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WISE Webinar 2020-06: Ticket to Work and Mental Health

WISE Webinar 2020-06: Ticket to Work and Mental Health
SARAH>> Good afternoon and welcome to today's

Ticket

to

Work

webinar

, "

Ticket

to

Work

and

Mental

Health

." My name is Sarah Hyland, and I am a member of the

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to

Work

Team. I will be your moderator for today's

webinar

. We are so glad you are able to take time to spend with us today to learn about Social Security's

Ticket

to

Work

Program and how it can help you as you start on the path to financial independence through

work

. Each of us has our own path to follow, and we hope you find some information today that will assist you in moving forward on your path to employment and financial independence. Let's get started by going over some functions of the

webinar

platform so that you can interact and get the most information out of today's presentation. First, you can manage your audio using the "Audio" option at the top of your screen. The "Audio" option is an icon that looks like a microphone or telephone. All attendees will be muted throughout today's

webinar

. Thus, when presented with the option to joining the audio conference, choose "listen only," which appears at the bottom right in the audio menu. Clicking "Listening Only" allows the sound to be broadcast through your computer speakers or your headphones. Please make sure your speakers are turned on and your headphones are plugged in. If you are unable to connect to audio with your computer or prefer to listen to the

webinar

on your phone,...
wise webinar 2020 06 ticket to work and mental health
please dial 1-800-832-0736 and enter access code 4189148#. Next, we will share with you some information about

webinar

accessibility. On the Adobe Connect platform, you will notice that on your screen there are four different boxes. These boxes are called "pods." We have the Presentation pod where the slides appear. Below that is the Closed Captioning pod. In the top right-hand corner, you will see the Q&A pod; and below the Q&A pod is the Web Links pod. We will talk about these pods in more detail in just a little bit. If you need assistance navigating Adobe Connect, an Accessibility User Guide with a list of controls is available at http://bit/ly/adobe-accessibility. This link is also available in the Web Links pod at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen, and it's titled "Adobe Accessibility User Guide." Real-time captioning is available and is displayed in the Captioning pod, which is the box that appears below the slide that is on your screen right now. The Captioning link can also be found in the Web Links pod under title "Closed Captioning." If you are fluent in ASL and would like support for today's

webinar

, follow the link below that provides instructions to connect with an interpreter through the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Video Relay Service (VRS). The ASL User Guide can also be found in the Web Links pod under the title "ASL User Guide." We are here today to answer questions you may have on...
wise webinar 2020 06 ticket to work and mental health
the

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to

Work

program. Please send your questions to us at any time throughout the

webinar

by simply typing them into the Q&A pod. We will direct the questions to our speaker during the Q&A portions of our

webinar

. We will be addressing questions at three different points throughout today's presentation. So go ahead and send those questions in, and we will do our best to answer as many of them as we possibly can. If you're listening on by phone and not logged into the

webinar

, you may ask questions by sending an e-mail to

Ticket

to

Work

. That e-mail address is

webinar

[email protected]

work

.ssa.gov. Another great resource that we think you will find extremely helpful in connecting to different resources mentioned throughout today's

webinar

is the Web Links pod, which you will find at the bottom right-hand side of your screen. This pod lists all of the links to the resources presented during today's

webinar

. To access any of these resources, highlight the topic you are interested in and would like to connect to; and then select "Browse To" button at the bottom of the pod. You will then be taken to the website requested. If you are listening by phone and not logged into the

webinar

or don't have access to the "Web Links" pod, you can e-mail

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to

Work

at the address

webinar

[email protected]

work

.ssa.gov, or reference the confirmation e-mail that you received for today's

webinar

for a list of available resources. Also, please note that SSA...
wise webinar 2020 06 ticket to work and mental health
cannot guarantee, and is not responsible for, the accessibility of external websites. Today's

webinar

is being recorded, and a copy of it will be available within two weeks on the Choose

Work

website, which can be accessed at http://bit.ly/WISE_OnDemand. This link, as well as others, can be found in the Web Links pod that we just talked about at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen; and it will be titled, "WISE

Webinar

Archives." We of course hope everyone has a great experience on the

webinar

today; however, if you run into any technical difficulties, please use the Q&A pod to send us a message; or you can send us an e-mail at the

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to

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e-mail address being

webinar

[email protected]

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.ssa.gov. As I mentioned earlier, my name is Sarah Hyland; and I am a member of the

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to

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Team. I'm very excited to be here with you today as your moderator. We are also delighted to have Ray Cebula with us here today. Ray received his law degree from the University of Hampshire's Franklin Pierce School of Law. He spent 23 years providing legal services to individuals with disabilities in their interactions with Social Security. He became part of Cornell University's

Work

Incentive Support Center in 2000; and in 2005, he joined the staff of Cornell's Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, where he now serves as the Program Director of YTIOnline, Cornell's

Work

Incentive Practitioner Credentialing Program. We thank you again for...
joining us. Today we are going to discuss how Social Security's

Ticket

Program can help you and answer your questions relating to Social Security's

Ticket

Program,

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to

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service providers, and managing stress during a job search and on the job. With that, it is my pleasure to introduce Ray Cebula to start us off with

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to

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program and support on your journey to

work

and service providers. Thanks so much, Ray. RAY>> Thank you, Sarah; and welcome, everybody. The

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to

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Program Support Program on your journey to

work

is going to provide you with some critical information to provide some assistance. Getting a job without support is a tough enough thing, but getting a job that's right for you is even tougher. So we want to make sure that you get all of the assistance from us, as well as from the other parts of your employment team, to make this happen. We have two different benefits programs that are going to be impacted by

work

that Social Security administers. One is SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance; and this is an insurance plan that you pay for when you

work

and FICA taxes are removed from your paycheck. The longer you

work

, the more you

work

, the higher your benefit is likely to be with a cap. But it is insurance, so there are no other resource levels; and the only thing that generally affects it is earned income. The other program is SSI, Supple

mental

Security Income; and this is a needs-based Welfare program, the...
result being the payments tend to be lower, and it is impacted by other income and resources that you may have. Two very different sets of

work

incentives that are involved with these programs, so it's going to be very important that you bring in documentation to people to show them which benefit you have and how much that benefit is. Almost any Social Security notice that you've received will let you know what benefit is because you don't want to talk to somebody and get bad information. So those are the two programs that we're going to address a little bit. Now, when you talk about going to

work

, this is a decision that has to be right for you. We're not here to say, "Go get a job and do it now." We are here to say, "Think about it," and we are here to get rid of some of those myths that you may believe right now and let you know that it's safe to

work

and there are people out there to help you on this journey to

work

. But it is perfectly up to you. You need to make this decision. If you're heart's not in it, it's not likely to

work

out really well. So we want you to really be ready and make that decision. Why use the

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to

Work

? Well, first thing, it's free; it doesn't cost anything, so why not get some services that you might need. We recognize right out that there are people who may not be able to earn a living through employment. Personally, my belief is that everybody has something that they can sell;...
and we just need to find out what that is and how to go about it. So even just returning to

work

on a minimum level, which may be your maximum capacity, is going to benefit you. You just have to make sure it's the right decision at the right time. That

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to

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that you all have provides free services and supports to help you to maybe decide, "Am I ready? Is this the right time," and then to provide planning services. What's going to happen to my benefits as I go to

work

and earn some money? What kinds of on-the-job supports or training supports can I get in order to get the job that I want? That's what that

ticket

is all about, and you'll get those services free of charge. Social Security will be paying your provider of those support services based upon your success at every step of the way of your journey. So it's kind of a three-way deal. Everybody has responsibilities.

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to

Work

– it's completely voluntary. Again, we're not here to just say, "Go to

work

and do it now." We are here to let you know this is a free and voluntary program to use when you're ready. It offers career development for people between the ages of 18 and 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits and want to

work

. It's as simple as that. It's free. Those people who are 18 need to be disabled adults. They can't still be receiving childhood benefits. That's the one catch. It connects you with free employment services...
to help you make some of these decisions that we've already talked about. Is

work

ing right for you? Once again, I think

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ing to your greatest extent possible is right for everybody because it's going to help with every aspect of your life. How do I prepare for the job that I want? How do I find a job? How do I explain away the last five years where I've been on benefits? There are people who will be part of your employment team who can help you answer all of those questions; and when you do find that job, we're not just going to let you go. We're going to help you succeed at

work

. There are services available to keep you on-the-job that are, again, at no cost to you. So we not only want to find a job for you, but we want to make sure it's the right fit and you succeed. Now, the

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to

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service providers – these people are part of your employment team. I like to express it as an employment team because everybody's got to

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together. Through the

ticket

, you'll have a vast variety of services and providers that you can get. These are just a couple of them. Employment net

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s – they're known as ENs. They are folks who can start with you from scratch. What types of jobs do you want? Do you know? If you don't know, let's talk about you. What are you interested in? Oh, I noticed that you're bringing knitting needles and things into the office in your little bag there. Do you knit a lot? Maybe it's possible to turn...
that into a career and open an Etsy shop -- little things like that. Do you like to skateboard? Oh, you do. Do you know anything about building skateboards? We can turn hobbies into jobs. We can turn hobbies into careers. Then we have the

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force ENs, sometimes known as the American Job Centers. They used to be one-stop centers. They can provide you with all kinds of things. Now, some of these places may not have direct services open right now; and I meant to start this by telling you that we're not going to talk about COVID, nor will we answer any COVID questions. I'll give you a website in just a minute. Some of these people can give you services via distance, and many of them are adept at that. When they open up, those

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force centers are going to have computers that you can use to help build a résumé, to do job searches. They can talk to you about issues that you may have. Do I want to reveal a disability to an employer? Do I need to? What happens if an employer asks me about something like that? Then we have the State VR agencies. Every agency has one; some of them have two. They'll have one that focuses on disability, and one that focuses on blindness. So make sure you contact the right one. They are the big agencies. If you're looking to get a four-year degree, an associate's degree, some expensive training so that you can do some

work

, that might be a good place for you because they're going to be the deep pocket in all of that. The next...
program, the WIPA program,

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Incentives Planning and Assistance projects, I think are pretty critical. They're going to do benefits planning for you so that you will know when that first paycheck comes what's going to happen to my benefits, both cash and

health

care. What's going to happen to my subsidized rent? What's going to happen to my SNAP benefits? They're going to tell you all of that so that you know what and when will happen to your benefits. Much better to know when it's going to happen than be surprised when it happens. They will put together a plan to make sure that your

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effort is enough to replace everything that you may lose. Just a tip I like to give is that the potential of losing

health

care is very, very minimal and many, many years ahead of you. So, please, don't make that your major concern. The last people here are the protection and advocacy for beneficiaries of Social Security benefits, PABSS. Every state and every territory has a Protection and Advocacy Office. They have been funded by Social Security to provide you with free legal services should you have the need for that, something that places a barrier to employment. Whether you receive an overpayment from Social Security, whether you are asked an inappropriate question at an interview, whether you should ask for a reasonable accommodation – and if you do and that reasonable accommodation is denied, we're going to take care of that. That's a free service...
as well. Now I've gone through most of these slides like I normally do, and I do this every time; but an EN, employment net

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s, are public or private. You can choose who you want to

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with. What you're going to want to do is shop. There's a "Find Help" tool in the Web Links pod on your screen, and it's going to tell you all of the employment net

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s or

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force net

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s in your area that can help you and who they help. I mentioned being disabled; I mentioned being blind. You don't want to go to an employment net

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that doesn't have experience helping people with blindness. So you can eliminate some of them before you begin talking to them, and you can talk to as many as you want to see what they can do for you to find out when you can start to find out whether you feel you can even

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with this person, so that free shopping pass to begin with. How is the EN going to help you? We talked about identifying those goals. I mean, I'm not an employment net

work

; but I have used some of the tricks I've learned from them. I have learned that hobbies can become jobs, and some of the skills that you may play with on your computer can become jobs. How do you write a résumé? I don't know. It's been a long time since I've had to write a résumé, and it's all done online. The formatting is all different. I would need some assistance with that. Well, you can get it free. We talked about how do you explain that five years....
Well, yes, I was on disability benefits; but during that period, I provided daycare for my daughter's children. There are some skills that come with daycare, lots of skills when you're

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ing with kids. Maybe we can use some of those as well. There are things that you have done that can fill up that résumé, and employment net

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s know how to do that. Preparing for an interview – the one thing I know right now is that if you do not have a bunch of questions ready to ask when that employer says, "Do you have any questions for us," you probably didn't get the job. That's the stuff the employment net

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tells you. Many of them can provide benefits planning in-house so that it may be a net

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that you want to go just because it's one-stop shopping. That's not a bad thing either. That makes it easier for everybody. The State VR, again, are big agencies funded by the State and the Federal Government for vocational rehabilitation, training, and education. So if we're talking about going back to school, if we're talking about voc rehabilitation, because of your disability you need to relearn how to do the job you had, and going back to

work

at what you were doing is what your goal is. That (inaudible) can help. Again, remember there are sometimes two; there's usually an agency for disability and one for the blind, so you're going to want to talk to the appropriate agency. This slide I love. I always love this one. Partnership...
Plus is a way to use both the State VR agency and an employment net

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. So if I want to become a teaching assistant and that's going to require me to get a two-year associate's degree, it's not likely that a private employment net

work

is going to be able to fund that. They may be able to help me get scholarships or grants, and that's a good thing. They may even help me get loans, and that's a good thing. But VR might just pay for it. They may pay for my transportation to school, my tuition, my books, and all the fees. So I may want to let them put my

ticket

"in use," and that's in quotes, "in use," and it's not assigned to anybody. The result of that is I go to school, I graduate, and I start

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ing; and VR is providing me supports. Well, after 90 days, VR closes my case and says, "Bye, Ray, have a nice career." I can then take my

ticket

that still has value from VR because it's never been assigned and assign it to an EN. There's still money on that

ticket

that the EN can use to provide me with on-the-job support, that can provide me somebody to talk to if some unusual situation shows up during the day that I don't know how to handle. They can send me to the PABSS agency. What if I get a raise? They decide after that 90-day period that I'm going to be kept on, and I get a 5% raise now. I've got to go back to that EN to get benefits planning again. That's all allowable now because of...
Partnership Plus, and we can help you not only go to

work

but become a

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er because of the extended period of time that you can get these services. So there's the Choose

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website. It's also in your – oh, god -- the Web Links pod, I'm looking right at it and I can't even read it – almost at the bottom of what you can see.

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Incentives Planning and Assistance, the WIPA programs – that's my background. That's where I started with Cornell in 2000 because I realized that I was keeping people who were on benefits from getting out of poverty, and

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and the

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incentives that Social Security provides can help you get out of poverty real fast – real fast. You just have to believe that these people know what they're talking about; they're very well-trained; they have technical assistance and can help you and dispel some of those myths. Out of the hundreds of you on there, I bet you I could ask people right now, "If you go to

work

today, what's going to happen," and someone is going to tell me, "I'm going to lose everything." That's the first myth that we've got to get rid of because that's just not true. There are so many great

work

incentives that Social Security has that will help you on your journey to

work

that it's going to be very difficult just to start unless you have landed a six-figure job and are starting 40 hours a week – in which case, who cares about the cash, right? There...
are lots of things that you may hear on the street that just aren't true. These benefits planners are going to tell you the truth, and they're going to put you in a very powerful place because rather than getting a notice six months from now, you will know when something in your benefits is expected to change. If you know, that puts you in a very different situation where you are taking control of your own destiny. I think that's very important. Who do the WIPA projects serve? Right now, they serve people who are currently

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ing. So if you're

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ing and you get a raise, or if you're

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ing and you get laid off, they're there to help. Or people who are self-employed – self-employment is a different world. There are still

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incentives. You can be helped like that, but we are not going to spend a lot of time on self-employment today. Do you have a job offer that's pending and you want to know what's going to happen? The WIPA can help you. Are you actively interviewing for jobs, which is defined as you've interviewed in the last 30 days or you have one scheduled within the next two weeks? You're a priority to these people. Then, the transition aids youth who are between 14 and 25 and are just beginning to consider

work

. That's a real prime group for us and can be the most fun because we can take a disabled child and make them a

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er with a disability and not have to depend upon Social Security benefits for the rest of their...
lives. We've got some real good stories that we can share with you about that. So PABSS – my last job before I started with Cornell was as a PABSS attorney. What did I do? I provided free legal services to folks who needed it if it was benefits-related, disability-related, and employment-related. There are lots of things that fall into that category. I talked about overpayments. I talked about denials of accommodation. What about homelessness? If you don't have an address, you're not likely to get a job; so you could potentially talk with a PABSS person about how to get housed, how to get an address for an employer to make contact with you. You can also talk to these folks. A lot of these people -- in my office, we had somebody who specialized in accommodations. So you could talk to them about when do I need to tell my boss I have a disability? Do I need to? That is an important decision, a very personal decision to you. They are there to provide services if necessary -- protecting your rights during employment and before employment, requesting those accommodations, again, and lots of other things that are barriers to employment. When you say disability-based, legal issues that are barriers, that's pretty much opening the barn door; and you can do lots of things because lots of things are barriers to employment. So how do you find out where these people are? We've got a website for that -- the Choose

Work

website, which is also in the Web Links pod –...
and it's real easy to search. When I say it's real easy to search, that means Ray can do it so everybody can do it. You can search by ZIP code; you can search by the types of services you're going to need, the disability type, languages spoken. You may be able to listen to me give this lecture in English; but when you start talking about getting down to the business of going to

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, you would rather speak in Spanish because that makes you more comfortable. So find somebody who speaks Spanish. What type of provider are they? Are you looking for an EN, a

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force EN, a State VR agency, the WIPA Agency, or the PABSS Agency? If all you want to know is what's going to happen to my benefits if I go to

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, you don't need anybody but the WIPAs. If you've been denied an accommodation, you might want to look at EN, WIPA, and PABSS; but narrow that search so you're not overwhelmed with results. Last but not least, the

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to

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Help Line for a list of service providers in your area. I'm going to read this phone number so you can get it down: 1-866-968-7842 and, for TTY users, 1-866-833-2967. They will get that list of providers to you and give you some minimal information about this process that you're about to begin, but you need to get to the providers to get the full story. Any questions so far, Sarah? SARAH>> Yeah, we sure do have a couple. The first question I have is: "When applying for a job, will employers know that you are...

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ing with the

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to

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program? RAY>> Not unless you tell them, not unless you tell them at all. -- the employers have no business asking you that. They have no business asking you if you're receiving public benefits. They have no reason asking whether or not you have a disability. Today, when we're focusing on

mental

health

, it's the perfect time to mention that you can't see that. It's not like I am using a wheelchair. If I have a

mental

health

issue, you can't see it. So you don't have to tell them that. SARAH>> Thank you, Ray. Before we move on with more questions, I would like to remind everyone that accessibility materials for today's

webinar

are available either in the Web Links pod or in your confirmation e-mail for today's

webinar

or by e-mailing

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to

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at

webinar

[email protected]

work

.ssa.gov. Ray, I have another question for you: "I have a

ticket

assigned to an employment net

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, and the employment net

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closed my case. Do I have a deadline to reassign my

ticket

to another employment net

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? What happens if I don't reassign the

ticket

to another entity?" RAY>> Wow, that's a question (laughing). The first question that I'd ask back is why did the employment net

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close your case? If they closed your case because you were not participating, then you can take your

ticket

and try to reassign it to a new net

work

. If they closed your case because you're just not getting along or...
because you can't have a meeting of the minds as to how this journey should go, you can take that

ticket

and reassign it. Now, reassigning a

ticket

from one EN to the other gives you – you can take as long as you want, but the protections that come along with using that

ticket

only lasts 90 days. It may sound like 90 days is a long enough time to find a new EN; but that's 90 days to get your

ticket

assigned, which means finding, putting a plan together, and getting it approved by Social Security. So it's not really a lot of time; but, yes, you can do that. What was the last part of that question? SARAH>> The final part of that question was: What happens if I don't reassign the

ticket

to another entity?" RAY>> Okay, thank you. If you don't assign the

ticket

, nothing happens. This

ticket

is voluntary, so you can stop it at any time if you choose to. If you're not happy about how things are going, if you're just not ready to go to

work

and you decide that in the midst of this planning, you can just take your

ticket

back. What happens is when you're using a

ticket

, if it's "in use" status with VR or assigned to an EN, you are protected from medical continuing disability reviews. So Social Security will not look at your medical case to determine if you're still disabled while you're doing and using that

ticket

. You would lose that protection if you don't reassign it, and that will leave you open to having...
a continuing disability review. That decision to pull it and risk that is your decision. SARAH>> Thank you, Ray. The next question I have for you from the audience is: "If I'm

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ing with an EN that doesn't have a certified benefits counselor on staff, do I have to unassign my

ticket

with the EN to

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with my local WIPA to receive benefits counseling?" RAY>> Absolutely not, and that's a great question. If there is not a benefits planner on staff at the EN, I would hope the EN would refer you to WIPA or other benefits planners that serve your area. It really is a necessary service to return to

work

in a smooth and unharmful way. If they don't do that, then by all means use the "Find Help" tool and find who that local agency is because that needs to be a part of your return to

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journey. SARAH>> Okay, thank you, Ray. The next question from the audience is: "Do I have to meet any qualifications to

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with a PABSS organization?" RAY>> Not at all, the Protection and Advocacy agencies

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a little differently than legal services. They are not based on financial need. Their services are free, and they're based on the fact that somebody has a disability. It doesn't have to be a Social Security-recognized disability, but there needs to be some event that requires legal assistance. As I mentioned, it could be the denial of a reasonable accommodation by your employer. It could be that the employer...
said, "What have you been doing," when they question that five-year gap in employment, "what was going on," and they push and push and push. It's inappropriate for them to ask you about your disability. It's inappropriate for them to ask you what types of accommodations are they going to be on the hook for. That doesn't happen until after the job is offered to you and only if you choose to divulge it. So things like that are what PABSS can help you with. Remember, it needs to be a barrier to employment. SARAH>> All right, and those were excellent reminders on accommodations. The next question I have for you, Ray, is: "Does the

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to

Work

program provide assistance to finding a

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-from-home job?" RAY>> They certainly can. A lot of us

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from home. I've been doing it for close to 20 years now, and there are more and more jobs that are amenable to that. I think what we're currently experiencing with COVID has expanded employers' recognition that people can

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from home and be productive. So most certainly they can help find you a job that you can do from your home. SARAH>> Okay, and of course, Ray, as you know, we covered that topic, "

Work

ing from Home with

Ticket

to

Work

" on last month's May

webinar

. You can find that in the Web Links pod under "WISE

Webinar

Archives," so you can listen if you weren't able to attend. You can also access that at...
http://bit.ly/WISE_OnDemand; and Ray was with us as one of our speakers, so I highly encourage listening to that one. The next question I have for you Ray is: "What do I do if I want to change my employment net

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?" RAY>> What you do is fire the employment net

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that you're

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ing with. What you really need to do is do this right. You just don't walk away from an employment net

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. You have to talk to them or write them a letter and say, "I need my

ticket

back." You don't need to give them a reason why; but, "I'm choosing not to

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with you anymore," and let them know what's going on. You should let Social Security know what's going on because they're a player in this triangle too, and then your

ticket

should be returned to you or at least unassigned. The paper

ticket

doesn't really mean anything, but you will have a

ticket

that's available for assignment; and you can either, as we spoke earlier, not assign it at all or search for another EN. I think it's important that you do this appropriately. If you're going to quit your job, you're going to write a letter to your employer saying here's my 30-days' notice or my two-week notice. I think you need to do that just to be courteous to the person and the EN that you were

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ing with. SARAH>> Okay, the next question I have for you, Ray, is: "I recently started

work

ing. Can a

Ticket

program service provider still help me...
as I get used to my

work

place?" RAY>> That's another great question. There's potential for that. This whole Social Security

work

incentives goal is to have you earning at a certain level, which is called "substantial gainful activity." There is a possibility that if you're earning at or above, that

ticket

may not exist anymore because you've met your goal. If your goal was to earn much more than that – you wanted to become that teaching assistant – then this potential that there is money left on your

ticket

; and, yes, you could approach it again. The easiest way to do that is approach an EN. Find somebody in your area; give them a call. The first thing they will do is make contact with Social Security to find out, can this

ticket

still be used? If the answer is, "Yes," most certainly they can get you the services that you need to maintain employment. SARAH>> Thank you, Ray. The next question I have for you is: "I heard that I'll lose my benefits right away if I go back to

work

. I'm afraid that I can't

work

full-time. Can

Ticket

to

Work

help me?" RAY>> I think it can. What you need to understand is when I spoke earlier I said that employment net

work

s are going to get paid according to your progress. So what you need to do is have that discussion with the EN. Is that

ticket

, because you believe you're only able to

work

part-time going to provide enough money to that EN to make it make sense...
for them. The other option is your

ticket

allows you to get free benefits planning services. So if you don't think you need rehabilitation services, if you don't think you need on-the-job support, you can go directly to a WIPA program and get benefits planning done; and that benefits planner will be there as you begin

work

. You may think you're going to be earning $10 an hour

work

ing 15 hours a week, but what if you actually find a job and it's $12 an hour and you're going to give 20 hours a week a shot? The math that you did with the benefits planner thinking about

work

isn't correct. So they will be there to then, okay, let's change all these numbers and figure out what's going to happen when. That may be all that you'll need. So it really depends upon your needs and how much you plan to earn. Remember, these private ENs are money-making institutions. They have to pay their people who are

work

ing there, and it's going to be sort of tug of war between how much you're going to earn and how much they are going to get paid. But, yes, I think it's possible; and those benefits planners don't really have a concern about how much you're going to make. They're just concerned that you get yourself into a job that you want and that you understand what's going to happen to your benefits. But the fact that you're going to lose them right away, just scratch that from your mind. That's not real. SARAH>> Okay,...
Ray, the next question I have for you from the audience is: "How can I receive support when contacting service providers?" RAY>> How can you receive support when contacting them? You know, a lot – I'm trying to figure out what's going on here. I think anybody, any of the people that I mentioned – State VR, the employment net

work

s, the PABSS agencies, or the WIPAs, even the

work

force ENs – the good thing about this program is there's no wrong door to start with. So that if you want to go to a benefits planner to find out what's going to happen if I start

work

ing and you have a discussion with that planner about what kind of supports you need, I'm sure that they can get you to an EN that can help you; and it would be a shorter list than you would other

wise

find on the computer because they would be targeting that list. So I think all of the providers that we're talking about can get you in contact with the other ones because we may be doing different jobs, but we all know each other and

work

together. If it's somebody who needs a job coach, somebody who may need personal care assistance to get ready to

work

or ready from

work

, that would be a place where you could actually talk to anybody again. The benefits planners could get you hooked up with one of the

health

care agencies, as could the ENs. So it depends on what you need. The service providers that we're talking about today certainly can contact you with the other...
service providers that might be giving you durable medical equipment or on-the-job services. So again, no wrong door here. It might be an extra phone call that you'll need to make, but you can start this journey by contacting any one of those people. SARAH>> Ray, thank you so much for all of your thorough answers. We do have more questions for you, which we will address later in the

webinar

. We're going to stop and keep going forward with, "Managing Stress During a Job Search and While on the Job." Ray, you're going to take over from here. Thank you. RAY>> Okay, thank you. Unfortunately, I've become quite an expert at doing this recently. Managing Stress During a Job Search and on the Job -- we're going to give you all kinds of tips that can help you in both of these areas, and they are both different situations where they are stressful.

Work

ing, it can be stressful. That job search can be very stressful, but it's nothing to be afraid of because we're going to give you some tips that are going to help you.

Mental

health

, as we're talking now, includes emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. I am going to – let's play true confessions here.

Work

ing at home for 20 years, I love.

Work

ing at home during the current situation has caused more stress, more emotional impact, and a whole significant impact on social wellbeing because of the various lockdowns. So I can tell you that as somebody who has

work

ed their...
entire life full-time and long hours that I'm feeling it now. So when I read these slides and realized what they said, they're going to

work

for you because it's what's

work

ed for me. It affects how I act. It affects what I think. It affects how I react to things. After four months of this, I can fly off the handle at the smallest little thing. I know who I can call on my team who can talk me down. So we're going to talk about things like that, very real things, that are affecting lots of people right now. So how do we handle stress? How do we relate to others, and how do you make a choice? When you know you want to do something and someone else is telling you it's not the right choice -- don't do that right now, Ray – you need someone to talk to who can help you do the right thing. This just happened to me last week. Stress affects everyone. It affects your mood. It increases symptoms of

mental

illness. Anxiety, depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, are all going to be exacerbated by that. I want to the doctor's this morning just for a checkup. They said, "Have you experienced any anxiety or depression in the last two weeks?" I said, yes; and I explained exactly what was going on because being locked up in my home and wearing masks and wearing rubber gloves is getting to me. Know the potential signs of stress. If you're not sleeping like you used to, we have to consider that that might be an impact of stress or...
depression. Not eating appropriately, lack of focus – it can all cause negative effects. When you're looking for a job, you need to be focused on that effort. When you find a job, you need to be focused on that transition to becoming a

work

er. A lot of stuff can get in the way of that, but little tiny fixes are possible.

Work

ing can give you a sense of the future. You can see when you get that first paycheck, "Okay, if I pay my bills, this much money is gone; but I have some left. What can I do with that? What should I do with that? How much of that do I save? How much of that do I spend?" That's going to give a sense of what your future is going to look like, and it's not going to be too long before things start growing very quickly. Setting goals – what about earnings or earning a promotion? My goal when I started at Cornell was to do my job – do my job as it was told to me. When I learned how to do that, my goal was to run the show; and that happened. I focused on that and did what I had to do to develop the new skills. Supervisory skills, selling skills, how do I get people to sign up for my classes? Not only does that motivate you, it makes you feel good about yourself. It really, really does. There are days – I mean with these live events, let's just take those. I'm going to hang up; and I'm going to, most of the time, feel like I did a really good job and maybe helped somebody. That makes me feel good. That's a bonus! I...
know I'm getting paid, but that's a bonus.

Work

ing, you're investing in yourself – making me feel good, when I feel good because I think I've done a good job and helped people, that's a great thing. I also know that on the 30th of the month, I'm going to receive a paycheck so that I can pay my mortgage. I can pay the electricity; and, you know, I'll be able to go out to dinner or at least get takeout. So there's a lot more to

work

than just a job. I have a job now I love, and it is worth all of the stress and some of the bad things that I feel and think about. So we're going to look at job searching with a

mental

condition and identifying a

mental

-

health

-friendly employer. I think, again, with what's going on now, employers are realizing what employees are thinking about, feeling, and how we're all reacting. So it's opening a lot more doors. It may be a national emergency, but I believe that something good is going to come out of it. Tips for Managing Stress – make a plan. I knew when I came into

work

today what I was going to do. I had a list so that I know what I have to do, when I have to do it. I check off each thing when I'm done with it. Why? Because when I get to check off the last one, it's going to make me feel better. Take care of yourself. I'm not a model at doing that because I constantly miss breakfast, which is not a good thing. I do take my meds on time, and I try to keep a regular sleep schedule....
Those things may sound small, but they're very, very important; and you always know there's somebody to ask for help – be it a co

work

er, be it your employment net

work

, be it your employer. Things don't go as we plan them. That happens all the time. Maybe you thought you would be able to do that job without an orthopedic desk chair. Well, if you need one, if you find you're in a lot of pain at the end of the day and you need a better chair, maybe we need to ask the employer to provide that; and that will keep us going and make you more comfortable. Managing Stress on the Job – these ten tips are wonderful things. Even during your job search, these things are wonderful. Where you live, you need to find a space. It could be a corner. It could be a kitchen countertop. That space is dedicated to your job search. You have your documents organized, and they're all in one place. When you're searching for a job, you're at that spot. When you're not searching for a job, you don't go near that space. All of your important materials, you know where they are. Identifying your career goal – are you more amenable to being affected by stress? That could impact your job choice. Are you looking for a job, or are you looking for a career? Do you want a job that's going to have the opportunity to get promotions so that you have more authority over other

work

ers, or that you're somebody who has to check out the order forms before they make it out...
the door...a position with more responsibility? Create a schedule. I am very much a schedule maker. My life – my doctor's appointment this morning is on my schedule. Everything is on my schedule. I had an appointment with somebody to talk about putting windows in my house. It was on my schedule. It helps keep me organized. It also gives me that sense that I have done something during the day. Setting your daily goals – if you have a long-term project, like a job search, how many résumés do you want to send out this week? How many calls do you want to make to employers that you haven't heard from in the last three weeks after sending them a résumé? How many hours do you want to spend today researching what jobs might be available, be that on the computer or your hometown newspaper? Set those goals, and set the time aside by scheduling it, and do it at your dedicated space. More tips – the companies, the businesses, the restaurants, whatever you are looking at, that you're talking to, or that you have made a list of, should align with your goals. If you're looking to become the manager of a restaurant and you look at the small family-owned restaurant as a place to

work

, well, that's not likely to be a good place for you to become the manager because it's a family-run business. So you might want to look at a different restaurant. Find out who your contacts are. You'd be surprised who might know somebody who is a service person in that...
restaurant, who might know the host or the hostess when you walk in the door. If you know those people, you can talk to them about – you can make a connection, first of all, and then talk to them about what is it like to

work

in that restaurant. How about your job? People are happy to talk to you about that. Did you

work

your way up from being a busboy to a water and to being the host at the restaurant? That's a nice progression. Apply for those positions. You talk to people who know, and you're going apply. Now, remember you need the résumé, you need the cover letter and, if you're going to apply for a job, you're also going to need some interview practice. So we're back to that employment net

work

; aren't we? We're back to your employment team to get some support. Track those jobs that you apply for. I have lists everywhere. Everywhere on my desk, there is a list; and I can track what I did Monday, Tuesday, and today just by looking at that list. You're going to want to do that with your jobs. Which ones have you applied for? Which ones have responded to you? When are those interviews? If you have sent out five résumés, you can't really think you're just going to remember it without writing a list down. So you're back at that spot at your kitchen counter that you have dedicated to this job search to make that list; and when you walk away from that, you're doing something else. Set weekly and monthly goals to keep you on...
track and motivated. That sounds like it's a long time out in a job search, but it's not. A weekly goal and a monthly goal – it will set you up so that you are watching yourself become successful. Going to an interview and doing a good job at that interview but not getting the job does not mean you were not successful. You applied, you were chosen for that interview, and you did a great job. That should motivate you that you know how to do this. Let's do it again. You might not have been the right fit for all we know, but don't let that stop you. Consider it an accomplishment and move on. How many jobs are you going to interview for? Set a goal. If it's five, do it. Keep lists. When did you do it? When you have a list and you check things off and you realize how far you have come from day one, you're going to be pleased with yourself; and you have every right to be pleased with yourself. That's what we want for you. So, please, use these tips. These two slides are worth gold because they will help you organize. Again, find that space that is going to be dedicated to your

work

, to your job search at this point. It will be dedicated to your

work

afterwards. If you choose to

work

at home, it's going to be dedicated as your

work

space; and you

work

when you're in that space. When you leave that space, you don't

work

. Reducing Stress at

Work

– this first one is me, white noise or soothing music. For my entire career, I have had a radio in...
my office; and other than the times that I'm on a

webinar

, that radio's on. What bothers me now is silence. The silence is louder than the music. If the music's on, it's calming me down. So use that. If you want one of those Wave noise machines, that can be very comforting as well. Try to plan for uninterrupted

work

time. When you sit down at that table or at your desk or stand at that counter space that you've set aside, you are

work

ing. You need to know how long you're going to be

work

ing and what you're going to accomplish, and it's uninterrupted time. A lot of us have kids. They need to have a plan too so you don't get interrupted. That's going to be their video time. That's going to be their TV time. That's going to be their go out in the backyard and play time so that you can get your

work

done. If you're at

work

, natural light – it sounds like a funny thing because you go into an office and you might not have a window and you turn a light on. Well, natural light is your friend. Get as much of it as you can. If you need to ask to have your

work

space moved so that you can get a window, ask. If you have to be there for three years to get a day office with a window, sometimes that's the way; seniority gets you windows. Go outside. You have a break; go outside. When I

work

ed in an office the last time in Boston, I did not care how cold it was or how much snow or how hot and humid it was. At lunchtime, I went outside;...
and I walked around Boston Common just to get the light and the air. Set up habits like that. Don't have things scheduled during those periods of time, so you can find that if you need it. This is critically important. If you are doing a job that is going to take you three months, six months, maybe a year, you cannot look at that as one task. It needs to be divided up. You know, you will know, what needs to be done now; and you will know what can wait. Waiting a year to feel good about what you've accomplished, is a long, long time. If you divide it up into little pieces, setting those monthly goals, you feel good 12 times. So divide large assignments into larger tasks. Not only is it no longer that mountain that you have to climb, but you're going to get some satisfaction when each part is finished. Sometimes modifications are going to be necessary. You know those lights you use in the winter. When I lived in Massachusetts, I had one of those lights that have UV stuff in them because I had a very dark

work

space; and it was mostly artificial light, and they helped. They helped. So that's a very reasonable modification. They're pretty cheap nowadays. So if I need that in my

work

space, I can ask for that. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing, and I believe we all have a little of that. When you wake up in the wintertime and you go to

work

in the dark and it gets dark at 4:30 p.m., you need sunshine. Those little machines can help. Reasonable...
accommodations – that's an okay thing to ask for. JAN, the Job Accommodation Net

work

, is a fantastic organization that has a hand up on all of us when we're talking about accommodations. You'll get lots of information and, most of all, confidential guidance on what accommodations are right in your situation, how much they cost. Most accommodations are actually a lot cheaper than your employer's going to imagine. So if you know what you need to help and how much it's going to cost, asking your employer is going to be a lot easier because you've done some research; you know. You can get in touch with them at www.askjan.org, a great, great resource. Now Johnny – we always have success stories, and I love these success stories. Johnny had, unfortunately, a granddaughter who passed away; and it triggered clinical depression. Johnny received treatment and spent more than ten years, more than a decade,

work

ing towards her recovery. Now, she was focused -- notice that word again comes up – focused on recovery; and that takes some time, and that's fine. When she was ready to

work

, she sought help from the organizations in her community – the employment net

work

s, the State VR Agency, the ENs, the WIPA, the PABSS agencies – that employment team. She sought help from those, which led to the

Ticket

program. A lot of people are really surprised when they find out what this

Ticket

program can offer. So she was connected with a benefits counselor who...
explained all of the

work

incentives. Again, I'm going to say some of them are going to surprise you. They're really wonderful things. And how they ease that transition from dependence on benefits to dependence upon income – she now has a full-time job and is pretty confident that she's on the path to financial independence. Now, that to me is a success story, a great one. What did she say? "Being back at

work

has been an important part of my recovery. It's restoring my self-confidence and has made it possible for me to buy the house I've always wanted." That's a dream come true. That truly is. That's a wonderful success story. You can have that too. It's just a question of are you ready to, and that answer is yours. Johnny's story is great. So how to get help with

mental

health

issues – if you or someone you know has a

mental

health

issue or a

mental

illness, there are ways to find help. SAMHSA is a great organization to help with that. I think I want to read this one too; we've got enough time: https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline. You're going to find what you need to deal with your own issues or family members' or friends' – even substance abuse disorders. This place is great. You're going to want to call if you can. That's another way into this system: 1-800-662-4357 or, for your TTY users, 1-800-487-4889. Don't be afraid to reach out. They're great people, and they will be...
able to help you. That bring us back to questions. SARAH>> Thank you, Ray, on that great information about managing stress. We're going to go ahead and pause here, take a few minutes to address some of the questions we've received from the audience on these topics and more. The first question I have for you, Ray, is: "You talked about managing stress, and one way to do that is to ask for help. Who can I ask for help when faced with a stressful situation?" RAY>> You know, I'm going to say you can ask almost anybody. If you're looking for professional help, you can look to resources like SAMHSA to find agencies in your community. You might want to talk to an independent living center who would have those agencies and be aware of them. The benefits planners and even the PABSS agencies would know who those agencies are in your area that could get you professional assistance if you need it. If you're

work

ing with an EN and have your

ticket

assigned to them, there may be somebody in that office who can talk to you about that as well. So there are lots of ways to get to that help or get that help. If you need that help, don't wait; just ask. That's the wonderful thing about all of this. It's not only free, but it's completely non-judg

mental

. We will get you the help that you need to continue on this journey. So please free to call upon, I believe, anybody on that employment team and SAMHSA and your local independent living...
centers to find any of the assistance that you need in that regard. SARAH>> Thank you, Ray. The next question I have is: "Can I wait until after I accept a job to tell my employer about my disability?" RAY>> You can not only have to wait until after you've accepted a job, you don't have to tell them at all. Once you're offered a job, that's the time to begin the discussions about reasonable accommodations. If you're asking for reasonable accommodations, you have to clearly let them know that you have a disability. If you don't need a reasonable accommodation and can do that job as well as any other

work

er, you don't need to tell them; but you certainly should not be asked about that during the interview process, and it would be after you were offered a job that you'd want to bring it up. SARAH>> All right, thank you. Again, that can be found. We covered that in August 2019

webinar

, which is called, "Putting It Together:

Ticket

to

Work

Résumé and Interview Tips." For more detailed information, you can find that in the Web Links pod in the WISE On Demand and on the

Ticket

to

Work

website. Thanks, Ray. We have also had a couple of people asking to repeat the Help Line. The phone number for that is: 1-800-662-4357, which spells out HELP. I'll repeat that again for the National Help Line. It's 1-800-662-4357 or, for TTY, it's 1-800-487-4889. Ray, the next question I have for you is: "I would...
like to try and

work

, but I am not sure I can even

work

a part-time position. Is there assistance to help me find a job for a few hours a week and increase my time as appropriate?" RAY>> You know, I think you're in the situation where I think benefits planning is something that you really need to consider. That can let you know whether or not your benefits will be impacted and how if they are impacted. You're not alone; just know that. You're not alone. Many, many people don't know what their capacity is until they try it. So if your goal is to start light with the ultimate goal of continuing to add hours, a benefits planner is a great place to start. Once again, we have employment net

work

s who could help you; but that is more dependent on you knowing that you're going to increase your hours so that they can get paid. I think a benefits planner is a great place to start to see what's available out there. They can figure out, if you're going to be

work

ing a couple of hours in retail, what the average pay scale is and what will happen to your benefits so that you don't need to worry about that, can focus on

work

ing the hours that you believe you can

work

, and add to that. When you decide you're ready to add to it, go back to the planner and figure out what's going to happen now. What's the next step in the benefits world, and are you ready at that point to move on to the employment net

work

to do some more

work

that might be...
able to increase your income and your financial wellbeing. SARAH>> Thank you, Ray. We have time for one final question today. That is: "Could you clarify? I have a disability and receive benefits. How do I know if I'm eligible for

Ticket

to

Work

, and how do I get started?" RAY>> Well, one way is to call the Help Line. Most people have a

ticket

. They did start mailing them again in 2016, so you may have a virtual

ticket

; but that paper doesn't really count for anything. What you need to do is give that Help Line a call so you do have a

ticket

that can be assigned, and then begin your search. As I mentioned earlier, there's really no wrong way to start because if you do contact an EN, the first thing they're going to do is make contact with Social Security to see if you have a

ticket

that can be assigned. So you can either do that yourself or make contact with an employment net

work

or a benefits planner. I've known many a planner who has given that Help Line a ring to say, "Does this person have a

ticket

so that we can plan to use it?" SARAH>> All right, thank you so much, Ray. We are out of time for questions on today's

webinar

. Thank you for sending in all of your questions to the audience. We hope we provided the answers to your questions on the

Ticket

Program. Many thanks to Ray for being with us here today and sharing your knowledge of the

Ticket

to

Work

program. Thanks, Ray. RAY>> Thank you. SARAH>>...
If you would like to know more about our monthly WISE

webinar

s, we encourage you to subscribe in order to find out our upcoming topics and be amongst the first to register. To learn so much more about the

Ticket

program, employment service providers, and other topics, please subscribe to the Choose

Work

Blog. You will get weekly updates sent directly to your Inbox. Both of these links can be found in the Web Links pod under "WISE

Webinar

Subscription" and "Choose

Work

!" blog subscription." Social Security's

Ticket

to

Work

program has a number of services providers and other resources ready to help you get started. To get a list of providers in your area or to get answers to questions that you may have about the

Ticket

program and other

work

incentives, you can contact the

Ticket

to

Work

Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or, for TTY, 1-866-833-2967, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Or you can visit the

Ticket

to

Work

website at choose

work

.ssa.gov at any time. You can also find us on social media or subscribe to the blog and e-mail updates by visiting: choose

work

.ssa.gov/contact. This link appears in the Web Links pod under "

Ticket

to

Work

Contact Information." Please join us for our next WISE

webinar

. The next WISE

webinar

will be "Reasonable Accommodations and the Path to Employment," which will be held on Wednesday, July 22,

2020

, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Registration is now open, and...
we look forward to having you attend. To register online, go to choose

work

.ssa.gov/

wise

; or you can call 1-866-968-7842 or, for TTY, 1-866-833-2967. Your feedback is very important to us. It helps us plan future

webinar

s. Please provide your feedback and tell us what you thought about today's

webinar

by taking our survey. To take the survey, you can follow the link that will pop up after the

webinar

; or you can always visit

Ticket

to

Work

website to complete the survey. This survey can also be found in the Web Links pod. We would like to thank you again for attending today and learning about the

Ticket

program. Please take the opportunity to reach out to any of the resources that we discussed today, which can be found in the Web Links pod, and take the next step on your career path. This concludes today's

webinar

, and have a wonderful evening.