ticket to work program question

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  • #317 Reply


    Someone wrote in another thread: “The ticket to work allows you to test your ability to go back to work without being punished for trying. You get a 9 month trial period. The only way to know if your disability affects a new profession is by trying. They are not suppose to punish you for seeing if you can sustain working despite your disability.”

    I’m trying to figure out how risky the ticket to work program is and whether it can be used against you by SSA.

    If you do the ticket to work program, who decides whether you are capable of continuing to work in that program?

    What if you stop the program because you didn’t like the job but your supervisor tells SSA that you were capable of doing the work? Is this a possibility that can lead to the stoppage of your SSI?

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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  • #339 Reply


    I will speak from experience. The TTW program can be something you apply for, or you can get automatically enrolled upon informing Social Security that you have returned to work. In my case, I reported I had begun a part-time job and was enrolled.

    In October 2015, I received a full CDR that I had expected I would receive. I received a letter in January 2016 that my benefits would continue and I would not have another CDR until 2023. However, at the end of November 2016, I informed Social Security I had a small At Home part-time job and subsequently received a letter that I would get another CDR in August, at which time my benefits would be terminated because my 9 month period would be complete.

    I laughed when I read the letter, because I know the rules, and I was making nowhere near the $810 monthly amount that was necessary for the month to be counted as one of the 9 months in a rolling 5 year period to be counted. In August 2017, I received another a letter asking for my employment records, and then another full CDR. In the last letter I received, it stated my benefits will continue and they will continue to monitor me. At that time, I found out that once you meet the TTW limit, then they have to monitor you for averaging over the Substantial Gainful Activity amount; which is a higher amount than the TTW monthly amount before they can terminate benefits.

    So in a nutshell, the TTW is a joke because what matters is how much you earn, and if you average of SGA then your benefits can get terminated, nothing to do with TTW at all.

    #328 Reply


    AmyLee, that is only partially true about CDRs.


    When participating in a TOW, the participant has protection from medical CDRs based on work activity. However, SSA policy states that the participant will still undergo regular CDRs. So, for example, if someone is on a 3 year CDR schedule, then they will still get a CDR at the 3 year point even if they are participating in the TTW….because it has been 3 years since their last CDR, not due to working close to or above SGA.

    #326 Reply


    From what I’ve read about TTW is that you will not receive a CDR during that period. But you may have already known that.

    #324 Reply


    JSM, thanks for taking the time to write that long helpful response.

    Just Me, thank you.

    #319 Reply


    The Ticket cannot be “used against you” but the fact that you went to work and may have demonstrated that you were successful in being able to work may lead to a finding that your medical condition had improved (because it probably did) enough for you to be able to work. Or it might show the exact opposite.

    Who decides if you can continue in the TTW program (the agency that manages your TTTW); or who decides if you can keep your job (that would be the employer); or who decides whether or not your work activity demonstrated sufficient medical improvement that meant you were considered no longer disabled and checks are suspended (that would be a DDS analyst); or who decides if your work is considered SGA and your benefits should be ceased after your TWP (that would be a claims rep in your local office). So it depends on what you mean by your question, but there is no simple answer and no one supreme decisionmaker.

    SSA doesn’t usually talk to employers about the quality of the employee’s work with their supervisors unless SSA is trying to show that there was a subsidy – that the real worth of the work was less than what was being paid (lots of reasons why that happens). The fact that the employer kept you on the job for more than six months usually indicates that the employer was generally happy with the quality of work. But really, if you have a job that you can do and you just quit because you don’t like it, yes that shows you that you are able to work. Of course that is what is shows. Will that one tiny fact be pivotal in determining whether or not SSI or SSDI stops? No. All facts will be looked at.

    If your goal is to guard your SSDI benefits at all costs, then don’t start the TTW. Don’t get any job. Don’t learn any job related skills. Manage your condition and live your life as an SSDI or an SSI recipient. Yes benefits can stop when someone shows they are able to hold a job just as benefits start when it is demonstrated that someone cannot hold a job.

    #322 Reply


    There are no guarantees DDS will find you still disabled if you do not try to work. If your impairments have improved to the point you think you can return to work. Your medical records should reflect that. When they do a long form CDR. They will see that

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