Many people who receive Social Security Disability benefits want to return to work. In the past, the draconian process it takes to start receiving Social Security disability benefits kept people on disability from even trying to go back to work. After all, no one wants to lose their benefits and have to go through the whole process again.
The Ticket to Work program was designed to help those who want to return to work. It is a completely voluntary program which allows Social Security disability recipients to return to the workforce on a trial basis without losing their benefits. The Ticket to Work program allows you to:
- Receive approved vocational training
- Obtain employment services
- Work with an Employment Network
- Find and begin working on a job which you can perform with your disabilities
When you are approved for the Ticket to Work program, you will need to assign your ticket to an approved State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (VR). You can obtain more information about approved VR agencies from your state’s Social Security offices.
The VR you choose will actually fill out most of form SSA-1365. You will want to review the information they have filled out to ensure that it is correct and complete. Incomplete forms or incorrect information can cost you valuable time.
Your ticket holder number will be your Social Security Number with an added Ticket to Work code. Make sure that the first part of your ticket holder number matches your SSN and that it is on the form correctly.
The only part of form SSA-1365 which you need to fill out personally (or have your representative fill out) is the bottom section where you sign and date that you are assigning your ticket to the VR agency. It is worth noting that you have the right to retrieve your ticket and assign it to a different agency should you need to.
If this is the first time you are assigning your ticket to work, you will also need to include information regarding your earnings over the past 18 months. This will include Social Security disability benefits, any wages you have earned, and any other income you have.
As with all Social Security forms, you are within your rights to have a lawyer or other representative help you fill out form SSA-1365. If you have a representative fill out the form for you, make sure that they check the box indicating that the form was filled out by a representative.