Floridians who would like to try to go back to work but are concerned that they will lose their disability benefits if they do need to be aware of the Ticket to Work program. Ticket to Work is a voluntary program that is available to people between the ages of 18 and 64 who receive disability benefits. It seeks to help these people get and maintain employment so that they are not dependent solely on their benefits.
A claimant is considered a participant in the program when they sign an agreement with an employment network or a state rehabilitation agency. An employment plan will then be formulated.
Every twelve months, the Social Security Administration will review the beneficiary’s progress. The SSA has a chart that it uses to gauge a claimant’s progress and decide whether the person’s attempt to return to work was legitimate and according to the program’s rules. A claimant’s lack of progress in the program will not lead to a suspension of future medical reviews. The claimant can continue in the program even if the SSA decides that no progress is being made.
A claimant’s earnings can affect their benefits. If the trial work period has been completed, the claimant is working and has substantial earnings, it is possible that the Social Security Disability benefits will cease. If the person’s income decreases, however, the benefits can be restarted quickly. Less than half of a claimant’s earnings are counted when determining the SSI payment.
Those who are receiving Social Security disability because of an inability to work, but would like to try to get back to work, can take part in this program without fear that the simple act of trying to work will violate the federal regulations for benefits and they will lose them. Speaking to an attorney experienced in helping clients understand their disability status can help with Ticket to Work and other Social Security issues.
Source: socialsecurity.gov, “Your Ticket to Work: What You Need to Know to Keep it Working For You,” accessed on Jan. 26, 2016