Work Incentives make it easier for people with disabilities to work and still receive medical benefits and, in some cases, cash benefits from Social Security. Work Incentives can help you through the transition to work and financial independence.
Work Incentives and the Ticket to Work Program
Work Incentives make it possible for you to explore work while still receiving benefits; they are designed to help you succeed!
- You may be able to keep your Medicaid/Medicare while you work.
- You have access to individualized support services.
- You can try work with confidence, knowing you may be able to keep some or all of your benefits during your transition period.
Social Security has many work incentives designed to fit your individual situation. For more information about all of Social Security’s Work Incentives and how they can work for you, check out The Red Book – A Guide to Work Incentives.
Here are examples of some of the Work Incentives that may be available to you:
Trial Work Period (TWP)
(SSDI recipients only)
The TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. During your TWP, you will receive full SSDI benefits no matter how much you earn as long as your work activity is reported and you have a disabling impairment.
Expedited Reinstatement (EXR)
(SSDI and SSI recipients)
If your benefits stopped because of your earnings level, and you are no longer able to work because of your medical condition, or one related to it, you can request to have your benefits reinstated without having to complete a new application. While Social Security determines your benefits reinstatement, you are eligible to receive temporary benefits for up to six months.
Protection from Medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR)
(SSDI and SSI recipients)
If you assign your Ticket to an approved service provider before you receive notice of a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR), you will not have to undergo the medical review while you are participating in the Ticket to Work program and making progress within Social Security's timeframes.
Learn more about Work Incentives
One of the best ways to learn more about Work Incentives and the Ticket to Work program is to attend a free Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) online webinar. The Ticket to Work program hosts an accessible online event for you and your family to learn about Work Incentives, including Ticket to Work. WISE webinars are typically held on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Register online or call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY). You can also learn more about Work Incentives in Social Security's Red Book!
Work Incentives for People Who Are Blind
Most people receiving a disability payment can access Work Incentives or employment supports, but some of the rules are more generous if your disability is blindness. For more information see this Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about Social Security Work Incentives for People who are Blind.
Find out how Work Incentives apply to you
To find out how Work Incentives may apply to you, make an appointment to meet with a benefits counselor at your local Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project. Working with a WIPA project is free for Social Security disability beneficiaries. Visit the Find Help tool to find a WIPA near you or visit our Meet Your Employment Team page for more information.