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Old 08-27-2007, 10:57 AM   #1
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Ticket to Work

I received a Ticket to Work for SSA in the mail last week. And the state DHS office requires me to work if I want Medicaid. However, I haven't worked in over 3 years since the whole SSDI application mess started. But now that I've got it, they (SSA) WANTS me to go to work? DHS wouldn't talk to me until I was determined diasabled and now they want me to work at least a few hours a week. I'm afraid to jeapordize my SSDI. I'm afraid to work with a boss who may not put up with my health problems... I'm just afraid.

 
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Old 08-28-2007, 06:06 PM   #2
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Re: Ticket to Work

There is a web site that you can go to that list places in your state and county that helps disabled people who are still able to work a little. The ticket to work is not saying that you have to go to like Wal-Mart and find work. They do have places for disabled people can work, there's one in my county that helps disabled people. And if other places are like the one here is they really don't pay you a whole lot and you really don't have to put in a whole lot of hours. Also, you don't have to worry about absentism or problems about someone gossiping about the medicines you take.

 
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:45 AM   #3
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Re: Ticket to Work

By doing the TIcket to Work program you won't jeopordize your SSDI. The program is set up very well and allows you to work and make as much money as you want for the first 9 months. After that, they will evaluate how much you are working and how much money you are making and if you are making over a certain amount (it differs for everyone) then you may lose your benefits. However, since you are only talking about working a few hours a week I can assure you, you will NOT lose your benefits. That would only happen if you were working full time or making a lot of money doing part time work.

I'm doing the TIcket to Work program right now and it's been very helpful for me. I found my own job and didn't go through any of their programs or jobs that they find for you and I've had no problem at my job with taking time off or anything like that. I only work part time but it's about 28-32 hours a week. Even in working that much I'm able to keep my benefits no problem. I'm also on Medicare and I'd hate to lose that but it's not in jeopordy at all. I would encourage you to call SS and talk to them more about this program. It will ease your mind and will make you feel a lot better.

Working a few hours a week will not cause you to lose your benefits, not at all.

 
Old 09-03-2007, 10:58 AM   #4
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Re: Ticket to Work

Hello, I have a question about going back to work I'm currently on Disability(S.S) and S.S.I. I'm really considering trying to go back to work, I'm not sure if I'll be even able to hold a job but I would atleast like to try maybe part-time to start. But I'm not sure if I can and keep my benefits health insurance is my main concern. I am by myself now, kids grown up and relationship that has ended after 21yrs. anyways I'm having a hard time paying all of my living expenses Disab. just not covering it, tired of struggling from month to month just need that little extra to be comfortable and not have to worry. I would appreciate any input on this. ( Also, I need a life! lol) Thank you, Bekah61

 
Old 09-03-2007, 10:15 PM   #5
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Re: Ticket to Work

I know with Social Security Disabilty- which I qualified for (vs Social Security Supplemental Income- which I didn't qualify for since I had long term disability insurance through work) you can make up to $590.00 a month and not jeopardize any benefits at all. After that, you will also get help adjusting to any increase in hours, and have 9 months to try out working without having to go through the whole application process again if it doesn't work out.

I know I'm anxious to go back to work, but most days I don't know if I can even get through the day at home without seizures, the autonomic disorder, or the effects of medications making me a 'bad employee', so I can understand your fear.

I know when I go back to work (I don't know when- still trying different meds to get seizures better), I'm going to have to start slow, and let my employer know I've been on disability- which they can't ask (or the reason), but in order to find someone who will work with me, I'll have to. I'd like to go back to what I was doing- but might have to do just a couple of hours at a time, so my employer will have to be willing to do that.

If I can get back to where I was living (1300 miles away, I have a former boss who WILL work with me since she knows the quality of my work, and my seizures never rattled any cages around there, so it kept me from getting scared about 'being seen'.. I'd just shut my door, get on the floor, sleep it off, and resume work, or go home, depending on how bad I felt). Around here, I'd probably be sent to sort nails somewhere. Being still that long would be really bad for my blood clotting problems..... sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get back- but I sure miss the interaction with other humans, and feeling productive. It'd be good to feel half normal again- but after all of this, I'd definitely be afraid of how it would go. I just know that I was doing better when I lived in a different climate. I hope to get better enough to get back there, and then work on getting back to work....but I'll be nervous.

 
Old 09-04-2007, 11:41 AM   #6
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Re: Ticket to Work

Neurowreck, you mentiond that your can only make up to $590 a month before you have to start moving around your hours at work..... Well this varies person to person. There is NOT a set number for everyone across the board. For me, I can make up to $900 a month before I have to start moving things around so I don't lose my benefits. I'm not sure how they figure this number out but just so everyone knows --- it VARIES BY PERSON!! So please don't feel intimidated or discouraged by any numbers that are listed on here.

I've found that just about everything that has to do with SSDI is really done on an individual basis. Just like how everyone will get a different amount of money each month, everyone will be able to to earn a different amount of money at a part time job each month. The best thing to do is to call SS yourself and find out just how much YOU can make each month and then go from there...

Last edited by lizzy76; 09-04-2007 at 11:46 AM.

 
Old 09-04-2007, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: Ticket to Work

lizzy76
i don't want to try the right to work program, as not to be a pessimist, I know my returning to work may not be successful, so I'm terrified to do anything that will make me lose my disability (I just started receiving it 4/07). I won't qualify for Medicare until 12/08, and there's a 2 yr waiting list for rental assistance, etc., so money is so tight (but I thank God that the disability was approved, don't get me wrong!). From what I've been told on mine, as long as I don't make over $640/mo, my disability payments aren't affected. So in a few months, I hope (and pray) that I am able to return to work someplace where they are tolerant of my agorophobia (makes me hyperventilate thinking about being in public!), and where I can make even a couple hundred dollars a month. You're posts have been encouraging as far as working a minimum number of hours not jeopardizing my disability payments, so thanks!

 
Old 09-05-2007, 07:59 AM   #8
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Re: Ticket to Work

Believe or not, I'm babysitting one afternoon a week and THAT qualifies me for the Medicaid program. But I DID look into the Ticket to Work thing and was gratified to find out that it's like a really loooong probation period with an accomodating employer and it doesn't jeapordize your Medicare. After a certain time (I think it's 9 month?) they do a re-eval of your SSI/SSDI...

 
Old 09-05-2007, 12:17 PM   #9
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Re: Ticket to Work

Yeah the Ticket to Work program is actually a really good program. I really think it's set up pretty well.

Lisa, like you said, they do review your case after you've been working for 9 months. They look at how many hours you've been workingk, how much money you've made, etc. From there they determine whether or not you're able to support yourself through work and whether or not you still need disability. If they do decide that you are fine working and don't need disability, don't freak out --- part of the Ticket to Work program is to support you after you've started working. So, if they do find you able to support yourself and say within a few months you find that your disability is getting in the way of your work, you DO NOT need to go through the whole application process again. You just get in touch with SS and they can put you back on SSDI right then. So it's good to know that there is something in place should things not go well after all of that time. I know for me it's very comforting knowing that there is something like that in place.

Also, I know that the amount of money each person can make each month varies by person, and I'm not sure how they come up with the figure. One thing that SUCKS about this program is that they would consider me "self supporting" if I make over $900 a month after the 9 month probation period. Seriously, who can live on $900 a month??!! And I've read that some of you are only allowed to make like $600 a month and that is hardly liveable either!!! So the fact that they consider that a person can live on $600 a month is just ridiculous and shows that the program needs some improvement!

But, overall I really do feel as though this program is a very good program. I like the way it's set up and it really does allow you to ease back into work. I have my Master's degree and they are fine with me working at a minimum wage job... they are not pushing me into a job that would be in my field and they are not pushing me to make the same salary that I made before I was disabled.

 
Old 09-05-2007, 12:26 PM   #10
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Re: Ticket to Work

The 590$ was in the pamphlet they sent me- maybe it's different from state to state, or by some chart depending on what you get to begin with????

 
Old 09-05-2007, 04:04 PM   #11
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Re: Ticket to Work

I've never received any pamphlet like that. The number should not vary state by state because SSDI is a federal program so all of the policies are the same for everyone, no matter what state. Of course, as you've read here, we all have different amounts that we can make each month. The policy remains the same for everyone, but the income amount changes and that is not based on what state you live in. It's based on your personal case.

Do you receive anything for disability from your state? Or do you get money from anywhere else besides SSDI? I'm sure there are all kinds of "fine print" stuff and weird policies, just like the discussion on the other thread talking about when and how you can get backpay. Some people do not receive backpay and others do, etc, so it could be some policy that they have that isn't that clear.

In my situation I talked directly to someone at SSDI to go over the whole Ticket to Work program and I asked them specifically just how much money I could make each month without losing my benefits. That's when I found out about the $900. Up to that point, everything I had read about the program said that you could make a "certain" amount of money and not lose your benefits but nothing ever gave an actual number.

 
Old 09-05-2007, 04:57 PM   #12
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Wink Re: Ticket to Work

Right now, I'm only HOPING to try working part time, but your words are encouraging on the Ticket to Work program. My fear is that, after battling this disease for 30 yrs., I KNOW that it gets better, but the older I get, it always comes back in less time, and always comes back worse. Frustrating! But I do remember they did say on the ticket to work you could make any amount, but the thing that scared me was what if after 9 mos. I knew I couldn't work full-time, but they took away my SSDI. But you kind of cleared that up, that they don't make you go through the whole process if it doesn't work out. I talk in circles, but I can make up to $640/mo. and still receive my full disability benefit. The main reason that I have to try my hardest to go back even to make a couple hundred extra a month, is that I don't get medicare until 12/08, so how the heck are you supposed to "get better" if you can't afford to see a psychiatrist. And in my State, there is no "in-the-interim" coverage. I can't go to one clinic because I'm not homeless (yet!), and there's a two-year waiting list at the other one, and I can't afford $189/hr for my psychiatrist on a $13,000/annual income. What a catch 22, eh? God hasn't let me starve to death yet, and I'm sure he won't now either! I appreciate the info on the Ticket to Work, though, and I'm hoping and praying I can get well enough to leave my house (for a start!), and go to work even for 15 hrs./wk or something. I just don't know where I can work where I can basically be by myself! Hard to believe that I ever had a life, and actually was able for many years to even travel for my job. Seems like a life-time ago! Sorry! I tend to get off track. This is my mind on drugs I guess!

 
Old 09-05-2007, 09:42 PM   #13
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Re: Ticket to Work

I also get long term disability insurance from my previous employer that makes up the balance that SSD does not cover to make the full 2/3 of my former income.... I agree, the pamphlets should all be the same, but mine said 590.00..... I don't know what the difference is.

 
Old 09-06-2007, 02:37 PM   #14
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Re: Ticket to Work

Sondra, I'm glad that I could be of some help! I've been reading so many posts on here about people having negative experiences with SSDI, or with people stating inaccurate information, like saying that "the system is set up to deny people on their first try" or that "if you are below a certain age they will automatically deny you"... that sort of thing. I really wanted to post about my experience because, even though I do know that I'm an unusual case, it is possible to get approved on your first try -and while I was 28 yrs old!! I feel the same way about the Ticket to Work program. It's just so hard to read and decifer the info that SS has out there that it's great to have a forum like this where we can all share our experiences and hopefully learn something new - I know that I've gotten some good tips here!

Neurowreck, if I were you I'd call SSDI and talk with them about the whole $590 thing. As you've seen on here, we are all receiving different amounts and that $590 is not the limit for everyone. It just seems weird that you got a pamphlet like that... Anyhow, I'd give them a call.... you might be in for a nice surprise and find out that you can make more than $590 a month!

 
Old 09-10-2007, 03:10 PM   #15
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Re: Ticket to Work

Hi you guys and gals. I was approved for my SSD on my first time. I did a lot of reading during the course of me applying online, and continue to read all the way down to the fine print anything they send me.

Lizzie is very well informed and and has done and EXCELLENT job describing the Ticket to work program. Listen to her. She knows her stuff.

I will even suggest you get on their website and research it so you will be more informed. It will sure take a lot of those worries off of you...We know stress makes us hurt more...don't need that. The more we read, the more we learn...

DO NOT EVER THROW THAT TICKET AWAY.......

We just never know what is going to be around the next corner for any of us.

We are always hoping and praying we can just get well, and have no more pain.

I am a lot older that most of you, I suspect, (61) so I know my working days are over...unless I get so financially bad off I have to in order to eat....and then I would HAVE to go back to work, and I would use it at that time. We just never know...I dread the thought that I might have to go back out into the working world when I am 70....it just hurts thinking about it.

None of us asked for our disabilities and we all just try to do the best we can when we can. We may feel like dancing one minute and have to go to bed the next. At least that is how I am. I couldn't go to bed if I was working, then what??? OUCH, OUCH, OUCH...

Good Luck to all of you and God Bless Each of you.
Mammy

 
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