Do you currently live in Florida, receive Social Security disability benefits and are considering returning to work? Some recipients of disability payments may be able to begin working again, or at least attempt to reenter the job market. Yet, if you are considering this type of move, you’re likely concerned about the impact that it could have upon your benefits. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration knows that navigating this transition can be difficult and fraught with worries, so they’ve implemented a special program to help.
Termed the “ticket to work” program, it is designed to help you successfully return to work, or at least make an attempt. Rather than being penalized for trying to become employed once again, the Social Security Administration has provided specific incentives to entice you to try.
What are these?
Included are your medical coverage, and during the transition time when you are trying to get a job, or are receiving vocational rehabilitation, you’ll still receive your Medicare or Medicaid benefits. You may even qualify to keep receiving your health coverage even after you’ve resumed working. This is true for your cash payments as well, if you are eligible. In addition, they may help to pay any work-related expenses that you incur due to your disability.
The other benefits of the ticket to work program in Florida include assistance procuring employment, which could include vocational rehabilitation or other forms of help. You’ll be connected with an employment network (EN), which can provide a variety of services to make finding and keeping a job easier.
Continuing Disability Review
Also, you’ll receive protections from Continuing Disability Review (or CDR), which are periodically conducted to ensure that you still meet the requirements necessary to receive your disability benefits. The Social Security Administration will not conduct a CDR based upon the fact that you’ve returned to work, as long as you make consistent progress on your employment plan (your EN should help you with this).
If you find that you cannot successfully return to work, you will not be penalized in any way. It is easy to restart your cash payments each month (if they ever stopped).
Who is eligible for the ticket to work program?
If you receive disability benefits and are between the ages of 18-64, you qualify for the program. You may receive a ticket in the mail without asking, or you can request one from the Social Security Administration as well. For those who receive an unsolicited ticket, you are under no obligation to use it, as this program is strictly voluntary.
All told, the ticket to work program in Florida is designed to help disabled people return to work, without endangering their benefits by trying. As it can be difficult to determine in advance whether you will be able to work again on a consistent basis, the program has safeguards in place so you won’t lose your benefits during this time. This can make it possible for those who are unsure about working make the transition successfully, while still retaining the option to fall back on their benefits if necessary.