legal and other services you may need in using the Ticket.

In Washington, contact:
Disability Rights Washington
315 - Fifth Avenue South, Suite 850
Seattle, WA 98104
*Phone: (206) 324-1521 or in Washington State: (800) 562-2702
TTY: (206) 957-0728 or in Washington State: (800) 905-0209
Fax: (206) 957-0729

*Interpreters Available in over 200 languages via AT&T Language Line
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Other Ticket to Work Programs and Benefit Planning Resources

What is the Medicaid Buy-in Program or Healthcare for Workers with Disabilities (HWD)?


It is one part of the Federal Ticket to Work legislation. It allows States to create a medical program so people with disabilities who are working can buy into Medicaid for their health care coverage. Washington State implemented its Medicaid Buy-In program in January of 2002. In Washington State, it is called Healthcare for Workers with Disabilities (HWD). This program allows you to pay a monthly premium to purchase Medicaid coverage. If you are a Washington State resident with a disability who is working, you could be eligible for this program regardless of Ticket status.
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How do I apply for Healthcare for Workers with Disabilities?

Call (206) 272-2169 or 1 (800) 871-9275 to leave a message with the specialized medical team that completes HWD applications. HWD staff check their direct message line twice a day. You can find more information online at HWD.
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What is benefit planning?

Benefit planning helps you understand the impact of work on your benefits, such as cash, medical, housing, personal care services, and food benefits. A benefit specialist can help you explore work incentives and develop a plan to transition to work.
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How do I find a benefit specialist in my area to help me understand how working will affect my benefits?


There are two options.

  1. DVR has benefits planning services as part of receiving services from DVR.

  2. Work Incentive Planning & Assistance (WIPA) Projects are approved by SSA to help you learn about Social Security work incentives, other employment support programs, provide benefits planning services and evaluate what would be helpful for you. There are two WIPAs serving people receiving SSI and/or Social Security Disability residing in Washington State:

    • Plan to Work
      Statewide: toll-free at 1-866-497-9443 or TTY 1-877-846-0775
      Serves every Washington state county except those served by “Plan for Work” below

    • Plan For Work
      Statewide toll free at 1-800-452-1694 x227 or 503-243-2081 x 227
      Serves ten Southern Washington counties: Pacific, Lewis, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Clark, Skamania, Klickitat, Benton, Franklin, and Walla Walla

Some County Developmental Disabilities programs also offer benefit planning. Check with your Case Manager at the Developmental Disabilities Administration to find out if these services are available in your area.
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Additional Contact Information

For general information

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Timely Progress Requirements

What are the changes to the Timely Progress Requirements?

SSA conducts timely progress reviews to assure that SSA beneficiaries are making progress toward greater self-sufficiency. If it is determined that a beneficiary is not making timely progress, the Continuing Disability Review protection is removed. No loss of benefits or other negative consequence is imposed.

Timely progress requirements can be met in several different ways at different periods: work activity, completion of high school diploma or GED, participation in a degree or certificate program and participation in a technical, trade or vocational program (see table below). It is also possible to meet the timely progress goals through partial completion of the work requirement with partial completion of post-secondary education requirement or vocational or technical training requirement. SSA will determine what percentage of the work requirement and education/training requirement have been met. If those percentages are equal to or greater than 100%, timely progress requirements have been met.
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Timely Progress Chart

12 Month Review Period Work Requirement Degree or Certification Program Technical, Trade or Vocational Program
Year 1
(after 12 months of ticket use)
3 out of 12 months, Trial Work Period (TWP) earnings Obtain high school diploma or GED
or 60% of full time course load for 1 year
60% of full time course load for 1 year
Year 2
(13th – 24th month of ticket use)
6 out of 12 months, TWP earnings 75% of full time course load for 1 year 75% of full time course load for 1 year
Year 3
(25th – 36th month of ticket use)
9 out of 12 months with Substantial Gainful Activity (“SGA”) earnings Completed a 2 year program, or, for 4 year program, completed additional academic year of full time study Completed the program
Year 4
(37th – 48th month of ticket use)
9 out of 12 months at SGA Completed additional academic year of full time study  
Year 5
(49th -60th month of ticket use)
6 out of 12 months at SGA level with no SSI and/or SSDI cash benefits in months worked Completed an additional academic year of full time study or completed 4 year degree program  
Year 6
(61st – 72nd month of ticket use)
6 out of 12 months at SGA level with no SSI and/or SSDI cash benefits in months worked Completed 4 year degree program  
Year 7
[every remaining 12 months of ticket use]
6 out of 12 months at SGA level with no SSI and/or SSDI cash benefits in months worked    
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