By Guest Blogger Colleen Moynihan, MEd, CLU
About Ticket to Work
If you are considering self-employment or other work, Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.
To learn more about Ticket to Work, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/work and contact the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (Voice) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket to Work Find Help tool.
Self-employment is not something many people think of when they consider earning a living. This is understandable, as the American educational system typically teaches students to be reliable, productive employees. Their teachers are also employees who may have little, if any, exposure to self-employment. Most of their parents are employed by other people. And most of us pay little attention to what goes on in the back rooms of the many places that sell services and products.
What Does an Entrepreneur Look Like?
Entrepreneurs are people who plan, start and run their own businesses. They come in every size, shape and age, and from every cultural and racial background. They are people with and without disabilities. They are everywhere.
For example, a veteran with a disability returning from the Middle East discovers the employment landscape has changed since he left for military duty. He has changed as well. His skills and expectations are now different. But he is still seeking to build a future. And self-employment has the flexibility of time and place that can lead to his personal and financial success.
Starting Your Small Business
Self-employment is a learned skill anyone can develop. With the right support, the door to self-sufficiency is open to anyone. Every new business owner can benefit from a support group to provide information and encouragement. Support groups may be made up of family, friends, other business owners or organizations like SCORE.
Launching a business idea means contacting resources like the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE, the SBA Small Business Development Center or NEBA’s Business Development Center to get information to start the process. As the saying goes, "There is something for everyone." You have to find where you fit.
The first step is writing a comprehensive business plan. The business plan is the foundation for starting a business. It lays out what the proposed business looks like, how it will run, and how much money it might make over a three- to five-year period. The plan highlights the prospective business owner’s skills and special talents that will make the business a possibility.
Self-employment offers financial independence and employment opportunities. Check it out!
About the Guest Blogger
As Director of the NEBA Business Development Center, Colleen Moynihan helps people plan and implement their business concepts. She has more than 25 years of experience as a marketing and strategic planning executive, and has served as an industry advisor on federal regulation and legislation on national industry boards. As Executive Director of The Center for Partnership Studies, Colleen was a voting participant of the United Nations World Congress for Children. She holds a Master of Education degree from Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Colleen was the guest presenter on our November 16 Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) webinar: Working for Yourself with Ticket to Work. For more information, visit www.choosework.net/wise.