Ticket to work program provides opportunities

Jo Anne Barnhart, Commissioner of Social Security, delivered the first Tickets to Work in Hawai‘i under the Ticket to Work and Self-sufficiency Program, which is designed to help people with disabilities go to work.

The recipients of these first tickets were Jenny Sagun of Kapolei and Joel Lakins of Honolulu. Commissioner Barnhart delivered the new Tickets at a dedication ceremony for the new social Security office in Kapolei.

“Less than one percent of the People who get Social Security disability benefits leave the roll an Supplemental Security Income better,” said Commissioner Barnhart. We can do better, and we must do better.” President Bush said, ‘My Administration is committed to tearing down any barriers that unreasonably prevent the full participation of Americans with disabilities.’ And he said that he will work to help disabled Americans realize their dreams through meaningful and successful careers’. And the Ticket to Work gets us there.”

Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries in Hawai‘i will receive a Ticket that may be used to obtain vocational rehabilitation, job training, and other support services. Hawai‘i is part of the third group of states to participate in the Ticket Program, which is now in operation nationwide. The Ticket Program began in February of 2002 in 13 states.

Tickets will begin arriving in mailboxes soon. Over the next several months, about 27,000 Social Security and SSI beneficiaries with disabilities in Hawai‘i will receive a Ticket to Work.

The mailings will be staggered, based on the last digit of a beneficiary’s Social Security number.

Anyone who wants a Ticket immediately can call 1-866-968-7842 (1-866-YOURTICKET).

Individuals may take their Ticket to any of the employment service Providers who offer services in Hawai‘i. These Providers are called Employment Networks. A list of participating networks can be found at by clicking on service providers. Here’s how the program works; a Ticket holder gives the Ticket to an Employment Network. The network and the Ticket holder together design an individual employment plan outlining the services to be provided to assist the beneficiary in reaching his or her employment goal.

The Ticket Program is voluntary. Social Security and SSI beneficiaries who receive a Ticket are not required to work, but may choose to use their Ticket to attempt to go to work. Likewise, Employment Networks are not required to accept Tickets.

The Ticket Program is designed to provide people with disabilities with more choices and expanded opportunities to help them go to work. Individuals will receive services from an Employment Network for free. SSA will pay the Employment Networks for successfully helping a beneficiary go to work.

Employment Networks may choose to be paid based solely on helping an individual achieve self-sufficiency, or they may choose to receive payments when beneficiaries achieve different milestones during their attempt to go to work.

The Ticket Program is the cornerstone of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act, which was passed by Congress and signed into law in December 1999. Other provisions of the law are already in place to help support people with disabilities as they go to work. These provisions include expanded health care coverage.

Many of the barriers that would force people to choose between health care coverage and work have been removed by the legislation. Social Security disability beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare, the Federal health insurance plan. Effective in October 2000, most Social Security disability beneficiaries are protected by Medicare for at least eight years and six months after they go to work. Medicare coverage continues even if an individual no longer receives a monetary benefit from Social Security. Most SSI beneficiaries are eligible for Medicaid, which is a state health benefit. These individuals should contact the state Medicaid office in their area for more information.

Beginning in November, approximately 4 million beneficiaries will receive tickets in the following states: Alabama, California, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming, as well as in American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Beneficiaries with questions about the Ticket Program should call Maximus, Inc. Maximus, the organization selected by SSA to administer the Ticket Program, may be contacted toll-free at 1-866-968-7842 (1-866-YOURTICKET). TDDfM users should call 1-866-833-2967 (1-8661 D2WORK). Internet users can visit www.yourtickettowork.com -Maximus’ website.


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