When you have been living with a disability, one of the things that you may look forward to in the future is returning to work. That can be a tough job, though, because you may return to work and find that you don’t have the strength or ability to complete the job every day.
Many people don’t attempt to return to work, because they’re worried about what will happen if they cannot keep working. They worry about losing their Social Security Disability benefits and having to struggle to reapply.
The good news is that there is a Ticket to Work program in place, which allows you to start going back to work without initially affecting your disability benefits. The Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program is available to those between the ages of 18 and 64.
The program has four phases. These are:
- Ticket to Work
- Ready to Work
- Getting a Job
- Managing Your Job
The first phase explains what you need to know while you’re still on Social Security Disability benefits but plan to work. For example, you won’t automatically lose your Medicare if you start or pass the nine-month trial work period.
The next phase determines your work goals and helps you get in touch with a Ticket to Work provider.
Phase three goes on to help you find a job, apply and prepare for interviews. It helps you find the right job based on your current skill set.
Finally, phase four happens when you’re hired. This phase focuses on managing your money and understanding how the job may impact your benefits.
These phases are essential parts of the program. Your attorney can help you understand it if you plan to return to work following the onset of your disability and after your SSDI benefits start.