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"Ticket to Work" is a Social Security Administration program for people receiving SSI or SSDI due to disability or blindness. It may provide more options for you to go to work. By getting the help you need to go to work you can improve your standard of living. Also, you may become a contributor to Social Security when you work, which will increase your monthly income when it is time to retire.
This program is voluntary. The Social Security Administration mails a "Ticket" to you and you may take it to an Employment Network. 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 will receive a copy of your plan. It will explain your rights including:
If needed, your Plan can be 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 take part 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 the Ticket program, you may contact your local VR office or call MRC at 1-800-245-6543 (voice/TDD).
Employment Networks are private or public organizations providing services to help you find a job and go to work, such as MRC. Services provided under your ticket are at no cost to you . When calling or visiting an EN you should have your ticket with you. You will be asked about your work history, disability and other subjects to see if the Employment Network can help you. Information may also be obtained from the Social Security Administration.
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).
For Massachusetts residents, benefits specialists are available to help you with your financial planning. Contact your local VR office or Statewide Employment Services as below.