Ticket to Work pro­grams helps put peo­ple back in the driver’s seat

Record Observer - - Senior Satellite - By CAROLYN NI­CHOLS So­cial Se­cu­rity Dis­trict Man­ager, Cam­bridge

So­cial Se­cu­rity en­cour­ages peo­ple to re­join the work­force when they are able. Ticket to Work is our free and vol­un­tary pro­gram that helps peo­ple get vo­ca­tional re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, train­ing, job re­fer­rals, and other em­ploy­ment sup­port ser­vices.

This pro­gram is for peo­ple ages 18 to 64, who are re­ceiv­ing dis­abil­ity ben­e­fits, and need sup­port re-en­ter­ing the work­force or work­ing for the first time. While many dis­abled in­di­vid­u­als are un­able to work and may never be able to re­turn to work, we know that some are ea­ger to try work­ing again. Work in­cen­tives make it eas­ier to work and still re­ceive health care and cash ben­e­fits from So­cial Se­cu­rity while pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tions if peo­ple have to stop work­ing due to a dis­abil­ity.

So­cial Se­cu­rity works with em­ploy­ment net­works to of­fer ben­e­fi­cia­ries ac­cess to mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment. Em­ploy­ment net­works are or­ga­ni­za­tions and agen­cies, in­clud­ing state vo­ca­tional re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion agen­cies that pro­vide var­i­ous em­ploy­ment sup­port ser­vices. .

Ticket to Work gives in­di­vid­u­als the op­por­tu­nity to choose from sev­eral em­ploy­ment net­works. Par­tic­i­pants are free to talk with as many em­ploy­ment net­works as they want be­fore choos­ing one. If some­one signs an agree­ment with an em­ploy­ment net­work, they’ll help the in­di­vid­ual de­velop an em­ploy­ment plan. We’ll re­view their progress to­ward achiev­ing the goals of their em­ploy­ment plan ev­ery 12 months. If they are mak­ing timely progress in their re­turn to work plan, we will not con­duct a med­i­cal re­view of their dis­abil­ity dur­ing the time they’re in the pro­gram.

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