Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Have A Ticket To Work?
If you have been receiving Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability (SSDI) and are between the ages of 18 and 64, then you automatically qualify for this federally sponsored return to work program. In the past, the Social Security Administration actually mailed out paper tickets to let qualified individuals identify themselves to Employment Networks. To save trees and money, SSA stopped sending out paper tickets. Now all you need to do is submit a Pre-Qualification Form on our website to start the process with us. Once you have submitted a form, a staff member will contact you directly to discuss your employment options on or before 4 business days. If we feel that we can help you, we will invite you to assign your “ticket” to My Employment Options. We offer both Work-at-home and Community placement in 45 states.
How is the Ticket to Work program different from other vocational programs?
What is different about the Ticket to Work program from other government programs is that it is a completely voluntary program that allows people on disability the opportunity to try to return to work without fear of losing their disability or healthcare benefits. The rules are a little different depending on whether a person is receiving SSDI or SSI. Our staff assist our clients in not only finding employment, but helping them understand the program and it’s incentives and stages.
Social Security Disability Recipients (SSDI) benefit from a trial work period that lasts 9 months. During this time you can earn as much money as you like and still continue to receive cash benefits from the Social Security Administration as well as income from work. The extra money can be used to help you catch up on bills, buy a car, move to a nicer neighborhood or go to the movies. There are no restrictions.
Social Security Income Recipients (SSI) benefit from work incentives and expedited reinstatement of cash benefits when they try to return to work. It can be a little complicated, but that is where we can help!
How can Employment Options help me?
The good thing about Employment Options is that we help you every step of the way. We understand how complicated it is to navigate and understand your Social Security benefits. We help you track your benefits, answer questions and advocate on your behalf so you never have to worry. In fact, we continue to help you for over six years! If you lose a job, need accommodations at work or want to change jobs, we are only a phone call away.
What happens after I assign my ticket to your company?
Each new client receives a copy of our workbook, Disabilities/Different Abilities: A New Perspective for Job Hunters and is assigned a personal counselor. Using our three step proven methodology, we first get to know you and what is important to you. Once we identify your perfect job fit, we help you to understand your rights and challenges as a job hunter with a disability and how to overcome them so you actually get hired. Third we will help you with a resume, job leads, interviews, accommodations, feedback and support!
What is a ‘Trial Work Period’ in the Ticket to work program?
A Trial Work period or TWL applies to those who receive SSDI benefits. A Trial Work period is a work incentive that is given to those on SSDI to allow them to ‘test’ the waters. Social Security allows the person to try to return to work and is allowed to keep both their full disability benefits and health insurance during the trial period months. The SSA allows for 9 of these trial period months. A month in 2016 is counted as a trial if earnings exceed $810 a month.
What does ‘SGA’ stand for in the Ticket to Work program ?
SGA stands for Substantial Gainful Activity. It is a term used by the SSA to determine if someone is eligible for disability benefits and to describe the level of work activity and earnings. If you receive SSDI benefits, the SGA amount is used to determine if your benefits continues after you return to work and complete your Trial Work Period. The 2015 SGA figure is $1,130. If you are blind, SGA is $1,820 (in 2016). Those that receive SSI benefits, have different earnings guidelines. See next question.
I receive SSI benefits. What are the guidelines for working and income?
If your only income besides SSI is the money you make from your job, then we do not count the first $85 ofyour monthly earnings. We deduct from your SSI payments 50 cents of every dollar you earn after the $85 deduction.
Does it matter if I work full-time or part-time?
Not really. During your trial work period (if you are on SSDI), you can earn or work as much as you are able. Once you have finished this period, then your cash benefits can be affected by your monthly earnings if you earn over $1,090 a month. (2015SGA).
How long will it take me to get a job?
Our goal is to get you back to work as soon as possible. This is an outcome based program and unlike other government programs, we do not receive any funding to help you find a job or go back to school. We only get paid when you are successfully working. We are VERY MOTIVATED to get you working! And we are VERY MOTIVATED to help you find the right job, so that you will stay successfully employed.
What kind of jobs do you find for people?
We help you find the type of job that fits your skills and abilities. Before starting your job search, you will be professionally evaluated to make sure that we are looking in the right direction. We offer direct job placement in both Work-at-home employment and employment in local communities in 45 states nationwide.
What if I am unhappy with your services?
We do the best we can to make sure you are completely satisfied, but sometimes the types of services that you may need or want are not offered through Employment Options. You are allowed to change employment networks, but you are not allowed to work with more than one Employment Network at a time.
What is a good website or contact information to learn more about Social Security’s Ticket to Work services, find out about additional resources or other questions I might have?
www.socialsecurity.gov/work ; by phone 866-968-7842 (or) 866-833-2967 (TTY)
Do you offer cash back?
The assistance we provide is personal and full service. Cash back companies* offer limited or no services. We do provide some financial help on a one time, individual basis.
Will you pay for schooling? No, very rarely.
Can you help me start my own business?
No, we do not help ticket-holders with self-employment or 1099 employment.
*If Employment Options has rendered services to a ticket holder that led to a job offer, cash back companies will not qualify for government pay-outs.
See more videos on how our process works
If you are receiving SSDI/SSI benefits and would like to see if we can assist you with our jobs and free services, you can apply HERE, anytime!