Individuals who receive Social Security Disability benefits often worry that they will be unable to earn any type of income if they want those monthly payments from the Social Security Administration to continue. The fear of losing their Social Security Disability benefits makes them shy away from pursuing employment in any line of work.
Fortunately, trying to obtain work or work skills while receiving Social Security Disability payments does not mean an instant revocation of your disability benefits. You just need to understand how much money you are allowed to receive each month and what will happen if your income exceeds the guidelines that have been set forth by the SSA.
First and foremost, in order for the Social Security Administration to determine that you are no longer disabled, you must be able to maintain substantial gainful work. If you receive Social Security Disability benefits but earn less than $1000 per month, your benefits are not at risk.
On the other hand, if you want to try to pursue full-time employment but feel that you do not have the needed skills, there is an option provided by the Social Security Administration. This option is called Ticket to Work.
What is Ticket to Work?
Ticket to Work is a program run by the Social Security Administration as part of the of WIPA program. The SSA issues “tickets” to individuals who are eligible to receive them and who want training or services to help them find a job they can manage. When a worker is assigned a ticket, they then choose to assign the ticket to an Employment Network in order to obtain employment services, vocational rehab or other employment support services. If the Employment Network accepts the ticket, they will then provide the disabled individual with services that will help them find and maintain a full-time job that they can manage.
This Ticket to Work program allows disabled individuals to work on obtaining employment skills and other vocational services that will help them to perform full-time work activity in the future. If an individual who is participating in the program begins full-time employment, benefits are not automatically revoked and a probational period is granted. If, for some reason, your job attempt is unsuccessful and you determine that you are still unable to participate in substantial gainful work activity, you can have your Social Security Disability benefits reinstated under the SSA's expedited reinstatement of benefits process.
If you are receiving Social Security Disability benefits and you truly want to pursue employment opportunities but feel that you do not have the skills or the tools that are needed to do so, the Ticket to Work program may be the solution you have been looking for. Providing you with the skills and tools to maintain employment and allowing you to reinstate your benefits if your employment attempt fails, the Ticket to Work program is a wonderful way to see whether there is a job out there that fits your needs.