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SOCIAL SECURITY

Fact Sheet

The Ticket to Work Program and Other Provisions of
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act

  • The Ticket to Work Program is the cornerstone of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act.

    • People with disabilities now have more choices and expanded opportunities when attempting to go to work.

      • The Ticket Program provides a Ticket to Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries that may be used to obtain rehabilitation and employment services.

      • An individual may choose to receive services from a public or private service provider in their community.

    • Service providers, called Employment Networks, work with Social Security and SSI beneficiaries to provide assistance designed to help with the transition to work.

    • The Ticket Program is voluntary. People with disabilities who receive a Ticket are not required to work, but may choose to use their Ticket to attempt to work. Likewise, Employment Networks are not required to accept Tickets.

    • The program is being phased in nationally, starting in 13 states in February 2002.

      • The 13 states are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin.

      • Within these 13 states, approximately 2.4 million beneficiaries with disabilities will receive a Ticket. Tickets will be mailed in stages from early February through June 2002.

      • The remaining states will implement the Ticket Program in late 2002 and 2003.

  • In addition to the Ticket to Work Program, other provisions of the law are already in place to help support people with disabilities as they go to work.

  • The law removes barriers that require people with disabilities to choose between health care coverage and work.

    • As of October 2000, Medicare hospital insurance coverage extends for eight years and six months after most Social Security disability beneficiaries go to work. Medicare coverage continues even if an individual no longer receives a monetary benefit from Social Security.

    • Medicaid coverage for SSI disability beneficiaries may be extended. Since Medicaid is a state health benefit, the individual states have the option to expand coverage to SSI beneficiaries who work. State Medicaid offices can provide further information.

  • Beneficiaries may request expedited reinstatement of benefits if their disability benefits have ended because of earnings from work.

    • As of January 2001, people who go to work and then become unable to continue working because of their medical condition may have their benefits started again without filing a new application. The request for expedited reinstatement of benefits, including Medicare and Medicaid, must be made within 5 years after benefits are terminated.

  • Certain disability reviews are postponed while a person with a disability is using a Ticket.

    • Social Security will not conduct a regularly scheduled medical review of a person receiving disability benefits if that person is using a Ticket. Benefits can still be terminated if a beneficiary has substantial earnings (currently defined by regulation as more than $780 per month or more than $1,300 per month for individuals who are blind).

    • As of January 2002, Social Security disability beneficiaries who have received benefits for at least 24 months will not have their disability reviewed solely because of work activity. However, regularly scheduled medical reviews can still be performed and, again, benefits terminated if earnings are substantial.

  • Social Security established a network of community-based organizations in each state to provide benefit planning, assistance and outreach to disability beneficiaries who want to work. These public and private organizations explain Social Security’s work incentive programs and provide direct advice to Social Security and SSI beneficiaries.

  • Social Security established protection and advocacy systems in each state to provide legal advice and services to disability beneficiaries

February 2002

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