Ticket to Work

Chat hours for Wednesday, April 22, 2015

10:00 am EDT – 12:00 pm EDT – (AM only) 

Note:  We are -not- an employer – but rather a free national program that helps citizens with disabilities who receive SSDI/SSI disability benefits return to the workforce in all 50 states!

The Ticket to Work program is a free national Social Security Administration program that helps citizens receiving SSDI or SSI (non retirement, between the ages of 18 to 64 ) disability to receive free expert assistance in meeting employment and other vocational goals. The program allows beneficiaries to return to the workforce ‘gradually’ through work incentives.   The representative can answer questions!


The Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency (Ticket) program was created in 1999 to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries age 18 through 64 the choices, opportunities and support needed to become and stay employed, increase their earnings, and become financially independent.

Ticket program service providers are required to provide employment support services enable participants the opportunity and support to prepare for, find and keep career ladder jobs that will realistically enable them to leave and remain off of cash benefits. Eligible Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries may assign their Tickets to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice to obtain employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to achieve financial independence through work opportunities.  

Additional Resources for Ticket Holders

Area Work Incentives Coordinator (AWIC)

AWICs are Social Security employees who specialize in Social Security’s Work Incentives and employment support programs. Each AWIC serves a specific geographic area. The AWIC manages and coordinates training on Work Incentives, conducts public outreach and provides support to beneficiaries with disabilities who want to work. Beneficiaries may want to contact their local AWIC if they have a situation or concern that needs attention pertaining to the Ticket to Work program.

To find your local AWIC, visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/regions/.

Click your region. Then click the “Area Work Incentive Coordinator” link.

Beneficiary Access and Support Services (BASS)

The BASS is one of two Program Managers under contract with the Social Security Administration to support the Ticket to Work program. The other is the Operations Support Manager. The BASS contractor is responsible for marketing the Ticket program to Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities. The BASS contractor also encourages and supports beneficiary participation in the program. The BASS contractor handles most Ticket-related activities for Social Security beneficiaries, including:


  • Designing, implementing and supporting strategies to market the Ticket program and Social Security Work Incentives to beneficiaries with disabilities.


  • Administering:

o   A call center at 1.866.968.7842 (voice) and 1.866.833.2968 (TTY), Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

o   A website at http://www.chooseworkttw.net/.

o   An email response capability to answer questions, particularly from beneficiaries, about the Ticket program and Social Security Work Incentives at support@chooseworkttw.net.


  • Hosting virtual webinars on the Ticket program, Social Security Work Incentives and other federal programs at:


Benefit Planning Query (BPQY)

The BPQY is a planning tool. It is used by Social Security employees, beneficiaries and their representatives, Employment Networks (ENs), and State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies. It is used to review and verify a person’s disability benefits and work status based on information stored in Social Security’s electronic records.

The BPQY gives the status of the beneficiary’s disability cash benefits, health insurance, scheduled medical reviews, representative payee (if applicable), work history, etc. It provides information on the Social Security Work Incentive programs the beneficiary is accessing. Analysis of BPQY information can be a first step to provide customized employment-related services to beneficiaries with disabilities. To access a beneficiary’s BPQY, an EN or State VR agency must have two consent forms signed by the beneficiary or his/her authorized representatives. If an individual notices incorrect information found within the BPQY please contact your local WIPA agencies as described below.

Social Security’s Consent for Release of Information form (SSA-3288: OMB No. 0960-0566) can be found at


To learn more about the BPQY Visit: http://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/documents/BPQY_Handbook_Version%205.2_7.19.2012.pdf

Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC)

CWICs are employees of Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects. They help Social Security disability beneficiaries who are interested in working make informed choices about work and earnings. The CWIC explains Social Security’s Work Incentives and the impact of work and earnings on ALL benefits.

Work Incentive Liaison (WIL)

Each local Social Security office has a WIL who provides advice and information about Social Security’s Work Incentive provisions and employment support programs to beneficiaries with disabilities and outside organizations serving them. Contact the local Social Security office for the name and telephone number of the WIL serving a geographic area.

Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Projects

WIPA projects are organizations that have received grants from the Social Security Administration to assist beneficiaries in making informed choices about work and earnings. WIPA services are free.

WIPAs have Work Incentives experts on staff, known as Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWICs), who can:

  • Explain how work and earnings affect a beneficiary’s Federal, state, and local benefits
  • Identify possible barriers that prevent beneficiaries from achieving their employment goals
  • Explain Social Security Work Incentives programs and rules
  • Help beneficiaries find resources and services needed to achieve their employment goals

To find the WIPA for your area, visit www.chooseworkttw.net. Click “Find Help.”

Red Book

Published annually by the Social Security Administration, this general reference book provides a brief summary of all of the employment supports available to recipients of Social Security disability benefits. It provides a working knowledge of technical provisions so rehabilitation professionals, advocates and counselors can appropriately advise persons with disabilities who express an interest in starting or returning to work.

Access the Red Book at http://socialsecurity.gov/redbook/

 **Employment Options’ Clients only:  Before applying for any positions from the job fair,   first, contact your assigned job counselor directly.  They will assist you in following the specific protocol for applying with these employer partners through the Ticket to Work program.