Choose Work Blog
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20,000 Facebook Fans and Counting!

Facebook 20K

This week we reached 20,000 fans on our Facebook page! While the number of fans we have is less important than how active our community is, it is an exciting milestone. Since its launch, our Facebook page has allowed us to share important resources and information with you as well as help answer your questions about the program.

Our community is diverse, active and vocal! We hope you keep asking important questions about disability benefits, the Ticket to Work program, other Work Incentives and resources for people living with disabilities and make your opinions heard! We also encourage you to watch for our live question and answer (Q&A) sessions that regularly follow Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE) on Wednesday afternoons.

We will be hosting our next live Facebook Q&A on June 25th at 4:30 PM EST following our WISE webinar, “Ticket to Work: Free Support Services for Young Adults in Transition.” You can also sign up for email updates at www.choosework.net/signup to keep abreast on upcoming events.

It’s been a fun ride to 20,000! We want to thank you and all who have “liked” us and took part in our community. Now, help us reach 30,000 by sharing us with your friends!

If you’re not currently a fan, check us out at www.facebook.com/choosework. We would love to hear from you!

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Register Now! Social Security's Free Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar: June 25, 2014: Ticket to Work: Free Services for Young Adults in Transition

June 2014 WISE Webinar

If you are a young adult 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 June 25, 2014, free national WISE webinar will present information about Social Security programs and rules that may apply to you! Join the webinar to learn about Ticket to Work & Work Incentives, questions and answers about working while on benefits, free employment services available to you, and where you can find the help needed to achieve your work goals.  You will hear from Ticket to Work and Work Incentives experts about resources especially for young adults in transition:

Immediately following this webinar, log on for our Facebook Question and Answer Session and receive expert answers to your questions about Ticket to Work!

Register online or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

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Survey: How is Your Ticket to Work Employment Network Doing?

Did you know that Social Security is surveying beneficiaries to determine their satisfaction with Employment Networks (ENs)?  The survey will close on June 24, 2014. If you are a beneficiary who received a survey, we are asking you to share your thoughts and experience. You may have already received information about the survey in the mail.

What does the survey ask?

The EN Beneficiary Satisfaction Survey asks you to:

  • Rate how satisfied you are with your EN’s services and staff
  • Identify your EN’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Evaluate how well your EN meets your needs and expectations
  • Describe your job, if you are working
  • Tell us how we can improve the Ticket to Work program

How do I know if I’ve been selected?

Social Security randomly selected more than 27,000 beneficiaries to participate. If you were selected, you were sent a postcard (enclosed in an envelope) with instructions for completing the survey online. If you are not able to complete the survey online because you do not have access to the Internet, you were sent a paper survey along with a postage-paid envelope for its return. If you received a survey and have questions or need assistance completing the survey, call EurekaFacts at 1-855-403-4800 or email ttw@eurekafacts.com. EurekaFacts will be conducting the survey on behalf of Social Security. TTY users, please contact your local Relay Center for assistance.

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New Ticket Talk Podcast: Where Are they Now?

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Catching up with Success Story participant Rob McClain

Ticket to Work Success Stories highlight the achievements of real people who found a path to a better future with help from Social Security’s Ticket to Work program. On our latest Ticket Talk episode, we catch up with Success Story participant, Rob McClain, whose story was featured in July 2013.

Listen to this podcast or read the transcript. You can also watch or read Rob's full success story to learn more about his journey.   

Rob received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) due to kidney failure and related health complications. Before his disability interfered with his ability to work, Rob ran a towing and trucking company in his hometown in Wisconsin. While receiving disability benefits, he earned a college degree and decided that participating in the Ticket to Work program could help him achieve his employment goals. After recovering from a kidney transplant, in 2011, Rob wanted to return to work.

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Missed Our Last #DEChat? Check Out the Transcript and Resources!

On May 30, 2014, at 12 p.m. EDT, we talked about mental health and employment services with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For everyone who joined the #DEChat discussion, including NAMI and SAMHSA, we would like to say thank you!

If you were unable to attend, you can download the transcript (PDF) here.

During the #DEChat, we shared a number of resources related to mental health and disability employment, and the Ticket to Work program. We’ve listed all the resources below and have included resources related to the Ticket program.

Mental health and disability employment resources:

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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!

AbilityLinks Virtual Job Fair (Virtual)

AbilityLinks, a job opportunity website for people with disabilities and inclusive employers, is hosting a job fair in the month of June. This three-day online event will match talented job seekers to employment opportunities from entry level to technical and professional.

Annual Diversity Employment Day Career Fairs (In-person)

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

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Congratulations, Graduates! Resources for Your Transition to Employment.

Congratulations, graduates! Whether you just received your high school diploma or a college degree, completing your course of study is a real accomplishment.

If your next step is seeking employment, we have put together some resources to help you on the path to employment and financial independence.

  1. Exploring Career Options: Are you unsure what type of job might suit you? Explore new career options and expand your job search with this tool from the U.S. Department of Labor.  You can learn how to align your experience—both from inside and outside of the classroom—to a potential career.
  2. Finding a Mentor: Advice, guidance, support, and connections are just some of the benefits of finding a mentor. Having a mentor gives you the opportunity to learn from someone who knows about your field of interest and your individual experience. Stay tuned for more information on Disability Mentoring Day, and check out this blog post from Mentoring Month earlier this year.
  3. Polishing Your Resume: Most jobs require a resume, and it is often your first chance to impress a potential employer. Take a look at this directory of resume resources from Disability.gov. This page also includes tips on doing well in an interview!
  4. Understanding your benefits: As you begin to explore work, it is important to know how employment may affect your benefits. A Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) organization can help!  Each WIPA project has someone who will work with you one-on-one to provide in-depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits. You can use our Find Help tool to find a WIPA near you.

No matter where you are on the Journey to Financial Independence, the Ticket to Work program is here to help you achieve your goals. Learn more on our website or by calling the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM - 8:00PM ET.  

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Ticket to Work's Top Reasons to Consider Self-Employment

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Have you ever considered working for yourself? Do you have a passion for entrepreneurship? Self-employment may be an option that can put you on the path to financial independence.  In our latest Ticket Talk podcast, we share some reasons to try self-employment as a work option. Entrepreneurship is a way to both be your own boss and become financially independent.

These are many reasons to try self-employment. Listen to the podcast or read the transcript to learn about why you may want to consider it. Self-employment can be rewarding. Decide whether working for yourself is right for you.

To hear more about why self-employment may be the way to achieve your work goals, you may also want to check out our recent webinar, “Working for Yourself with Ticket to Work: Achieving Financial Independence.” This link takes you to a recorded webinar with audio and closed captions.

Subscribe to Ticket Talk Podcasts for interviews with program and disability experts, success stories from real beneficiaries, and program news and updates!

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