The Ticket to Work Program and Other Provisions
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
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
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
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