What is the Ticket to Work Program?

Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency (Ticket) program is a Federal program designed to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries the choices, opportunities and support they need to enter and maintain employment. The goal of the program is to reduce and, whenever possible, eliminate dependence on cash benefit programs.

Facts about the Ticket Program

  • Governing regulations can be found at 20 CFR Part 411. First issued on December 28, 2001, they were revised based on lessons learned and reissued on May 20, 2008 (effective date: July 21, 2008).
  • It is administered by the Social Security Administration's Office of Research, Demonstration and Employment Support.
  • It was rolled out nationwide in phases over a three-year period (2002 - 2004).
  • Eligible beneficiaries, called Ticket Holders, are individuals age 18 through 64 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefits based on a disability that creates an impediment to work.
  • The Ticket program's underlying principles are choice and individualized services.
  • Service providers are organizations who apply to Social Security and are found qualified to provide employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, and other supports that help Social Security disability beneficiaries enter and maintain employment. Providers may be private for-profit and non-profit community organizations, national organizations, state and local government agencies, postsecondary institutions, employers, partnering providers, and coalitions of providers.
  • Interested providers can apply to the Social Security Administration using the process outlined in the Employment Network Request for Quotation (RFQ).
  • Approved providers, referred to as Employment Networks (ENs), must sign a Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA) and abide by the requirements of the law, governing regulations, RFQ and BPA.
  • A beneficiary's participation in the program is voluntary and free. The beneficiary can choose if, when and where to use the Ticket. Tickets must be used with approved ENs or State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies.
  • While beneficiaries are presumptively eligible for services available through VR agencies, ENs may choose whether or not to accept a particular beneficiary for services under the Ticket program.
  • When a beneficiary and an EN (or State VR agency) agree to work together, a service plan is developed to address that person's individual needs, the provider notifies the Ticket Program Manager (TPM) for the Ticket program, and, if the plan is approved, the Ticket is assigned to that EN.
  • The Ticket program is an outcome-based program. ENs are eligible for payments when the beneficiaries they serve achieve defined milestones and outcomes with regard to work and earnings.