Every year, thousands of people with disabilities find jobs and leave behind Social Security disability benefits to support themselves and create better futures. As you think about going to work, Social Security wants you to be confident in your choice and to understand what Ticket to Work is all about:
The Ticket program offers you the help you need to work, earn more money, and support yourself as much as possible.
The Ticket program is voluntary. You decide if it’s right for you.
Ticket to Work gives you the choice to partner with an approved Employment Network (EN) or your State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agency to get the career counseling, job placement, ongoing support, and other services you need to be able to become or stay employed or find a better job.
The goal of Ticket is for you to earn a better quality of life through work than you had on benefits and to give you a safety net while you work toward supporting yourself.
By participating in the Ticket program, you are agreeing to try your best to earn your way off cash benefits.
Social Security understands that going to work is a major change, and if you can’t completely eliminate your need for cash benefits, you won’t be blamed.
Each year, Social Security’s Ticket to Work program publishes Employment Network (EN) Report Cards. The 2011 EN Report Cards are now available!
An EN can help you prepare for, find and keep work. EN Report Cards help people with disabilities choose an EN that can best serves their needs. Picking the right EN can help you reach your career goals.
EN Report Cards provide you with valuable information on the services ENs offer and about their performance. For example, they show you how many clients the EN has served and how many the EN has helped to get and keep a job. When the data is available, the EN Report Card also shows a customer’s satisfaction.
In a recent interview with Disaboom, Tamara Mena, a motivational speaker and model, candidly shared her personal experiences with Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Ticket to Work program.
Here are some of her thoughts and tips.
On Motivation and Attitude “Generally in life, but even more so when we face tragedies, we have the ability to see ourselves either as survivors and fighters or victims. Life is what we make of it, and we have the power to do ANYTHING.”
On the Importance of Education “After my accident, the first thing I had to do was work arduously to regain my independence, all so I could go back to college and finish strong. I wanted to be passionate about the Communications major I chose to study.”
On Job Interviews Tamara believes just like anyone looking for a job, your resume should be professional, and you should dress appropriately for the job. She encourages you to:
Be aware of your energy level
Present a good attitude
Don’t put the focus on your disability
Research the employer
Have passion for the job
On Employment and the Ticket to Work Program "Most people with disabilities are scared they will immediately lose their benefits if they go back to work. This is a fallacy. Ticket to Work will support you. They don’t just drop you when you decide to go back to work; they will work through the process with you.”
A WISE webinar is a free, fully accessible, online event designed especially for beneficiaries and their families, community partners, and service providers to learn more about the Ticket to Work program and available Work Incentives. WISE webinars typically occur the fourth Wednesday of each month from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., EST. At each webinar, Ticket to Work and Work Incentives experts present engaging information on the program for an hour then conclude with a live question and answer session.
By Featured Blogger Bob Williams, Associate Commissioner for the Social Security ’s Office of Employment Support Programs
The beginning of the New Year is a good time to make plans for what we want our lives to be like in the near future. Whether the future is six months, twelve months or three years from now, a new year provides us with a new beginning. As Abraham Lincoln once said, “…we must think anew, and act anew…" By doing so, you can identify and begin to achieve the goals that are most important to you. This is why I strongly urge you to make 2012 YOUR year to join the thousands of Ticket to Work participants who are achieving their goals through work. This year, you can increase your earnings and test whether earning your way off benefits can lead to a higher standard of living and a better future.
Ticket to Work is committed to providing YOU with the information and supports YOU need to build YOUR future. Here are some tips on how to start the New Year off right and create fulfilling goals in 2012.
Choose your goal: Select an area you would like to improve and or change. This could be as simple as enhancing your skills, increasing work hours and earnings, or starting a new line of work or career.
Define success for yourself: Think of what will make your life better and set out to achieve it.
Specific: Be focused and know precisely what you hope to achieve. This is the only way you'll be able to tell whether you have actually succeeded in accomplishing your goal.
Measurable: Measure and track your progress over time.
Attainable: Make your goals achievable. Think about what you can really achieve over the next three, six, and twelve months. This will help you set milestones toward your goal. Remember, don’t try to do too much, too fast; otherwise, you can become frustrated and overwhelmed.
Realistic: Make the goal relevant and realistic. It is ok to stop and think about whether or not your goal makes sense and can be attained with the right resources.
Timely: Set a goal with milestones and deadlines to help you keep focused on the end result.
Be committed and work hard.
Be flexible and patient. Remember, you may experience small setbacks, but stay positive.
Develop a network of family and friends to support your journey.
Reward yourself and celebrate your progress and successes. By doing this, it will keep you motivated and focused on what you can achieve next.
One of the things I like to do most is sail. Thus, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to become a better sailor. What I enjoy most about sailing is the challenge—you can never get to where you want to go immediately. You have to be flexible; sometimes you need to zig to the right and then zag to the left in order to catch the wind and fill your sails. Eventually, through hard work and persistence, you reach your destination.
This is going to be a good year to set your sights high and sail slowly and steadily toward new goals and endeavors in 2012. It’s a new beginning. Happy New Year and Happy sailing!
Working can change your life! If you want to work, Social Security’s Ticket to Work program may be right for you. Listen to Bob Williams, Associate Commissioner for Social Security’s Office of Employment Support Programs message to learn about the Ticket to Work program.
Watch below or the video on our Choose Work YouTube channel.