I Am Getting Social Security Disability Benefits and Want to Work. How Do I Get Started?

By Guest Blogger Marsha V. Robinson-Vaden, Office of Research, Demonstration, and Employment Support, Social Security Administration, from Disability Blog, February 22, 2016

The cover of the 2016 Red Book is pictured

If you are getting disability benefits and want to work, we have good news for you! Social Security’s work incentives and Ticket to Work programs can help you get started.

Special rules make it possible for people receiving Social Security disability benefits (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive monthly payments. And, if you cannot continue to work because of your medical condition, your benefits can start again – you may not even have to file a new application.

Work incentives include:

The rules for Social Security disability and SSI are different. However, we describe the rules under each program in our Red Book (Publication No. 64-030) – A Guide to Work Incentives. Also, Social Security recognizes the importance of supporting youth in their efforts to navigate the path toward adult life. In this year’s edition of the Red Book, we included resources to assist youth with this transition. We provide general information to assist youth and the parents, providers, or representatives of a youth receiving SSI or Social Security disability to locate national and community supports and resources.

Whether you are receiving Social Security disability or SSI benefits, it is important to let the Social Security Administration know promptly when you start or stop working, or if any other change occurs that could affect your benefits.

The Ticket to Work program may also be able to help you. You can receive vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals and other employment support services free of charge. You will not undergo medical reviews while you are using the Ticket and making timely progress pursuing your return to work plan. Find help in your are by visiting the Ticket to Work website at http://www.chooseworkttw.net/resource/jsp/searchByState.jsp.

When you are ready to explore your work options, we have a national call center where you can talk directly with us about work, benefits or our work incentive programs.  Just call 1-866-968-7842, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. EST. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call our TTY number, 1-866-833-2967. Or you can call our toll-free number and ask for a free copy of the publication, Your Ticket to Work(Publication No. 05-10061).

For more information about the ways we can help you return to work and our work incentives programs, please read the Red Book


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