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What is the SSA’s “Ticket to Work” program?

Many people in the United States receive Social Security Disability benefits. Those people may be aware that the Social Security Administration offers certain work incentives to people who continue working or return to work despite their disabilities. The purpose of those incentives is to encourage people to work and to be independent without the fear of losing existing SSD benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits, Medicare and Medicaid.

The SSA’s “Ticket to Work” program is a popular work incentive and it offers relief, such as the Trial Work Period, Expedited Reinstatement and Protection from Medical Continuing Disability Reviews. With the TWP, a recipient continues to receive benefits for the first nine months of employment irrespective of how much that person earns. With EXR, recipients whose payments were stopped because of increased income can have their benefits reinstated. The CDR incentive excuses beneficiaries from undergoing a disability review if that person is covered by the provisions of the TTW program.

However, it is important to remember that those incentives, like others, may or may not apply to both SSD benefits and SSI benefits. That means that while there are some incentives that are applicable to both SSD and SSI benefits, others are only applicable to one of the two. For example, CDR and EXR are applicable to both SSD and SSI recipients, but TWP is only applicable to SSD benefit recipients.

The TTW program is among several other work incentive programs that the SSA conducts in order to help disabled individuals regain their economic independence. However, although the process to obtain incentives under these programs may seem clear on paper, the reality is that many people face a number of difficulties because of the many complications that they have to encounter when they try to obtain the benefits. Therefore, it may be a wise decision for the applicant to get more information about the programs.

Source: ChooseWorkTTW.net, “Work Incentives,” Accessed on May 6, 2015

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