Many people in Illinois and Indiana consider their occupation to be a big part of their identity. After all, a person may spend many hours working their way up in their chosen profession and have experienced great rewards as a result both financial and emotional. They did a job well done and were compensated appropriately. Thus, it can be a great blow when a disabling injury keeps them from working altogether.
A worker’s injury can be so severe that it renders them disabled and they may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Even so, they may after a while want to make an attempt to get back in the workplace. If a person receiving SSD benefits tries to test the waters and go back to work, does this mean their SSD benefits will automatically end?
The “Ticket to Work” program
The Social Security Administration wants SSD beneficiaries to try to go back to work, but still have a safety net to land on while they attempt to do so. For this reason, the SSA established the “Ticket to Work Program.” The Ticket to Work program helps SSD beneficiaries ages 18 to 64 test the waters of going back to work. As long as the beneficiary is making progress toward employment, their case will not be reviewed by the SSA to determine if they are still considered disabled for SSD benefits purposes.
What if my attempt to return to work fails?
If a beneficiary’s attempt to work fails, the Ticket to Work program allows a beneficiary to go back to receiving SSD benefits. Under the program, a beneficiary has five years to request that their SSD benefits restart without having to go through the entire application process all over again. Note that the SSA conducts periodic reviews of all SSD recipients to ensure they still qualify for benefits.
Many people in Illinois and Indiana want to live with dignity. For some, this means at least trying to go back to work after receiving SSD benefits for a time. However, the idea of losing your benefits should the attempt to work fail is distressing. Fortunately, the SSA has a safety net known as the Ticket to Work program that can help SSD recipients return to the workplace if they wish without endangering their SSD benefits.