What is the 'Ticket to Work' and how one person is benefiting from it.
Vern Hill started working with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to look for employment in 2013. During this process DVR ordered a benefits report to be done with Vern so he would know about the different work incentives available to him. Vern contacted ILR staff when he secured full time employment. ILR staff thought of the ‘Ticket to Work’ employment network that could assist Vern during the process while he worked off of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
The Ticket to Work is a Social Security program that allows individuals to work with employment networks to help find employment and receive other employment services. When an individual is working with DVR, the Ticket is considered “In Use” with DVR. Once the individual either stops working with DVR or in Vern’s situation has a successful closure they can transfer their Ticket to an employment network.
Employment Resources Inc. has a Ticket to Work program called ERI PLUS. ERI PLUS is a job-retention employment network that works with individuals who are employed. ERI PLUS provides services to individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or SSDI benefits whose countable income is over Substantial Gainful Activity ($1,090/month for 2015). Through ERI PLUS, Vern receives continuous benefits counseling services as he transitions from benefits to work. The staff can ensure that the individual is accessing the proper health care benefits and other benefits that are available to them. While his Ticket is assigned to ERI PLUS, if Vern is meeting the Social Security “timely progress” requirements, he will be able to postpone having a medical review.
ERI PLUS also offers employment incentives to individuals who reach certain programs and earnings goals. These incentives are tied to an individual’s earnings after their ticket is assigned to ERI PLUS. For example, if Vern continues to earn income at his current level, he will be eligible for an employment incentive payment in September 2015.
When meeting with Vern, he is extremely happy with his job and is seen as the store’s unofficial handyman. He is very thankful for the help he has received from DVR, ILR, and ERI to help him secure his goal of working off SSDI benefits. He stated that these agencies helped things go smoothly and lessened the stress of starting a new job and the reporting requirements that are necessary for Social Security. To get more information about the Ticket to Work you can go on-line at www.chooseworkttw.net or call 1-866-968-7842. To learn more about the ERI Plus program go to
http://www.eri-wi.org/services/ticket or call 1-800-710-9326.
The potential loss of benefits is a common fear among people with
disabilities who are considering employment. A benefits analysis with an
ILR Benefits Specialist will help you understand how having a job will affect your current benefits, and give you the information you need to make the best choices as a result. Call any ILR office if you have questions about your benefits.