What Is the Ticket to Work Program?

Workers in Michigan who have suffered a disability and, as a result, have not been able to work may fear they will never be able to return to work and make a difference. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration offers a program that provides disability beneficiaries the chance to get back into the workforce and become financially independent again.

The Social Security Administration discusses how the Ticket to Work program works. It is free and available to beneficiaries aged 18 to 64 who would like to earn more money and work towards a career. The program provides support services and also connects beneficiaries with the right service providers. Some of the benefits of the program include:

  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Career counseling
  • Job training
  • Job placement 

Beneficiaries are allowed to keep their Medicare or Medicaid as well as cash benefits during the process. If the new job does not pan out, full benefits are typically reinstated. The goal of the program is to reduce the amount of dependence on social security and provide the worker with life-long career skills.

However, not all of the eligible beneficiaries are taking advantage of this program. In fact, according to The Atlantic, only around 2.4% of those eligible have taken any steps to improve their future. Those with hearing and visual disabilities are more likely to return to work, while those who suffer from back pain tend to keep disability benefits indefinitely.

One of the suspected reasons for the lack of participation is that it takes a long time to go through the disability application process, and beneficiaries are afraid of losing them if they return to work and make more than $1,000 a month. Those who do take advantage of the program not only make more money but they also get a mental boost and improve their social lives.