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“Ticket to Work” to Open New Job Opportunities

March 2, 2001
Related Topics: Finance/Taxes, Featured Article
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Imagine employees who provide their ownhealth benefits, their own assistance program and pay up to $5,900 of their ownfirst-year salary through two tax incentives. That's the federal Ticket to Workand Self-Sufficiency Program.

    Ticket is in thefirst year of a three-year rollout and takes advantage of several pre-existingprograms.

    EmployedSupplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries can get extended Medicaidhealth benefits or use Medicaid "buy-in" programs in some states.Employed Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) beneficiaries can get extendedMedicare health benefits. Companies that employ SSI or SSDI beneficiaries mayqualify for tax credits (see below).

    Social Securitydisability beneficiaries already are using these and other program supports toseek employment or keep working. Approximately 276,000 SSI recipients wereworking in December 2000, and 55,000 to 60,000 SSDI beneficiaries enter theworkforce annually, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Thosenumbers could increase substantially.

    Ticket is alsocreating an enlarged public/private employment network, including vocationalrehabilitation services. In 2001, Ticket is scheduled to roll out its fullprogram in 13 states: New York, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin,Arizona, Colorado, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Iowa, Delaware and Vermont.

    Approximately 2.2million SSA disability beneficiaries in these states will receive Tickets toaccess this expanded employment support network. In other states, the existingstate vocational rehabilitation programs and other support services could bebusier as Ticket gets media coverage.

    By 2004, when Ticketemployment networks are rolled out nationwide, the SSA estimates 138,000 peoplewill be using the program.

For more information:

  • Maximus, under contract to SSA toadminister Ticket programs, toll free at 866/968-7842.

  • SocialSecurity Administration, including SSATicket contacts.

  • IRS,800/829-1040, dial 2, 1, wait, 5, 4, and ask for the Work Opportunity TaxCredit and Welfare to Work Tax Credit then leave a message for a returncall. Publication 954 describes these credits, but is not updated to includeTicket.

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