What is the Ticket to Work program?
As a Social Security Disability recipient in Maryland, you know that money can be tight. Perhaps you dream someday of becoming financially independent. If so, you are not unlike thousands of other people out there. Social Security recognizes that you want to work and so the agency has set up the Ticket to Work program to help give you the opportunity.
To qualify for the free program, you must show that you are receiving some type of Social Security Disability benefits and that you are no older than 64 and no younger than 18. The program gives you a way to try to enter the workforce without losing your current benefits or medical coverage through Medicaid or Medicare. Some of the benefits it provides to you include help with job referrals, training for certain types of jobs and free vocational rehabilitation.
Once you are ready to actually start working, you are assigned a trial period. During that time, you must report all of your earnings to Social Security but there is no limit on how much you can earn. Additionally, the trial period is a cumulative period, which means that it may not go month-to-month. For example, if you make less than the stated amount – this year it was $780 for SSD recipients – then the month doesn’t count toward the trial period.
After the trial period is completed, there is an extended optional period that you can use, but at this point, you may lose some or all of your benefits if you make over a specified amount. If you discover that you are unable to continue working because of your disability, there is no penalty and any benefits that ceased will resume automatically. This is intended only for educational purposes and is not a substitute for legal advice.