Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (P.L. 106-170)

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  • Title I - Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program and Related Programs
    • Ticket to Work Program
    • Elimination of Work Disincentives
    • Work Incentives Planning and Outreach
    • Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security Program (PABSS)
  • Title II - Expanded Availability of Healthcare Service
  • Title III - Demonstration Projects and Studies

Ticket to Work Program

What is a Ticket?

  • A Ticket is a document sent by Social Security to let beneficiaries know that there are services to help with employment if they are interested in going to work.
  • A Ticket has no cash value for consumers but gives Continuing Disability Review (CDR) protections.
  • Expands number of agencies providing employment-related services to beneficiaries.
  • Beneficiaries may assign their Ticket to a service provider known as an Employment Network or EN.
  • No penalty for not using Ticket.
  • ENs can choose whether or not to accept a beneficiary's Ticket.
  • VR must accept all Tickets.

Your New Ticket Can:

  • Provide you with choice,
  • Help you to get a job, but only if you want to work,
  • Add “Employment Networks” to your choices of who will assist you without cost, and
  • Protect you from Medical Continuing Disability Reviews.

SSDI Work Incentives

  • Trial Work Period
    • $910/mo for 2020
  • Extended Period of Eligibility
  • Impairment Related Work Expenses
  • Subsidy
  • Continuation of Medicare
  • Medicare for People with Disabilities who work
  • Section 301 Continued Payments to Individuals Participating in a Vocational Rehabilitation or Similar Program
  • Expedited Reinstatement

Trial Work Period

  • Nine service months
  • Employee: $910 gross/mo (2020); Self-employed: 80 or more hours in your business or have net earnings from self-employment (NESE) of $910 or more per month
  • Rolling 60-month period effective 01/92
  • Full SSDI benefits payable
  • Only one TWP during period of disability

What Happens After TWP?

  • Extended period of Eligibility (EPE)
    • 36 months after TWP
  • Benefits continue if under SGA
    • $1,260 per month in 2020f or a person who is not blind
    • $2,110 per month in 2020 for a person who is blind
  • Benefit cessation when earnings over SGA
    • Benefits payable for first SGA months + 2 “grace” months
    • Suspension vs. termination

Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE) and Subsidies

  • IRWE: SSA deducts the cost of certain impairment-related items and services needed to work from gross earnings in determining “countable earnings” for SGA.
  • Must be needed to enable work, be impairment-related, paid by the individual and “reasonable” expense.
  • Subsidy: Supports the individual receives on the job that may result in the individual receiving more pay than the actual value of the work performed. SSA uses only earnings that represent the real value of the work to determine SGA.

Extended Medicare

  • At least 93 months (8 ½ years) including the TWP
  • May purchase Part A & B thereafter
  • Individual must remain disabled by SSA rules

SSI Work Incentives

  • $65 Earned Income Exclusion (EIE)
  • Student earned income exclusion: For 2011 $1,700mo/ $6,840yr
  • Impairment-related work expense
  • Blind work expense
  • 1619B continuation of Medicaid eligibility
  • Section 301 Continued Payments to Individuals Participating in a Vocational Rehabilitation or Similar Program
  • Plan for Achieving Self- Support (PASS)
  • Expedited Reinstatement


  • If you lose all or part your SSI check because of your wages, you can keep your Medicaid under 1619(a) or (b).
  • If you lose your SSI check for any other reason, you may also lose Medicaid.
  • Medicaid may be stopped due to excess resources.

Expedited Reinstatement

  • SSDI or SSI
  • Current work is under SGA
  • Same or related disabling condition
  • Prior termination due to work activity
  • Within 60 months of last entitlement
  • Provisional Benefits

Section 301

Continued Payments to Individuals Participating in a Vocational Rehabilitation or Similar Program

  • SSDI or SSI based on disability or blindness
  • Medically ceased or determined ineligible due to an age-18 redetermination
  • The individual participates in an appropriate program of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services, employment services, or other support services
  • The Social Security Administration has determined that the individual's completion of the program, or continuation in the program for a specified period-of-time, will increase the likelihood that the individual will not return to the disability or blindness benefit rolls