Ticket to Work Frequently Asked Questions

“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.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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    

The Ticket does not cost anything to use.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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.

No, there is no guarantee. Both DVR and ENs will partner with you when you are ready to go to work and find employment.

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.

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. See bottom of the page for additional contact information.