Frequently Asked Questions

Reasons You May Not Qualify

Learn more about the Ticket To Work program requirements.

Tell Me Why

  • Many people receiving Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) who are between the ages of 18 and 64, qualify for this federally sponsored return to work program. As a green initiative to save trees, SSA stopped sending out “paper” tickets to qualified beneficiaries a few years ago. Your Social Security Number now serves as your “Ticket.” 

  • The Ticket to Work program is a national program that serves all 50 states and is managed and created by the Social Security Administration (SSA).  It is an ‘outcome’ based program and the SSA must first certify and approve any agency who wants to provide services under the program name. It not only helps someone find suitable work, but also gives them a professional agency who can guide them in many areas including finding legitimate employers that fit their abilities, job development, resumes, interviews, accommodations and guidance with benefit questions.   

  • We have been in job placement for people with disabilities for over 20 years and have been recognized by the Social Security Administration and the Ticket to Work Program for our efficient and effective placement methods.  

    We have long-term relationships with stable and legitimate employers that are eager to hire our applicants through the program.  

    Each client is assigned their own ‘personal’ Job Placement Specialist who works with them ‘one-on-one’ in many areas including job goals, resumes, interviews, applications, finding suitable and fitting employers, and career advancement. 

    We also have a CWIC (Certified Work Incentives Counselor) on staff which means you have a Client Only SSA Certified Benefits Specialist to help you understand returning to work and how that affects your SSA benefits. We help you track your benefits, answer questions, and advocate on your behalf.  In fact, we continue to help you for over six years.

    While we do job placement in local communities in 47 states, we are one of the few Ticket To Work agencies that specializes in Work At Home employment.  

    Many of our staff are participants and graduates of the Ticket To Work program and understand the transition and the rewards.

    If you need accommodations, want to change jobs or careers, lose your job, or need moral support, we are only a phone call or email away.  We believe in the personal touch! 

  • There are stages within the Ticket To Work program for those on SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). There is a “Trial Work Period” (TWL) and a “Substantial Gainful Activity” period that affect income when returning to work.  Our Certified Benefits Specialist/CWIC will help you track your income throughout each stage of the program.  Those that receive SSI benefits have different earning guidelines.  See SSI question below. 

  • A Trial Work period or TWL applies to those who receive SSDI benefits only.  A Trial Work period is a work incentive that is given to those on SSDI to allow them to ‘test’ the waters.  Social Security allows the person to try to return to work and is allowed to keep both their full disability benefits and health insurance during the Trial Period months. The SSA allows for 9 of these Trial Period months. A month in 2016 is counted as a trial if earnings exceed $810 a month. Our Certified Benefits Specialist/CWIC will help you track your income.  If you receive SSI, see that question below. 

  • SGA stands for Substantial Gainful Activity.  It is a term used by the SSA to determine if someone is eligible for disability benefits and to describe the level of work activity and earnings. If you receive SSDI benefits, the SGA amount is used to determine if your benefits continue after you return to work and complete your Trial Work Period. The 2016 SGA figure is $1,130 If you are blind, SGA is $1,820 (in 2016).  Our Certified Benefits Specialist/CWIC will help you track your income. Those that receive SSI benefits have different earnings guidelines. See next question.

  • If your only income besides SSI is the money you make from your job, then we do not count the first $85 of your monthly earnings. We deduct 50 cents of every dollar you earn after the $85 deduction from your SSI payments.

  • During your Trial Work Period months (if you are on SSDI), you can earn or work as much as you are able. Once you have finished this period, then your cash benefits can be affected by your monthly earnings if you earn over $1,130 a month. (2016 SGA). Returning to work using the program, however, is a ‘gradual’ process and different for each person.  We do have full and part time jobs. However, as Ticket Holders advance in the program, we help them work toward more hours, using program work incentives, to help reach self-sufficiency. Our Certified Benefits Specialist helps clients track income.  

  • Our goal is to get you back to work as soon as possible.  The time it takes differs for each individual and their work history, motivation, and personal situation. This is an ‘outcome’ based program and unlike other government programs, we do not receive any funding to help you find a job.  We only get paid when you are ‘successfully’ working. We are highly motivated to place you in the the right position, so that you will stay successfully employed as long as you can.  You can read our blog article

  • We help you find the type of job that fits your skills and abilities.  Before starting your job search, you will be professionally evaluated to make sure that we are looking in the right direction.  We offer direct job placement in both Work At Home and employment in local communities in 47 states nationwide. See our Job Openings for types and categories.  Your personal assigned job counselor will have all the latest job updates. 

  • We do the best that we can to make sure you are completely satisfied, but sometimes the types of services or job that you may need, or want, are not offered through Employment Options. The great benefit of the Ticket to Work Program is that there are hundreds of certified agencies nationwide that also offer different types of services and jobs.  You are allowed to change employment networks.  However, you are not able to work with more than one employment network at the same time.  

    To locate other agencies in the program, visit the Ticket to Work Find Help Tool or call 866-986-7842. (866-833-2967 (TTY)

  • To read more about the Ticket To Work program, follow this link. Feel free to also visit the government website, or call 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY)

  • The assistance we provide is personal and full service.  Cash back companies* offer limited or no services. We do provide some financial help on a one-time, individual basis.

    *If Employment Options has rendered services to a ticket holder that led to a job offer, cash back companies will not qualify for government pay-outs.

  • No, we are unable to pay for additional training or schooling.  However, there are many types of certified agencies in the Ticket to Work program and some do offer educational and training services.  You can call the program at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY)for assistance in finding those agencies.  

  • No, Employment Options does not have the resources to help Ticket Holders with self-employment. We are trained and experienced in ‘direct’ job placement with national employers.  However, our partner, NEBA provides ongoing support to SSA Ticket Holders seeking to start a new business. Please visit their website at NEBA Works to get more information on starting your own business or email