Dear Job Counselor: “I am on Social Security Disability and I am thinking about returning to work. I have been following you on Facebook. My question is this, can I just get a job on my own? In other words, why do I need to have an Employment Network. What would be the advantage? I can find a job myself. Does it cost money to use an employment network and how much? Thanks – Adam (from Wyoming)
Response from Ray Morrison, Community Vocational Consultant:*
“Dear Adam, first I want to thank you for writing and for your interest in the Ticket to Work program and Employment Options’ free services. To answer your question, yes, you can look and get a job on your own; however, being signed up on the Ticket to Work program with an Employment Network, such as Employment Options, has many advantages that you do not get when going it alone. I have included some below for you!
Advantages to Using an Employment Network:
1) Our job counselors do job development with you such as helping you come up with realistic job goals, analyzing what your qualified for, and what you are able to do which means finding the most suitable job for you, not just any job. We are directly connected to major employers nationwide who regularly send us their job openings
2) We assist you in building a great resume which illustrates your strongest skills.
3) We assist you in the job search directly – whether looking for Work at home or community employment. We help send resumes out to prospective employers, try to set up interviews, and keep in touch with employers about applications and positions. We can contact them for you.
4) We also do interview coaching by practicing with you before you go into the interview, so you feel more confident and also know the words not to use in the interview which could keep you from getting the job. We also help you know what information you do not need to disclose related to your disability.
5) Once hired on, we also provide benefits counseling to you. We help you keep track of your trial work period (9 months) so to keep you out of over-payment status with Social Security. We help you with tracking your income, any paperwork from social security, disputes, and help you understand and know what stage you are in as you progress in the program. All of this helps you focus on the most important thing – your job!
6) We try to assist in any problems that may arise with your new job, for instance, you may need special accommodations because of your disability or schedule adjustment. We keep in touch with you long after you ‘get the job.’ If you lose your job, we will start looking for another one for you.
7) Another major advantage: If you are participating in the Ticket program and making timely progress and pursuing your return to work plan, Social Security will not conduct a review of your medical condition each year. They will send you more information about these requirements after you finalize and sign a plan with an employment network or state vocational rehabilitation agency.
8) In addition to the Ticket program, Social Security has other special rules called “work incentives” that help serve as a bridge between disability benefits and financial independence. These work incentives include:
- Cash benefits while you work;
- Medicare or Medicaid while you work; and
- Help with any extra work expenses you may have as a result of your disability.
Also Adam, all of this is free of charge. If you do assign with an Employment Network or Vocational Rehab program and are not satisfied with the work, you can change over to another organization, stop with the program, or whatever you decide. You decide your destiny! This program is for ‘you’ and it is set up for you to succeed!
I know it works, because I myself used the program and have worked through its stages and graduated from it! Thank you again for your great question! Feel free to call us at 800-441-3114 ext 754 if you have additional questions about how we might be able to get you back to work!
Ray Morrison is a Senior Vocational Consultant at Employment Options and also has used the Ticket to Work program personally to return to work and achieve independence. He recently graduated successfully from the Ticket to Work program. Ray works directly with Employment Options’ clients who are seeking employment out in their community.
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Are you receiving SSDI/SSI disability benefits and want to find out if Employment Options can help you find work through the Ticket to Work Program? Submit an application via our Job Seekers page