What Is It?

The "Ticket to Work" is a new addition to the Social Security Administration's program for people receiving SSI or SSDI due to disability or blindness. This program proposes to provide more options for you to go to work.

Who Benefits?

You may! By getting the help you need to go to work you can improve your standard of living. Also, you become a contributor to Social Security when you begin working which will increase your monthly income when it is time to retire.

How Does This Work?

This program is voluntary. The Social Security Administration mails a "Ticket" to you and you may take it to an Employment Network. For example, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is an Employment Network. If an Employment Network accepts your ticket, they will develop a plan to help you get a job. This will include the type of work you choose, as well as describe the services necessary for the achievement of your goals.

You will have to sign a formal plan before services begin, called an "IPE" (IPE). You should be given a copy of your plan. It will also explain your rights including:

  • Your right to take back your Ticket and choose another Employment Network
  • Information on advocacy services to help resolve disputes

If needed, your Plan can be amended or changed. Once you have signed the Plan, you can not work with another Employment Network unless you take back your Ticket.

Employment Networks can also be private organizations who have agreed to work with Social Security. Your decision to use or not use your Ticket will not affect your current level of benefits. If you choose not to participate now, you should keep your ticket in a safe place in case you want to use it at a later date.

If you are interested in taking part in the Ticket program, you may call a local VR office or call 1-800-245-6543 (voice/TDD) of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC).

What Are Employment Networks?

Employment Networks are private or public organizations responsible for providing services to help you find a job and go to work, such as the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Services provided under your ticket are at no cost to you .

An Employment Network (EN) may be a single organization or a group of providers offering all the services you need. When calling or visiting an EN you should have your ticket with you. In order to help you, certain questions about your work history, disability and other subjects may be asked in order for the Employment Network to determine whether or not it can assist you. Information also may be obtained from the Social Security Administration. Please feel free to ask questions to help you determine whether the particular Employment Network can help you attain your employment goals.

This will include the type of work you choose, as well as describe the services necessary for the achievement of your goals.

You will have to sign a formal plan before services begin, called an "IPE" (IPE). You should be given a copy of your plan. It will also explain your rights including:

  • Your right to take back your Ticket and choose another Employment Network
  • Information on advocacy services to help resolve disputes

If needed, your Plan can be amended or changed. Once you have signed the Plan, you can not work with another Employment Network unless you take back your Ticket.

What Happens When I Go To Work?

You will need to notify your local Social Security Office. Keep in mind the ticket does not replace any of the "work incentives" which can help you to transition from benefits to financial independence. For more information, you may call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (English and Spanish).

Who Can Help Me With Planning?

For Massachusetts residents, benefits specialists are available to help you with your financial planning. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission provides this service for Eastern Massachusetts (except Somerville). The phone number is 1-800-734-7475. The Resource Partnership provides this service for residents of Central and Western Massachusetts and Somerville. Their phone number is 508-647-1722.

Any More Questions?

You may call your local MRC office or our toll free number, 1-800-245-6543. You may also call MAXIMUS at 1-866-968-7842 (toll free English and Spanish) or TTY 1-866-833-2967.


This information is provided by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.