Ticket to Work Program


Are you receiving SSDI or SSI benefits and interested in working?

Social Security's Ticket to Work Program provides work incentives and employment support for people between 18 and 64 who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits and are interested in going to work.

What is the Ticket to Work program?

The Ticket to Work Program provides individuals receiving SSDI or SSI more employment support service options. Under this program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) issues a “Ticket” to eligible disability beneficiaries called ticket holders who, in turn, may choose to assign their ticket to an Employment Network (EN) of their choice to obtain employment services or other support services necessary to achieve an employment goal. To be eligible for a “Ticket”, individuals must be between 18 to 64 years old and currently receiving either SSDI or SSI. Ticket holders don’t have to wait to receive an actual paper ticket in the mail from Social Security to participate. The EN, if they accept the ticket, will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help beneficiary find and maintain employment. Participation in the Ticket to Work program is completely voluntary.

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development job centers are Social Security Administration approved Employment Networks under the Ticket to Work program. Employment Network services are currently available at these seven participating job centers: Anchorage Midtown, Anchorage Muldoon, Juneau, Ketchikan, Fairbanks, Kenai (Peninsula) and Mat-Su job centers. If you live outside these areas, please contact or visit the job center nearest you for more information.

What EN services are provided at the job center?

Our goal is to provide you with the assistance you need to return to work that meets your employment needs.

  • Career counseling and guidance
  • Resumé development
  • Vocational exploration
  • Interview preparation
  • Job search assistance
  • Job development
  • Job coaching
  • Social Security Disability Benefits Advisement
  • Information regarding the Alaska Working Medicaid Buy-In program
  • Job accommodation instruction and assistance
  • Follow-up supports including general employment guidance, job retention services and ongoing Social Security Disability benefits advisement
  • Possible on-the-job training or skills training utilizing funding through the Workforce Investment Act, based on eligibility
  • Referrals to additional services and supports (this may include a variety of services or referrals to appropriate agencies such as vocational rehabilitation or other community services providers)
  • Assistive technology

What are the advantages of assigning your “Ticket” to an approved EN?

You can get the help you need to find the job that is right for you by working with an EN and by utilizing the work incentives in the Ticket to Work program you can safely explore your work options.

Here are some of the work incentives that makes it easy for you to give returning to work a try.

  • You can easily return to receiving benefits if you have to stop working (known as “expedited reinstatement of benefits”).
  • You will not be subject to a medical continuing disability review (CDR) while your “Ticket” is assigned to an approved EN and you’re making timely progress on your work plan.
  • If your wages exceed Social Security income limits, you can maintain your medical benefits through the Alaska Working Disabled Medicaid Buy-In program.

Working provides much more than a paycheck. It provides opportunities to learn new skills, meet new people, provides a sense of accomplishment, boosts self-esteem, opens up advancement opportunities and generates potential health and retirement benefits.

How it works?

If you receive SSDI or SSI and are between 18-64 years old, you are eligible for a “Ticket”. Remember you don’t need to have an actual physical “Ticket” to participate. When you come to the job center we encourage you to identify yourself as receiving Social Security disability benefits to enable staff to refer you to our Employment Counselors.

When you contact us for employment assistance, our Employment Counselors will assess the appropriateness of your “Ticket” application. As an EN, we are looking for someone who:

  • has strong interest in seeking employment,
  • wants to eventually get off of Social Security disability benefits, and
  • is highly motivated and capable of making timely progress on their work plan.

We will verify through Maximus (the agency who is contracted by SSA to handle the Ticket to Work program) whether your “Ticket” can be assigned to us. Because your “Ticket” can only be assigned to one EN at a time, the verification process is essential to ensure your ticket is available for assignment. If you are currently working with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), your “Ticket” is considered “in-use” with them and therefore, cannot be assigned to another EN until your case with DVR has been closed. Your Vocational Counselor will remind you prior to your case closure of the available services we provide in our EN. If you assigned your ticket to an EN within 90 days of your date closure you will continue to receive medical continuing disability review protection.

If your “Ticket” is considered assignable we will work with you to create an Individual Work Plan (IWP). The IWP is a written agreement between you and the EN that spells out your employment goals, what EN services will be provided to help you meet those goals and what your responsibilities will be. After the IWP has been signed, we will submit a request to Maximus to have your “Ticket” assigned to us. Once your “Ticket is assigned to us, SSA will send you a letter informing you that your “Ticket” has been assigned. The medical continuing disability review protection and timely progress requirements towards achieving your employment goals begin on the date you sign the IWP.

The goal of the Ticket to Work program is to help you on your path to self-sufficiency by providing work incentives which ease your transition from receiving Social Security disability benefits to having paid employment. When you assign your “Ticket” to an EN you agree that you will be making progress towards achieving your employment goals. In return Social Security will not conduct a medical continuing disability review. This means that you don’t have to worry about losing your “disability” status while your “Ticket” is assigned to an EN and you are making timely progress on your IWP.

Employment Network contacts

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development currently offers Employment Network Services at these seven (7) job centers: Anchorage Midtown, Anchorage Muldoon, Juneau, Ketchikan, Fairbanks, Kenai (Peninsula) and Mat-Su. If you live outside these areas, please contact or visit the job center nearest you for more information. All job center frontline staff are trained Disability Resource Coordinators (DRCs) available to help navigate job search strategies to help you achieve a sustainable living.

Our Employment Network also offers a statewide expert to help you chart your path towards achieving your employment goals. Proper planning is a wonderful thing. Please call or visit to find out how we can assist you in achieving your goals!

For further information on Ticket to Work contact:
Windy Swearingin
Phone: (907) 465-2964
Fax: (907) 523-9661
Toll free: (877) 724-2539

What work incentives are available to me?
To learn more about how work is going to impact your Social Security disability benefits, please take a moment to review the PowerPoint Presentation or view the recorded webinar!

Social Security Work Incentives (PDF)

Please note that the trial work level (TWL) earning in 2018 is $850. The substantial gainful activity (SGA) earning in 2018 for non-blind is $1,180 and for blind $1,970.

For more information, visit chooseworkttw.net


The Alaska Job Center Network is an equal opportunity employer/program.
Auxiliary aids and services are available to individuals with disabilities upon request.