Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income is a needs-based program for the aged, blind or disabled based upon financial eligibility and is authorized under Title XVI of the Social Security Act. Also referred to as Title XVI benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI is an entitlement program based on insured status and is authorized under Title II of the Social Security Act. A person is entitled to SSDI if the person has a severe disability that renders the person unable to perform substantial work. Also referred to as Title II benefits.

Overview of Benefits: SSI vs. SSDI

Ticket to Work

Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program is a free and voluntary program available to people ages 18 through 64 who are blind or have a disability and who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The goals of the Ticket to Work Program are to:

  • Offer beneficiaries with disabilities expanded choices when seeking services and supports to enter, re-enter, maintain, and/or advance in employment;

  • Increase the financial independence and self-sufficiency of beneficiaries with disabilities; and

  • Reduce, and whenever possible, eliminate reliance on disability benefits.

Under this program, eligible beneficiaries with disabilities who are receiving monthly cash benefits are entitled to participate by signing up with an approved service provider of their choice. This can be an Employment Network such as the Iowa State Workforce Partners Employment Network or a State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. The EN will coordinate and provide appropriate services to help the beneficiary find and maintain employment. These services may be training, career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, job placement, benefits planning, and ongoing support services necessary to achieve an employment goal.

Ticket holders who assign their tickets to the EN are eligible for various work incentives and earn incentive dollars for the EN by obtaining and maintaining levels of employment and earned income.