February 28, 2012
A recent New York Times article highlighted the assets that people with disabilities can offer employers. The article, written by leadership consultant Peggy Klaus, described her experience giving a lecture to students in the Disabled Students’ Program at the University of California at Berkeley. In the article, she explained that while she was delighted and flattered to be invited to speak, she was also nervous. This would be her first time speaking to an audience made up entirely of people with disabilities. Furthermore, she had always felt uncomfortable around people with disabilities and was concerned she may say the wrong thing or would come off as insensitive.
She sought guidance from Paul Hippolitus, the program’s director. Hippolitus spent 30 years at the U.S. Department of Labor before coming to the university. He knows about the challenges his students face as they prepare to find work.
The Ticket to Work team talked to Hippolitus to find out more about what is being done to promote careers for students with disabilities. He has just started teaching a course, called Professional Development and Disability. The course focuses on:
History, law, and policies that impact people with disabilities
Learning about career paths for people with disabilities
Setting career goals and a plan for getting there
Becoming a leader inside the classroom and in the workplace
Hippolitus refuses to watch these talented students become discouraged about their career possibilities. He believes that with the proper tools, they have great potential.
In the end, Klaus’ lecture went well and she found there was no need to have worried. The students put her at ease and embraced the mainstream discussion on employment. Students saw that they could present their disabilities as assets in the workplace.
Programs like the UC Berkeley program are becoming more common. Colleges and universities across the country are reaching out to motivated, career-focused students with disabilities. For additional postsecondary resources for students with disabilities, check out:
Read the full New York Times article.
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February 25, 2012
Tax season is here! You may be wondering, “Where can I find a tax form that is accessible to me?” or “How do I report my earnings?” The IRS has prepared useful resources for people with disabilities and we want to share them with you.
Here Are Five Tax Resources for People with Disabilities:
Accessible tax forms and publications: Download these IRS tax forms in Braille, text format and accessible PDFs.The site also features publications and instructions in large print formats.
IRS Accessibility video: This video highlights how to find accessible tax information, products and services.
IRS Tax Assistance Center: If you are unable to complete your tax return because of your disability, you may get assistance from a local IRS Tax Assistance Center. To find a Tax Assistance Center near you, click on “Contact IRS” on http://www.irs.gov/ and then select “Contact your local IRS office."
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA): If you make $50,000 a year or less, a VITA volunteer may also be able to help you complete your tax return. Find a local VITA site or call 1-800-906-9887.
Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) If you are age 60 or older, a TCE volunteer may provide tax-counseling services to you. Find a local TCE site or call 1-800-906-9887.
If you would like to read more about the tax implications of certain disability benefits and other issues, read Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities, found on http://www.irs.gov/.
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Posted in Financial Literacy | 2 Comments »
February 24, 2012
If you have a disability and are interested in working for the U.S. government, you should know about Schedule A, a Federal hiring initiative sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management. Schedule A helps make the hiring process easier for people with disabilities. Schedule A jobs have a shorter interview process and offer quicker on-site job placement.
You can have an exciting job, earn good wages, and receive medical benefits as a Federal employee. Schedule A is a win for people who have a disability and the employers who hire them. Read further to learn more about Schedule A.
Schedule A Fast Facts for People Who Have a Disability
The Schedule A hiring process allows federal agencies to interview, hire and/or promote people with disabilities without going through the “normal competitive process” required when applying for jobs online through www.usajobs.gov.
Schedule A benefits you by providing a connection between you and the employer.
Schedule A provides shorter interviews and job placement more quickly without you having to go through long traditional government interview processes.
To be eligible for Schedule A, you must have a disability that falls into one of three categories:
Jobs posted on www.usajobs.gov will not be searchable or categorized as Schedule A jobs.
To find jobs, you should review job vacancy announcements posted on www.usajobs.gov and submit resumes for positions that are of interest. Please note, you can contact a Special Placement Coordinator(s) in the agency for which you wish to work for help.
Special Placement Coordinator(s) are people at each agency who understand Schedule A and are trained to assist people with disabilities. They will help you navigate the agency's interview and hiring process.
The "Schedule A Letter" can come from licensed medical professionals (e.g., your doctor), vocational rehabilitation (VR) specialists, and Federal or State agencies that issue or provide disability benefits. The same professional can also provide a letter certifying you are job ready.
Certification of job readiness is determined through the letter from your benefits provider, your resume, as well as during your interview.
Once you find a job and apply, let the agency know you are eligible for Schedule A by sending your resume with an attached copy of your "Schedule A Letter" and your certification of job readiness.
If you are selected, you will be interviewed in a timely manner and placed in the job if your skills and qualifications meet the requirements of the agency.
Start building your future today! To learn more about Schedule A, read The ABCs of Schedule A.
No matter what kind of job you are looking for, a service provider can help. Learn more about Ticket to Work and how it can lead to a good job, a good career, and a better self-supporting future. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/work, email us at email@example.com, or call our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »
February 21, 2012
If you have a disability and are ready to work or return to work, 2012 offers an optimistic outlook for employment opportunities. With a surge in disability employment support from both the White House and President Obama, you can expect positive changes on the employment front.
Below are some of the federal hiring initiatives that could positively affect Ticket to Work participants like you in 2012.
Ticket to Work can provide you with training, career counseling, and job support. Find a service provider in your area.
Learn more about Ticket to Work and how it can lead to a good job, a good career, and a better self-supporting future. Visit www.socialsecurity.gov/work, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).
Posted in Ticket Program News, Career Tips | 0 Comment »
February 20, 2012
Social Security invites Ticket to Work service providers and community partners to organize a “WISE Webinar Viewing Party” for our upcoming webinar titled, You Asked. We Answer. Work Incentives That Work For You. The 90-minute webinar on February 29 addresses many frequently asked questions and goes into detail on topics such as Substantial Gainful Activity, Trial Work Period, and Earned Income Exclusion. A WISE Webinar Viewing Party can be a great opportunity for service providers to meet Ticket-eligible beneficiaries and their family members, talk with them about their employment goals, and help them learn more about Ticket to Work and Work Incentives.
The best part is that we made it easy to host a WISE Webinar Viewing Party by providing a tool kit of easy-to-use, downloadable materials below. The tool kit includes resources to help service providers plan, promote, and facilitate their viewing party.
Customizable Promotion Resources:
The WISE webinar, You Asked. We Answer. Work Incentives That Work For You, will be held on Wednesday, February 29 at 1:00 p.m. EST. If you plan to participate, we encourage you to register at www.choosework.net/wise. You will receive a confirmation message with webinar details including captioning information.
If you have questions about hosting a WISE Webinar Viewing Party, contact us at email@example.com.
Posted in Events | 4 Comments »
February 15, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 1:00 p.m., EST
Live! A Choose Work Facebook Q&A immediately following the webinar
If you have heard of Social Security’s Ticket to Work, Ticket program, or sometimes simply the Ticket, then you have likely heard of Work Incentives—the special rules and guidelines for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries ages 18 through 64 who are ready to enter or re-enter the workforce. What you may not know however, is that Social Security offers more than 25 Work Incentives specifically designed to help you succeed at work so you can eventually work your way off benefits and into a better, more self-supporting lifestyle.
One of the best ways to learn about Ticket to Work and Work Incentives is through a Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) webinar. Join us on February 29 from 1:00-2:30 p.m., EST, as we explore some of your most frequently asked questions during the National WISE Webinar: You Asked. We Answer. Work Incentives That Work For You. This month’s WISE webinar will answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about Work Incentives:
You asked, “What if I am ready to work?” We’ll provide information about:
You asked, “What if I succeed at work?” We’ll provide information about:
Immediately following the February 29 WISE webinar, we encourage you to join our live Facebook Question & Answer session where Ticket to Work and Work Incentives experts continue to answer your questions.
A WISE webinar is a free, fully accessible, online event designed especially for beneficiaries and their families, community partners, and service providers to learn more about the Ticket to Work program and Work Incentives. If you wish watch, listen to, or read the transcript of a past webinar, you can download any WISE webinar from our webinar library from any Internet enabled device.
When you’re ready to find a good job that leads to a good career and a better self-supporting future, attending a WISE webinar is a great way to start.
For Ticket to Work information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/work, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).
If you’d like to do more reading on your own, check out the Social Security Red Book, the official guide to Work Incentives.
Posted in Ticket Program News, Events | 2 Comments »
February 6, 2012
A WISE webinar is a free, fully accessible, online event designed especially for beneficiaries and their families, community partners, and service providers to learn more about the Ticket to Work program and available Work Incentives. WISE webinars typically occur the fourth Wednesday of each month from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., EST. At each webinar, Ticket to Work and Work Incentives experts present engaging information on the program for an hour then conclude with a live question and answer session.
Participants learn about:
If you cannot make the live event, wish to review the information, or are looking for a particular webinar topic, all of our webinars can be downloaded from our webinar library.
Special topic webinars in the library include:
When you’re ready to find a good job that leads to a good career and a better self-supporting future, attending a WISE webinar is a great way to start. Our next WISE webinar is February 29, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. EST. Register online or call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).
Posted in Ticket Program News, Events | 0 Comment »
February 3, 2012
The Ticket to Work program hosted its first live Facebook Q&A on December 21 immediately following the national WISE webinar. The Facebook Q&A provided an additional platform for beneficiaries to ask questions about Ticket to Work and Work Incentives after the webinar had concluded.
The Q&A featured Ticket to Work and Work Incentives experts that answered participants’ questions through post discussions on how the Ticket program helps individuals with disabilities find good jobs, good careers, and a better self-supporting future. Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs) from Aspire Indiana Works and Social Security’s Office of Employment Support Programs (OESP) staff answered 25 questions over the course of an hour. Participant questions ranged from working part-time and preventing overpayments to understanding eligibility for the Ticket program.
Read the transcript now.
If you are interested in learning more about Ticket to Work and Work Incentives, JOIN US on February 29, 2012 for the next national WISE webinar at 1:00 p.m., EST and participate in the Live Facebook Q&A at 2:30 p.m., EST. Check out our Ticket to Work Facebook page to get up-to-date details on both events.
To learn more about the Ticket to Work program, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/work, email email@example.com, or call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).
Posted in Ticket Program News, Events | 2 Comments »