Receiving Social Security Disability benefits is often preceded by a long and difficult application process. Therefore, when an applicant is successful, he or she is careful not to take any steps that could jeopardize his or her ability to keep these benefits. Unfortunately, the monthly benefits amount received is not often enough to support an individual or a family, and it is often necessary to seek other sources of income as long they do not risk the applicant’s benefits for continued benefits eligibility.
Perhaps because the government recognizes the difficulty of this situation, Social Security Disability benefits recipients can seek work and develop their career goals while still remaining eligible for Medicare or Medicaid coverage through the Ticket to Work program. A program participant can continue receiving monthly cash benefits until he or she earns more in wages than the Social Security Disability income limits.
The program is voluntary and is not a condition of receiving Social Security Disability benefits. If a person decides to sign up for the program and is later unable to work due to his or her disability, a benefits application is expedited to enable them to continue receiving benefits with minimal delay. Upon signing up for the program, an eligible benefits recipient is awarded a ticket to use when obtaining vocational rehabilitation and other assistance through a service provider.
In order to qualify for the program, you have to be between the ages of 18 and 64, and be receiving Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. You have to work through a service provider, either an Employment Network or a State Vocational Rehabilitation agency, to develop a plan to get you back to work. Participants are allowed to use their tickets towards a goal of self-employment. This has to be discussed with the service provider while developing the plan. Plans are usually based on the applicant’s abilities and goals, and have deadlines for accomplishing certain tasks. A participant in the program may agree to take classes, stay employed for a certain amount of time, or earn at a certain level in order to stay in the program.
Depending on when a participant starts participating in the Ticket to Work program, he or she may not be required to undergo the Social Security Administration’s Continuing Disability Review. This review ordinarily assesses a person’s ability to work and consequently his or her eligibility to receive benefits. Participants who assign their tickets to service providers before a Continuing Disability Review is scheduled would not have to undergo the review, but that assign their tickets after the review is scheduled do have to undergo review.
Seek Legal Help
While it may be a good idea for you to earn additional income, you should weigh the possible outcomes of participating in a vocational rehabilitation program before signing up. If you qualify for the Ticket to Work program and would like to know how it could affect your benefits or your continued eligibility for benefits, contact an experienced Social Security Disability benefits attorney from the Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC for a consultation.