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Find Ticket to Work at the Project SEARCH Conference in Omaha, Nebraska July 21-25

From July 21-25, representatives of Social Security’s Ticket to Work program will be attending the 8th annual Project SEARCH Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.

Project SEARCH works to help young adults with disabilities to develop the skills they need to secure employment. Their school-to-work program immerses high school students in a one-year program that takes place entirely in the workplace. Since 1996, the program has grown to more than 200 sites across the United States, Canada, England, Scotland, and Australia.

Each year, the conference offers a variety of workshops presented by Project SEARCH staff, instructors, job coaches, business liaisons, and other partners. This year’s conference will highlight the latest research and strategies for job skills training, student recruitment, technology, and many other techniques and tools that can help young people with disabilities gain skills that can lead to employment.

The Ticket to Work program will present a workshop titled “Using Your Ticket to Work: Help on Your Journey to Financial Independence.” This workshop will describe how Ticket to Work can provide support to youth who receive disability benefits, are in transition, and on the journey toward employment. The workshop will cover the basics of the program, such as eligibility and services available to beneficiaries. Participants will also learn how to use our Find Help tool, which helps users find support along the journey to financial independence.

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What You Should Know about Section 503

Section 503

*This blog post was originally published on Disability.Blog, the official blog of Disability.gov.*

By Guest Blogger David Weaver, Associate Commissioner, Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support, Social Security Administration

As we turn our attention to the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act this month, it’s important to note that recently regulations were issued to provide people with disabilities greater opportunities for meaningful employment. This update to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 offers advantages to people with disabilities, including those who are eligible to receive free employment services through Social Security’s Ticket to Work program.

Section 503 requires that federal contractors and subcontractors – companies doing business with the federal government – take affirmative action to recruit, employ, train and promote qualified individuals with disabilities (IWDs). The changes, which went into effect March 24, 2014, strengthen the affirmative action provisions of the regulations to aid contractors in their efforts to recruit and hire IWDs.

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Register Now! Social Security's Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar: July 30, 2014: More Jobs for People with Disabilities: What New Regulations Can Mean for You

Section 503

If you are a Social Security disability beneficiary and want to make more money through work, Ticket to Work can provide the support you need to transition to financial independence.

The July 30, 2014, national WISE webinar will present information about Social Security programs and rules that may apply to you, including details about Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. Section 503 is a regulation that prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating in employment against people with disabilities and requires these employers to take action to recruit, hire, promote, and retain these people with disabilities. The presentation will include information on:  

  • What the changes to Section 503 mean for Social Security disability beneficiaries
  • Tips for self-identification during the application and hiring process
  • How to find and prepare for Section 503 opportunities

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Start Your Job Search Today at a Career Fair!

Throughout the month, in-person and virtual career fairs are taking place around the country. If you are looking for work, a career fair gives you an opportunity to get connected with employers who are currently hiring and talk directly with their recruiters. Additionally, virtual career fairs offer a unique opportunity for you to engage in real time from wherever you are with employers who are ready to hire!

Think Beyond the Label Online Career Fair (Online)

The Think Beyond the Label Online Career Fair will connect job seekers with disabilities to employers nationwide who are actively recruiting. This opportunity allows for one-on-one interactions with recruiters, so that you can gain exposure and learn about job opportunities directly from employers.

Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fairs (In-person)

Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fairs provide the opportunity for local and national employers to meet and interview qualified candidates from diverse communities.

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Employment Opportunities for Young Adults: How the Workforce Recruitment Program Can Help You!

If you are a college student or recent graduate with a disability and searching for summer or permanent employment, the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) may be able to help you!

Each year the WRP recruits motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities and connects them to internship and employment opportunities nationwide. Both federal agencies and private employers use the WRP’s database of candidates to find new talent. In fact, the WRP is the primary pipeline bringing students and recent graduates with disabilities into federal employment! Participating in the program has many benefits including:

  • Marketing your abilities to a wide variety of potential employers across the country
  • Sharpening your interviewing and other job-search skills with your WRP recruiter
  • Gaining valuable skills, experience, and contacts on the job

WRP candidates come from all across college courses of study, including undergraduate, graduate and law students. To join the WRP, you need to work with your WRP Campus Coordinator. Check here to see if your school is one of hundreds participating in the program. The next recruitment process begins in the fall, but it’s never too early to start planning ahead!

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Learn about This Year's Updates to the Red Book: Information about Work Incentives and More

Red Book

The Red Book is a comprehensive guide to Work Incentives and other disability-related policies from Social Security, including the Ticket to Work program. Work Incentives can help you become financially independent through work, and the Red Book will helps you understand how. You can use it as a reference if you ever have a question such as:

  • How will earning money through work affect my benefits?
  • What is a Trial Work Period?
  • How can Social Security Work Incentives help me reach a more financially independent future?

There were several important updates to the Red Book in 2014, such as:

  • Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) increased from $1,040 to $1,070. For people who are blind, SGA increased from $1,740 to $1,800
  • The monthly earnings amount used to determine if a month counts for the Trial Work Period month increased to $770
  • Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) benefit rates increased from $710 to $721 per month for an individual and from $1,066 to $1,082 per month for a couple

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Find Ticket to Work at the Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst Conference in Long Beach July 1-3!

From July 1-3, representatives of Social Security’s Ticket to Work program will be attending the 25th annual Association of People Supporting EmploymentFirst (APSE) National Conference.

For 25 years, APSE has advanced employment and self-sufficiency for people with disabilities through advocacy and education. APSE’s vision is that “[p]eople with all types of disabilities are employed, pursuing careers and building assets just like people without disabilities.” The Ticket to Work program shares that vision, one we are excited to celebrate together at the conference.

APSE offers the only national conference focused solely on the advancement of integrated employment. The conference will bring together business and community leaders from across the country to network and focus on state-of-the-art strategies to ensure equitable employment for citizens with disabilities.

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Money Mondays: Summer Round-up for Young Adults in Transition

As part of our focus on Youth-in-Transition this month, we have compiled a round-up of previous Money Mondays posts related to young adults in transition, as well as general financial tips for people with disabilities.

If you are entering the workforce after graduating from school, it is important to get your finances in order so you can successfully make the transition to work. It is also important to understand the expenses and resources available to you if you are thinking about attending college. To that end, we have compiled a list of past Money Mondays posts to help you get started on your path to financial independence:

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