SSA Ticket to Work Program

I’m finishing up my final semester of school and am applying for jobs with no luck yet. I’m getting really discouraged. I went to the school career services for help with my resume and cover letter. I don’t know what to do next. Then when I do get a call for an interview I’m totally unprepared as of now. I’m so overwhelmed. Finding a nursing job isn’t as easy as I thought it would be, they really aren’t hiring new grads unless you were exceptional as a student or have a foot in the doorstep of the hospital or facility. I haven’t worked in 3 years so I’d have to explain that gap somehow, “Um yeah I went crazy… hire me.” BTW I would never disclose to an employer.

I’m thinking about going to an EN to use my Ticket to Work thingamabob. Does anyone have experience using this? I tried to get into Access-VR last year but was denied, I think because I was almost done with school and don’t need as much support as other people do. How do you choose which EN to go to? I’m really nervous about calling the hotline number for ticket to work and talking to someone about it. I don’t know what to ask.


Just want to wish you good luck, don’t get discouraged, something will turn up!

1 Like

It’s my experience that the Ticket to Work program is to eventually get you off your benefits by working full time. They consider full time to be more than the limit of what you can make in a month’s time while still receiving benefits. The last time I worked it was $1000 a month. I almost lost my benefits because I worked close to 9 months (the limit to receiving benefits plus the hourly pay), but I couldn’t handle a full time job. Just wondering, have you thought about the undesirable nursing homes, or in home health (there are many of those) just to get experience and a paying job, but I would suggest working part time and still receive your benefits if you can before you make a final decision to end your benefits. I don’t know what an EN is?? If you do call the hotline (which I was supported by a Social Security specialist at an Independent Living Center) ask what the amount is to make a month where you can still receive benefits, ask about the trial work period (9 months last time I worked it), and if your receiving Medicaid and Medicare, ask about making sure that these don’t stop during the trial work period. It’s very complicated, but I had a specialist guide me. Just a few thoughts, because I did it for I think just 2 weeks shy of 9 months, and my benefits continued uninterrupted.


Hi, I just wanted to send you some positivity. Take care and good luck. I’m sorry that I don’t have any experience with the ticket to work program. But I know it’s goal is to aid those with disabilities. Are there any part time nursing positions you can apply for?

A P/T position might be less stressful, like a home health aide, or medication aide. Just suggestions :slight_smile:


If your state works like ours, get the list of ENs and call around to see if you find one you feel better working with. I made the mistake of choosing for convenience/ being told what I wanted to hear and it didn’t work out. Call, ask to talk to someone taking on new clients or the person in charge (may even make a phone or in-person appointment), ask about their background and approach, tell them your needs and your goals, find out how many people they have placed in jobs you want, etc.

1 Like

I second #Blessed1’s advice on how to proceed. The Ticket to Work is sadly not very realistic for stable mentally ill people who have a continuing high medical cost situation. Find out what will allow you to keep your benefits unless you can live without them. I heard Obamacare premiums are increasing and may be on the chopping block anyway after the election. So unless your medical expenses are low or you can get a high enough paying job to handle them then you need to stay on your benefits.


In the state where I live people can (through a special application) stay on Medicaid with disability designation and work, so maybe ask if that is an option?

I worked 16-24 hours at clinical a week plus schoolwork with little problem this semester. I hope to jump into full time work. With new grad RN’s they don’t hire on a part-time basis because of all the time and money they spend training them. I know its a huge risk giving up the perks of disability and medicaid/medicare. I’m not sure when health insurance through the employer would start but its got to be good coverage with healthcare. I talked to my pdoc about ticket to work he said there is good and bad sides to it. On the good employers are happy to hire you because they get paid to do so. But on the bad side they would be wary of hiring an RN with disability and I might have to disclose that its a mental health disability but that I need no accommodations. He said I really need to call the SSA and talk to someone then call around to the local EN’s to find which one fits the best if at all. Or he said I can continue for a while to try and find work on my own then if that fails go to the agencies for help.

New grad RN’s in NYS make about $21 an hour and have great health coverage and other perks. I’m not sure when the health insurance would kick in, if you have to have worked there 3 months or something, so I’d be without for a couple of months. But I’m getting ahead of myself I have to find and get a job first. But before that I have one final exam to pass, graduation, the nclex exam and licensure.

Good Luck with everything. I talked to the ticket to work people on the phone but they just quit calling me. I enrolled in school and didn’t pursue it any further. When I graduate I am going to look back into it. Let us know how it goes. I don’t know if I will use an EN but I think I will try the 9 month work trial getting a job on my own. Wish you the best success.

1 Like

I figured there was something like this, didn’t know what it was called. the Trial Work Period starts when you earn over $810 for 2016 and lasts 9 months.

If it is a few months I hope you can find a way to handle it. I wish it were as simple as explaining to them that you need health coverage right now but the stigma makes it difficult I know. Maybe you need to take that chance anyway when you get a job offer because I imagine they’ll suspect what’s going on when they see the names of your meds.

I feel like such a bonehead. I forgot it was a 9 month period after you start working. So never mind.

I believe you keep Medicare even after the nine months but you still have to pay the part a premium. I forgot for how long. I think it’s like 5 or 7 years.

1 Like

I am just finishing ticket to work. All it really helps you do is provide moral support and allow you to not be reassessed for disability while you are on it. They don’t find you jobs. Thats a misperception. It’s also a bit hard to get on. I guess you should stop by the unemployment office and ask for the Office for people with disabilties rather than calling if you feel like you need some structure. I got a job fast on it

1 Like