Labor and Economic Opportunity
The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons strongly supports the concept of informed choice for all consumers. Because of this, we wish to explain the Ticket-to-Work Program that was introduced by the Social Security Administration.
Ticket-To-Work is a nationwide program with the goal of helping Social Security Disability beneficiaries find employment and training more easily. The program is designed to assist people with the training and support they need to go to work by increasing their choices. Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities can find employment, vocational rehabilitation and other support services from public and private providers, including the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons.
The main aspects of this program are as follows:
A. This program is VOLUNTARY! No individual is required to use their Ticket-To-Work. Refusing to use the "Ticket" will not affect your benefits.
B. The Ticket-To-Work Program will be implemented in phases to be completed nationally by 2004. The Social Security Administration will determine the schedule for the mailing of "Tickets." Michigan recipients will begin receiving "Tickets" in early November, but individuals may also request "on demand Tickets" by contacting the Ticket-To-Work administrator, MAXIMUS. If beneficiaries receiving these "Tickets" want to go to work, they contact and assign their Ticket to a local entity called an Employment Network.
C. Eligible beneficiaries may go to any registered Employment Network to obtain assistance with employment. The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons is one of the registered Employment Networks for our state. A list of others will be available on the Social Security web site or by calling the Ticket-To-Work Help- Line.
D. Once a Ticket-holder identifies the Employment Network to which they wish to assign their "Ticket," the Ticket-holder and Employment Network develop an individualized employment contract, so that together they can agree on the employment goals desired. After this is done, the "Ticket" is considered "in use."
E. When a person's "Ticket" is in use, no Social Security Medical Continuing Disability Reviews take place, as long as the beneficiary demonstrates they are making "timely progress" and/or working to meet the goals identified in their plan.
The Bureau of Services for Blind Persons staff is dedicated to providing consumers with additional information regarding this new program. If you have the need for further information, please contact the Bureau of Services for Blind Persons office in your region. For your convenience, important contact information regarding the Ticket-To-Work Program is listed below:
MAXIMUS Ticket-To-Work Help-line:
866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY)
Bureau of Services for Blind Persons Toll-Free Line:
800-292-4200 or 888-864-1212 (TTY)