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ticket to work question

If I contact an employee network or my states vocational rehab about using my ticket to work, does this notify social security? I want to explore if there is anyway I can try to earn some income, but don't want to bring unwanted attention or trigger having my case reviewed by social security. Thanks.


Senior Member
I don't think exploring your options would do anything. The thing that would trigger attention would be if you informed them that you actually went back to work, or you were already working and started making more than the Trial Work Period (TWP) amount or the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount.

It sounds like you need to stay on disability, but just earn some extra money. If you go over the TWP amount you'll start using up your TWP privileges. If you go over SGA, they will consider that you're not disabled any more and cut off benefits. I've heard it's best not to go over the TWP amount, unless you're actually attempting to get back to work full time.

SGA for 2013 is $1040, and TWP amount is $750.


Misfit Toy

Senior Member
I worked for years and tried very hard to not to go over my amount. You are totally allowed to ask questions and investigate this and they can't drop your social security. They will drop it like Caledonia says if you make over the amount that you are allowed for a significant amount of months. It used to be something like 9 months of making over the amount.

When I called SSD, they actually told me, "We want you to work, we know you can't survive on what we are giving you."

It changes from state to state. Here, you can make up to over a $1,000 a month. In NY, you can make more. It depends on the cost of living in your location.


Senior Member
Baltimore, Maryland USA

I advise my clients that any work, at any income level, can be used as evidence that you are able to work. While your work may be at amounts that are below SGA and TWP, it is conceivable that the work activity itself could be used as a basis for determining that you are no longer disabled. SSA regulations indicate that even if your earnings are less than SGA:

f there is evidence, however, showing that an individual may be engaging in SGA, or appears to be in a position to defer compensation, or by special arrangement is able to suppress earnings, develop fully the facts concerning the comparability of the employee’s work to that of unimpaired individuals, and the worth of the employee’s work . . . .”


In actuality, the SSA can look at things that affect the perceived "worth" of an individual’'s work that might influence whether or not an individual is determined to be engaging in SGA-level work activity,

SGA is just a number wherein you don't automatically get your case reviewed. SSA can lower or increase whatever the dollar amount of your work is, at their discretion. They define how much your work is 'worth'.

The term they use is 'medical improvement'. When you received your decision you were put onto anywhere from 6month to 7year review cycle. These reviews don't always happen on time because they cost SSA money. If they determine you went back to work because of 'medical improvement' you aren't eligible for TWP.

*scroll down to the bottom of the page, second to last comment by the attorney

Thank you for the comment. It is difficult to say what SSA is doing behind the scenes. According to the program rules, if it was determined that you had medical improvement and were no longer disabled, you wold not be entitled to the trial work period. If you did not have medical improvement (i.e., just started to work again), then regardless of the type of work you did, you would be entitled to the trial work period and extended period of entitlement.

http://ilr-edi-r1.ilr.cornell.edu/nymakesworkpay/docs/SSDI Brief-2.0.txt

1. Work-Triggered CDR Eliminated in 2002
Prior law and regulations authorized a CDR, in all cases, after an SSDI beneficiary completed nine trial work months or when substantial earnings were reported to the individual’s wage record. This work-triggered CDR was eliminated effective January 1, 2002 for persons who have been entitled to SSDI for at least 24 months. For them, no CDR will be scheduled solely as a result of work activity. Work activity may not be used as evidence that a person is no longer disabled and cessation of work may not give rise to a presumption that a person is unable to work. Persons affected by this section are still subject to regularly scheduled CDRs that are not triggered by work and will be subject to termination of benefits if they perform SGA.
*emphasis added

It seems conceivable to me that you could be close to or over your scheduled typical CDR date and a work attempt flags you in the system. This might trigger SSA's 'memory' that you have an overdue CDR. The only thing that can exempt you from a CDR is Ticket to Work Program.


Senior Member
Sth Australia
Thou Im not in your country, I had huge issues cause I worked a wee little bit (up to 6hrs per week, I didnt ever go over 6hrs in a week) as by doing that and the type of work I did, it made them believe I was able to work more when I actually could.. Knowing one is doing a certain activity, can make assessors think you are capable of it all the time if your case is reassessed (cause there is very little understanding out there over ME/CFS and people just dont understand our illness).

Take care


Daughters High School Graduation
Upstate SC, USA
If I contact an employee network or my states vocational rehab about using my ticket to work, does this notify social security? I want to explore if there is anyway I can try to earn some income, but don't want to bring unwanted attention or trigger having my case reviewed by social security. Thanks.

You can still earn $1024 a month without any effect on your SS whatsoever. My brother has been disabled for 20 years and worked part time for the last 5 keeping the limit in mind. He has had no problems from SS at all.