Division of Vocational Rehabilitation - State of Colorado

Ticket To Work and Self-Sufficiency Program

Ticket To Work and Self-Sufficiency Program
A Consumer's Guide to the Ticket to Work Program and DVR

 

Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation’s Beneficiary Fact Sheet on the Ticket to Work Program

 

What is a Ticket to Work?

Why did I receive the Ticket?

Do I have to use my Ticket? 

Why would I want to use my Ticket?

Will using my Ticket affect my cash benefits in any way? 

Where can I find a Benefits Planner?

What if I go off cash benefits by working but later find out that I can't continue to work?

If I go off cash benefits will I lose my healthcare coverage?

How do I use my Ticket? 

What is an Employment Network?

Why should I choose DVR as my Employment Network?

Where can I find information about other Employment Networks in Colorado?

What if I already have an open case with DVR?

What are the benefits to DVR if I assign my Ticket to them?

 
General Information About Ticket to Work
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What is a Ticket to Work?
 
 
SSA Ticket to Work
This red, white, and blue certificate entitles you, the ticket holder, to receive employment-related services at no cost from your choice of approved service providers. These services will help prepare you to work, if you can and choose to do so.
 
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Why did I receive the Ticket?
You received the Ticket to Work in the mail because you are between the ages of 18 and 64, receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because of your disability or blindness. The SSA mails Tickets to everyone who meets these criteria, regardless of their ability or desire to work.
 
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Is the Ticket Program Right for Me?
 
Do I have to use my Ticket?
No. Using your Ticket is strictly voluntary. You can choose to use your ticket now, save it and use it later, or you may decide to never use the ticket. When you develop a plan for employment with one of DVR's counselors, SSA considers your ticket to be "in use."
 
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Why would I want to use my Ticket?

The decision to use your Ticket is entirely up to you. If you are not interested in working, your Social Security benefits will not be affected by your decision not to use your Ticket. However, if you are able and interested in working, using your Ticket offers these benefits:

• It will stop the initiation of Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs) by the SSA as long as you are meeting the Timely Progress Guidelines.
• It will allow you to choose a provider of employment-related services that you feel can best meet your needs and to receive them at no cost to you.
• It will allow you to try working without risk of losing your cash benefits from Social Security in case that employment does not work out for you.

 
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Will using my Ticket affect my cash benefits in any way?
The ultimate goal of this program is to reduce or eliminate your dependence on Social Security entitlements. However, while you are working and making "timely progress" toward self-sufficiency, your Social Security cash benefits will not be reduced or stopped. The only way your cash benefits will be affected is if you start working and your income is so high you no longer qualify for cash benefits from Social Security. However, working and receiving any income may affect the other benefits that you receive (i.e., food stamps, medical, housing, etc.). There are a number of work incentives available that can help reduce or eliminate potential benefits problems. You are strongly encouraged to contact a Benefits Planner who can help you, free of charge, learn how working may affect your benefits.
 
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Where can I find a Benefits Planner?
You can call a Benefits Planner at 1-877-772-2982 or learn more on the web at Ability Connection of Colorado.
http://abilityconnectioncolorado.org/employment/social-security-work-incentive-planning/
 
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What if I go off cash benefits by working but later find out that I can't continue to work?
The Ticket to Work Program has a provision called "expedited reinstatement". If you have been working for no longer than five years and find that you cannot continue to work, you can ask Social Security to re-start your benefits. They will do so as quickly as possible, usually the following month. You will receive cash benefits for up to six months, during which time SSA will review your case to see if you still meet the eligibility guidelines for the same disability. If you are found eligible for cash benefits, those benefits will continue. If you are not found eligible for benefits again, you will not have to repay SSA for any benefits you received during the review period.
 
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If I go off cash benefits will I lose my healthcare coverage?
If you receive SSI and lose your benefits because you go back to work, you can continue to receive healthcare coverage through the 1619B program and earn up to $29,886 per year (for 2005). If you receive SSDI and begin working, you are eligible for the "Medicaid for the Working Disabled" program which will allow you to keep your healthcare coverage through the Medicaid program even if you go off SSDI.
 
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The Ticket Program is Right for Me. What's Next?
 
How do I use my Ticket?
To use your Ticket, you can take it to an Employment Network where a qualified individual will help you develop a plan to go to work, and then provide you with the employment-related services you need.
 
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What is an Employment Network?
An Employment Network is any organization or person that has entered into an agreement with SSA to provide employment, vocational rehabilitation and other support services to ticket holders. Staff must be certified, licensed, or registered according to professional requirements or otherwise qualified by education or experience. DVR is the only state-run vocational rehabilitation program in Colorado and is one of several Employment Networks in the state.
 
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Why should I choose DVR as my Employment Network?

It is important for you to know that most Employment Networks can elect not to serve beneficiaries requesting services if they feel that you are not a good match for their program. DVR is the only Employment Network in Colorado who is required by law to accept you for services unless you are too severely disabled to work.

Many employment networks only provide services to a limited population, or only offer a limited number of services. DVR serves individuals with all types of disabilities and maintains partnerships with over 5,000 service providers in Colorado, allowing us to provide a wide range of services. This helps us ensure that our program will meet your specific needs for vocational rehabilitation, whatever they are.

 
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Where can I find information about other Employment Networks in Colorado?

Information about current Employment Networks in Colorado can be found on the Internet at http://www.chooseworkttw.net/resource/jsp/searchByState.jsp

Or, you may call the Befeficiary Access and Support System (BASS), the organization who manages the Ticket to Work program at this toll free line: 1-866-YourTicket (1-866-968-7842). M - F 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM EST

 
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What if I already have an open case with DVR?
DVR would like to continue working with you on your employment goals. We want you to know the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) that you and your counselor developed or are in the process of developing can continue without change. However, if you have completed an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), SSA considers your ticket “in use”. You do have the right to choose any Employment Network that you feel will serve you best. You also have the right to move your Ticket assignment from one Employment Network (EN) to another at any time. If you have an IPE you must request case closure with DVR before you can assign your ticket to another EN.
 
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What are the benefits to DVR if I assign my Ticket to them?
Because you are a ticket holder, you are automatically eligible to receive services from DVR regardless of whether or not your ticket is in use with us. However, by having your ticket in use with DVR, it allows us to be reimbursed by the Social Security Administration for some of the costs of the services you receive from us once you are working and making enough money to get off SSI or SSDI cash benefits. All of the money we receive is put directly back into our program. It helps us ensure that we use only the best and most qualified service providers to help you and other individuals who need assistance in order to work.
 
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Mission Statement: The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation assists individuals whose disabilities result in barriers to employment to succeed at work and live independently.