Suffering from a disability does not have to be the end of your life as a worker. Many people on Social Security Disability (SSD) still have the ability to find employment, though they may have to switch jobs to accommodate their disability. If you are currently receiving disability or are planning to apply for benefits, you should know that the Social Security Administration (SSA) offers assistance in helping you retrain and find new work in Michigan.

According to the SSA website, people receiving SSD may be eligible for the administration’s work incentive programs, such as the Ticket to Work program. Anyone from the age of 18 to 64 who is on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is able to benefit from the Ticket to Work program. Participation is not automatic, though. You may choose whether to participate or not.

If you do wish to utilize the Ticket to Work program, you have access to services that can prepare you for a new job. People on disability can seek career counseling to find a job that is suited for their current status. Other available benefits include vocational rehabilitation and job retraining from a provider that is authorized under the Ticket to Work program. The aim of this program is that as you find work and progress in your new job, you will be expected to become financially independent enough that your dependence on your disability benefits will be lessened or even no longer necessary.

However, people should not lose their benefits simply because they participate in these work incentive programs. The SSA website points out disability recipients should continue to receive benefits until their wages or income received from self-employment rises above the earnings limits for SSI or SSDI. People in the Ticket to Work program should also receive Medicaid or Medicare if they get it along with their Social Security disability payments.

Additionally, a Ticket to Work participant will not have to undergo SSA’s Continuing Disability Review, which periodically checks people receiving disability benefits to see if their medical status has improved to the point where he or she no longer needs disability payments. Under the Ticket to Work program, a person does not have to worry about losing benefits under a disability review while trying to gain employment.