Ticket to Work Program Helps SSI Recipients Return to Work

Millions of Americans receive disability benefits from Social Security and there could be good news for many of those who want to work. A free and voluntary program called Ticket to Work gives individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) access to meaningful employment while maintaining control over benefit choices.

Ed Bairos, a farmer and mechanic, went back to the work he loved with the help of the Ticket program. Ed went on SSDI after suffering from severe arthritis, complicated by a knee injury that would require 20 surgeries. He was concerned about losing the cash payments and health care he needed to survive and worried that employers might not want to hire him.

Then Bairos learned about the Ticket to Work program when he received a notice in the mail from Social Security. The notice was a “Ticket” that Bairos could use with an Employment Network of his choosing. Employment Networks are organizations that offer specialized services such as career counseling, job search assistance, vocational rehabilitation and training. Bairos decided to use his ticket with the Ticket to Success/Tulare County Office of Education and returned to work.
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