Service providers, called Employment Networks, work
with Social Security and SSI beneficiaries to provide assistance designed to
help with the transition to work.
The Ticket Program is voluntary.
People with disabilities who receive a Ticket are not required to work, but may
choose to use their Ticket to attempt to work. Likewise, Employment Networks are
not required to accept Tickets.
The program is being phased in nationally,
starting in 13 states in February 2002. The
13 states are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa,
Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont and
Wisconsin. Within these 13
states, approximately 2.4 million beneficiaries with disabilities will receive a
Ticket. Tickets will be mailed in stages
from early February through June 2002. The remaining states will implement the Ticket Program in late 2002 and 2003. (Editor's note: In the second phase of the Program, SSA will distribute tickets in the following States: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia, and in the District of Columbia. SSA intends to implement this phase beginning in November 2002.)
In addition to
the Ticket to Work Program, other provisions of the law are already in place to
help support people with disabilities as they go to work.
The law removes barriers that require people
with disabilities to choose between health care coverage and work.
As of October 2000, Medicare hospital
insurance coverage extends for eight years and six months after most Social
Security disability beneficiaries go to work. Medicare coverage continues
even if an individual no longer receives a monetary benefit from Social
Medicaid coverage for SSI disability beneficiaries may
be extended. Since Medicaid is a state health benefit, the individual
states have the option to expand coverage to SSI beneficiaries who work.
State Medicaid offices can provide further information.
Beneficiaries may request expedited reinstate-ment
of benefits if their disability benefits have ended because of earnings from
work. As of January 2001, people
who go to work and then become unable to continue working because of their
medical condition may have their benefits started again without filing a new
application. The request for expedited reinstatement of benefits, including
Medicare and Medicaid, must be made within 5 years after benefits are
Certain disability reviews are postponed while
a person with a disability is using a Ticket. Social
Security will not conduct a regularly scheduled medical review of a person
receiving disability benefits if that person is using a Ticket. Benefits
can still be terminated if a beneficiary has substantial earnings (currently
defined by regulation as more than $780 per month or more than $1,300 per month
for individuals who are blind). As
of January 2002, Social Security disability beneficiaries who have received
benefits for at least 24 months will not have their disability reviewed solely
because of work activity. However, regularly scheduled medical reviews can
still be performed and, again, benefits terminated if earnings are substantial.
established a network of community-based organizations in each state to provide
benefit planning, assistance and outreach to disability beneficiaries who want
to work. These public and private organizations explain Social
Security’s work incentive programs and provide direct advice to Social
Security and SSI beneficiaries.
established protection and advocacy systems in each state to provide legal
advice and services to disability beneficiaries.
Taken from a SSA fact sheet available from:
SSA Press Office 4-H-9 West High Rise
6401 Security Blvd
Baltimore, MD 21235
Telephone: (410) 965-8904 FAX (410) 966-9973
Contact the SD Advocacy Services in Pierre at toll free 1-800-658-4782 for more information.
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