ticket to work program Florida

If you’re receiving or considering applying for disability benefits like SSDI or SSI, it’s a safe bet that you are thinking about your future in the workforce.

It must have occurred to you what would happen if you tried finding work. Can you even find employment because a vocational expert deemed you unable to work?

Fear not, as you can work and still receive your benefits by taking advantage of a Ticket to Work program Florida. Regardless of your level of disability, this social security program can benefit you in multiple ways.

Let’s take a look!

What Is The Goal Of The Ticket To Work Program?

Ticket to Work is a free program that offers disabled workers a chance to return to work. It started in 1999 with the aim of encouraging disability beneficiaries to achieve success in the workforce despite their incapacity.

People aged 18 to 64 who receive SSDI or SSI benefits can leverage this program to receive workplace training that helps them find employment. 

If you receive social security, you automatically qualify for a Ticket to Work program. That means you only need to call a single number to receive a ticket number and a work placement through a vocational rehabilitation facility or an employment network.

Who Is Eligible?

Most people who receive disability benefits can participate in a Ticket to Work program Florida. However, there are some exceptions.

The program won’t be available to you if:

  • Your ailment isn’t permanent and you haven’t yet passed a continuing disability review
  • You’re a participant in a Department of Rehabilitation program and you’re receiving Section 301 benefits
  • You are receiving state supplement SSI benefits due to expedited reinstatement rules
  • You are receiving temporary benefits
  • You are receiving advance payments for presumptive disability or blindness
  • You have reached the age of 18 and you’re still receiving childhood benefits covered by disability standards
  • You have appealed a medical cessation decision and are receiving continued benefits

The Role Of The Employment Networks 

Different entities can become Employment Networks (EN). If they fulfill the requirements, non-profit organizations or vocational service providers can sign a contract with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to deliver services to disability beneficiaries.

Employment Networks offer different kinds of services from vocational training all the way to resume writing classes.

Most ENs will accept people with different kinds of disabilities, whereas some are more specialized and only work with people with a particular type of condition. For example, some only serve beneficiaries that have developmental disabilities. 

The good news is that even though your disability might stop you from working a traditional job, some businesses can become Employment Networks that actively participate in the EN system. They can offer employment possibilities for people with disabilities while others even help disabled citizens receive the knowledge needed to start their own businesses.

An EN is required to provide all the services for free. Even if you go back to work and stop relying on disability benefits you won’t need to pay for anything since the EN will receive payments from Social Security.

Keep in mind that not every EN might accept you as a client. If that happens, you can try applying with the Department of Rehabilitation and/or reassign your ticket to a different EN.

How to Apply

If a Ticket to Work program Florida sounds like something you would want to participate in, you only need to call 1-866-968-7842. If you have a hearing problem or a speech impairment you can call the number 1-866-833-2967 instead. Both numbers will connect you to a customer service representative from the Ticket to Work Helpline.

They will address any burning questions you might have and verify if you are eligible for the program. 

If everything checks out, you’ll officially become a ticket holder. Then, you can ask the representative to mail a list of service providers or use the official website of the Ticket to Work program, specifically the Find help page. There you can discover service providers of the Ticket to Work program Florida. 

Just one example of a service provider (at least in Central Florida) is CareerSource Central Florida which is an approved EN by the SSA. They supply Ticket to Work program Florida participants with all the resources needed to complete their vocation. The organization’s ultimate goal is to help you find a career that fulfills you but also helps you contribute to the community the right way.

Dispelling Common Fears About The Ticket To Work Program

A lot of people with disabilities would love to gain more independence and acquire employment. However, the thought of losing their benefits is rightfully scary. That’s in large part due to disability recipients believing that participating in this program would put their SSA entitlement at risk.

A Ticket to Work program Florida (and in any other state) starts right after you assign your ticket to an EN. For the next seven years, you’ll go through a program of education, job training, and work itself. Naturally, you’ll have to meet timely progress requirements for the first six years. 

We can’t stress enough that this program won’t affect your SSDI or SSI benefits. In fact, during the seventh year of the Ticket to Work engagement, you’ll have to complete six months of work at an SGA level (the same level of work efficiency a person without a disability can do) without receiving your benefits during the time period.

When speaking about timely progress requirements, it’s also important to note that if you meet these requirements in a specified timeframe, Social Security can’t start the review to determine if your condition has improved. This review is called CDR (continuing disability review) and can only be initiated if it was started before you applied for your ticket.

The biggest fear about this program, however, is losing health coverage. Rest assured, this can’t happen. A key provision of the Ticket to Work program allows you to apply for continued coverage after you find employment and stop receiving your benefit checks. How long? Up to 93 months or eight years.

Even after this period ends, you still have options. You can apply for coverage at a reduced rate. 

So if you live in The Sunshine State and you’re afraid of losing your healthcare upon entering a Ticket to Work program Florida, you can rest easy knowing you’ll stay covered for a lot longer than you originally expected.

Choose A Job You Love

The Ticket to Work program gives hope to people with disabilities by letting them reintegrate into the workforce. Disabled individuals can then function in society without having to rely on the benefits that, quite frankly, aren’t always enough to lead a quality life.

If you have a disability and want to join the Ticket to Work program Florida, know that it will drastically improve the quality of your life: you’ll learn new skills, earn more money and meet new and interesting people. 

If you haven’t yet filed a claim for your benefits or if you have any questions regarding that particular process, contact an attorney now to avoid a denial and receive the best results possible.

If you have any questions regarding your claim, contact an attorney now to avoid a denial and receive the best results possible.

Here at RITE, we specialize in SSDI claims and can assist you through this long, tedious, and complicated process. Call us at (904) 500-RITE or fill out our contact form, and we’ll get you all the help you need on your path to your benefits and future employment.