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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.


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:


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.


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 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.  


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!


Money Mondays: Personal Finance Tips for Youth-in-Transition

For those who are graduating from high school or college, now is the perfect time to make some important financial decisions to start your summer on the right track!

Many graduates decide to enter the workforce after school, and it is important to get your finances in order so you can successfully make the transition to work.

One way to minimize the stress of transitioning from school to employment is to organize a budget so you know how you will spend and save to pay for your expenses and reach your goals. It will also prepare you for when you start making more money at your new job!  


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)?  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. Starting May 14th, you may also receive a phone call asking you to complete the survey.

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


Join the May 30th Twitter Chat (#DEChat): "Mental Health Month: A Discussion on Mental Health and Employment"

You are invited to join our live Twitter chat on May 30, 2014, at 12 p.m. EDT. We will be talking about mental health and employment services with the National Alliance on Mental Health and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Get your questions answered and learn about mental health and employment resources by participating in the discussion!

Here are the event details:

  • Topic: Mental Health Month: A Discussion on Mental Health and Employment
  • Hashtag: #DEChat
  • Date of: Friday, May 30, 2014, 12:00 p.m. EDT
  • Instructions: Sign in to Twitter and follow us @chooseworkssa and participate by using hashtag #DEChat in your posts. It will be a fun and informative discussion. You can also follow the discussion in our chat room.

If you’re interested in learning more about employment through the Ticket to Work program prior to the Twitter chat, visit or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) and talk to one of our Help Line representatives.


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