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Frequently Asked Questions About the "Ticket to Work"

Authored By: University Legal Services


What is the Ticket to Work Program?

The "Ticket to Work" program is a voluntary program designed to help persons that receive Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits go to work, become self-sufficient, and eliminate the need for cash benefits.

Will I get a Ticket?

If you receive SSI or SSDI, are between 18 and 64, and are not expected to medically improve to the point that you will be ineligible for benefits, you will receive a Ticket. If you are expected to medically improve to the point you would be ineligible, but have had at least one continuing disability review and were continued on benefits, you will receive a Ticket.

Do I Have to Use the Ticket?

Ticket use is completely VOLUNTARY. If you begin using your Ticket and find that you cannot or do not want to continue, you may stop without penalty. Your decision not to use your Ticket will have no effect on your benefits.

What does using the Ticket do for me?

Using the Ticket should make more service providers available to you to help you return to work and become self-sufficient. While you are using your Ticket you will be exempt from continuing disability reviews by Social Security to determine if you are still disabled.

Will my participation in the Ticket Program affect my benefits?

Your benefits will not be reduced or discontinued if you choose not to participate in the Ticket Program. If you choose to participate and you return to work at a significant salary level, you may no longer qualify for cash benefits. Should you find that you cannot continue to work, your cash benefits can be reinstated quickly.

If my cash benefits stop because I go to work, what happens to my health insurance (Medicare and Medicaid)?

Your Medicare may continue for as long as eight and one-half years. Depending on your salary, you may also have the opportunity to continue to receive Medicaid Insurance.

Who can provide employment services to me?

Under the Ticket program, you can receive employment services from an approved Employment Network or from RSA. To find the Employment Networks in your area, you may call MAXIMUS, the Program Manager at 866-968-7842 or check the MAXIMUS website at

What is an Employment Network?

An Employment Network is an organization approved by the Social Security Administration to assist you with a variety of services. A few of these services might be resume writing, interviewing skills, assisting with job applications, job seeking skills, support groups, job training and re-training, and job coaching. The EN to whom you assign your Ticket will develop a plan with you, outlining steps that will help you return to work and then assist you as you progress through the steps of your plan.

Does the Employment Network have to accept my Ticket and provide services to me?
  • Only RSA is required to accept your Ticket and attempt to provide services to you. All other ENs will assess whether you fit the profile of individuals to whom they think they can successfully provide services.
  • Many ENs focus their services to specific disabilities. Examples of these specialized areas are physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, traumatic brain injuries or mental illness.
  • If they do not think that they can help you, they may refuse to accept your Ticket. ENs may also accept your Ticket and refer you to RSA for the actual services.
When will I get a Ticket?

All SSI and SSDI recipients in the District of Columbia should have received their Tickets by September 2003. However, if eligible, you may request a Ticket at any time by contacting MAXIMUS at 1-866-968-7842 voice or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

Who can give me more information on the Ticket program?

The Social Security Administration has contracted with MAXIMUS, Inc. to perform the Program Manager role. You can reach them toll-free at 1-866-968-7842 (voice) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY). They can provide you with information and a list of ENs that serve the District.

Before you decide to use your ticket, however, you should contact a benefits planner with the Benefit Planning, Assistance and Outreach program to help you determine how income from work will impact your benefits such as SSDI, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Housing, Food Stamps, Cash Assistance, and Transportation Assistance. For Washington DC, Goodwill Industries is the BPAO that has contracted with Social Security to provide this service. They can be reached at 202-636-4225. Finally, you may contact University Legal Services at 202-547-0198 or go to the following website:

Last Review and Update: Feb 23, 2006
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