RI Department of Human Services
Office of Rehabilitation Services
"Helping Individuals with Disabilities to Choose, Find
and Keep Employment"
Ticket to Work
"Frequently Asked Questions"
What is the Ticket to Work?
The Ticket to Work, which we will refer to as the Ticket, is a new Social Security Program designed to give recipients aged 18 to 64 who receive SSDI and/or SSI greater choice in getting the services they need to earn enough money from working so they will no longer need Social Security cash benefits. The goal of the program is to help the individual with a disability earn enough money so that they will not be dependent on Social Security cash benefits.
Will I get a Ticket?
If you receive SSDI, you will receive a Ticket if you are between 18 and 64 and are not expected to medically improve to the point that you will be ineligible for benefits. If you are expected to medically improve to the point you would be ineligible but have had a least one continuing disability review and were continued on benefits, you will receive a Ticket.
If you receive SSI, are between 18 and 64, have been found eligible based on the standard for adults, and are not expected to medically improve to the point that you will be ineligible for benefits, you will receive a Ticket. If you are expected to medically improve to the point you would be ineligible but have had a least one continuing disability review and were continued on benefits, you will receive a Ticket.
What is a Ticket and How Does It Work?
The "Ticket" is a document that shows SSA's commitment to pay
an Employment Network (EN) or a State VR agency (ORS), for providing employment
services, vocational rehabilitation services, and other support services
to a Ticket holder.
If You Choose ORS as your Ticket provider
ORS, your State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, serves all eligible
Making Timely Progress While Using Your Ticket to Work
During the initial 24-month period of using the Ticket, a beneficiary
is using the Ticket if he or she engages in activities outlined in the
IWP or IPE on a regular basis and within appropriate time frames.
Ticket Resources Available to You
DHS/Office of Rehabilitation Services will provide services to all Ticket
holders who want to work. Call 401-421-7005, ext. 366 to learn more.
SSA has diaried my case, saying my medical condition is expected to improve. Will I get a Ticket?
Only if, or after, you have had a continuing disability review (CDR) AND you have been determined to still have a disability by Social Security’s definition.
Do I have to use it?
NO. Ticket use is completely voluntary. If you begin using it and find that you cannot or do not want to continue, you may stop, without penalty. Your decision will have no affect on your disability benefits.
Can I cash my ticket and spend the money?
NO. The Ticket has no cash value. It is designed to make more service providers available to SSDI/SSI recipients by providing potential monetary incentives to Employment Networks to provide services to these individuals.
One value the Ticket has for you is that you are exempt from continuing disability reviews while you are using your Ticket.
Will using or not using my Ticket affect my cash benefits in any way?
NO. If you do not participate in the Ticket program, your cash benefits will not be reduced or stopped. The only way your cash benefits will be affected is if you start working and your income is so high you don’t qualify for cash benefits. If you no longer qualify for SSDI cash benefits because of your earnings, you will still be eligible for Medicare for an additional eight and one-half years. Depending on how much you are earning, you will also have the opportunity to continue your Medicaid benefits, at little or no cost to you. If you are not able to continue to work, you can start receiving benefits again without completing a new application and undergoing a new waiting period.
What if I get off cash benefits by working and find out that I can’t continue to work?
The Act contains a provision called expedited reinstatement. This means that anytime while you are using your Ticket and for a period of up to five years after your cash benefits cease, if you cannot continue to work you can ask Social Security to re-start your benefits. They will do so as quickly as possible. You will receive cash benefits for up to six months, during which time SSA will review your case to see if you still meet the eligibility guidelines on the same disability. If you are not found eligible for cash benefits again, you will not be required to reimburse SSA for any cash benefits you received during that six-month period. If you are found eligible for cash benefits, those benefits will continue.
Who can provide services to me?
Under this program you can receive services from the State Vocational Rehabilitation agency or from an approved Employment Network.
What is an Employment Network (EN)?
An Employment Network (EN) is an entity approved by Social Security to assist you in getting the services you need to return to work and get off cash SSDI or SSI benefits. The EN you assign your Ticket to will work with you to develop a plan with you for your return to work and will help you work through that plan. For purposes of this program, you should consider the Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation an EN.
What if I already have an open case with Vocational Rehabilitation?
The Office of Rehabilitation Services (ORS) hopes that you will assign your Ticket to them. However, you have the right to choose any Employment Network that you feel will serve you best. You also have the right to move your Ticket assignment from one Employment Network to another at any time.
Does an Employment Network have to accept my Ticket and provide services to me?
Only the Office of Rehabilitation Services is required to accept your ticket and attempt to provide services to you. All other ENs will determine if they can provide or arrange for the services you need. If they, the ENs, do not feel they can help you they may refuse to accept your Ticket. Many times they may accept your Ticket and then refer you to ORS for the actual services.
What services will Employment Networks provide?
Employment Networks who are willing to accept your Ticket must develop a plan for employment with you that spells out the services you will need to return to work. They will then either provide or arrange for you to receive those services.
Who decides on the services I will receive?
You and the staff at the Employment Network you choose will agree on a plan of services and service providers that will help you return to work. As your plan progresses, it may need to be revised and some services changed, deleted, or added. You will always be a part of these decisions.
Who picks my job?
While the EN may help you decide on what job you want and help you prepare for and find that job, the choice of jobs is yours alone.
How can I find out more about the Ticket to Work and what Employment Networks are serving my area?
You can call the Maximus, the Ticket Program Manager. They will be able to provide you information about the Ticket and ENs in your area. You can reach them toll free at 1-866-968-7842 (voice) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).
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Distribution Plan for
Social Security will be distributing Tickets over an eleven-month period, beginning in November 2003. Distribution is based on the last digit of your Social Security Number.
You may ask to receive your ticket before your scheduled distribution date by calling Maximus at 1- 866 – 968-7842.
Ticket to Work Links
Maximus - www.yourtickettowork.com
Social Security Administration - www.ssa.gov/work/Ticket/ticket.html
Protection & Advocacy for Social Security Beneficiaries - RI Disability Law Center - www.icdri.org/legal/ripad.htm