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How It Works

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How It Works

Link to an ASL introduction Ticket to Work program video

You became eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work program when you started receiving SSDI or SSI benefits based on disability. Social Security no longer sends paper tickets in the mail, but don't worry-you don't need a paper Ticket to participate. Participation in the Ticket program is free and voluntary; if you decide to participate, you can contact any authorized employment service provider in your area to see if the services they offer are right for you. These providers, called Employment Networks (ENs), offer specialized services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement and training. Feel free to talk with as many ENs as you would like to see what they have to offer! You may also receive services from your local vocational rehabilitation agency and then receive ongoing services from an EN.

Who Qualifies?

Everyone age 18 through 64 who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of his or her disability is eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work program. Participation in the Ticket program is free and voluntary.

Social Security used to send paper tickets in the mail, but no longer does so. You don't need a paper Ticket to participate! Your eligibility will be verified by your service provider. You can also find out about your eligibility status by calling the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V)/ 866-833-2967 (TTY).

Who Can Help Me Go to Work?

You can get the help you need from two types of providers, an Employment Network (EN) or your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation agency (VR).

An Employment Network (EN) is under contract with Social Security to provide free services to beneficiaries under the Ticket program. Some ENs provide services in local communities, across a state or in multiple states, and some national ENs serve beneficiaries over the Internet and by phone. If you and an EN agree to work together, you will jointly develop an Individual Work Plan (IWP) that is just for you. The plan defines your employment goals and describes the specialized services the EN will provide or obtain to help you meet your goals. All ENs provide career counseling, job placement, and ongoing support services. Some provide additional services, so think about what your needs are as you search for a provider that best meets them. The Ticket to Work Help Line or the Find Help tool on this website can help you learn more about the ENs available to you.

You can also work with your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. If they agree to take you on as a client, they also will work with you to develop an individual plan that will help you get a job. VR agencies often provide more significant types of rehabilitation or training services compared to an EN. If you need ongoing support and services after the VR agency closes your case, you can also then work with an EN to continue your progress toward financial independence.

It is your choice what type of service provider you wish to work with. Feel free to talk with as many service providers as you would like to learn what they have to offer!

Once you have decided what service provider is right for you, learn more about how you make progress in the Ticket to Work program.