October 16th, 2018

Q: What is Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program?

A: Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) program supports career development for people aged 18-64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work.

This free program helps people with disabilities achieve their employment goals and increase their financial independence by reducing their need for disability benefits.

Through the Ticket program, Pathways to Independence (PTI) will help you develop a customized plan for returning to work by identifying your employment goals as well as the support and services you’ll need to be successful.

Together, we’ll create an agreement called an Individual Work Plan (IWP), which serves as a roadmap to success and describes specific employment services, vocational rehabilitation services and supports to help you achieve financial independence.

Q: What is in My IWP?

A: Every work plan must include:

  • Career Planning: Together we’ll discuss short and long-term employment goals that PTI believes are reasonable. This includes earnings when you start working and earnings you expect to earn when your plan ends.
  • Specific Supports & Services: PTI will explain the short and long-term support we’ll provide to you. These may include career counseling, job search and job placement assistance, resume writing, and benefits counseling. Once you begin work, we can also help maintain employment, find another job, or increase your earnings.
  • An Agreement: Think of this work plan as a contract. We agree to invest time and resources to help you maximize your earnings potential. You agree to follow the plan and make timely progress towards your goal. Once we create your IWP, we’ll both sign it to show we agree on the goals and services. Over time, if you’re not satisfied with your plan or the supports, you may consider revising your agreement.

Q: What is Timely Progress?

A: Timely progress means actively pursuing your employment goals. Social Security reviews your progress regularly to determine if you are making progress toward your work goals within timeframes that your service provider explains to you. Timely Progress Reviews not only consider your work and earnings, but also any training or education you’ve received to help you find and maintain employment. If Social Security determines you are not making timely progress toward your goals, you are subject to a regularly scheduled medical Continuing Disability Review.

Q: What Are My Responsibilities?

A: Your part of the agreement involves meeting responsibilities that PTI will explain to you and help you meet. These differ for everyone depending upon your benefits and what is written in your plan. They include:

  • Actively looking for full time work and responding to communication from PTI.
  • Making timely progress in the program through a combination of education, training, and earnings.
  • Reporting your earning to Social Security and to PTI.
  • Reporting any change in status (employment, marital, living arrangements) to Social Security.

Get Started Today

If you’d like to start creating your own roadmap to success, contact PTI today! We’re available by phone at 503-240-8794 or through our contact page.

Q&A created using assets provided by the Social Security Administration.

Additional Resources