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Being aware of your ticket to work

October is an incredibly special month in the United States. Not simply because of Halloween but because it is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. What began in 1945 as the first week in October to raise awareness about offering employment to people with disabilities, the NDEAM was later expanded to the entire month, further expounding on the message that people with disabilities have just as much of a right to work than everyone else.

But while the NDEAM's main focus is on raising awareness about disability employment issues such as disability discrimination in the workplace, the national campaign makes a nod to something else that some of our Nassau County readers may be familiar with: the Ticket to Work program.

For those who do not know, the Ticket to Work program began with the passing of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 which was passed on November 20, 1999 by a 418-2 vote. The program was founded on the principle that even someone with a disability may have the desire to work and should be given the opportunity to do so.

The Ticket to Work program provides assistance to disabled persons who are between the ages of 18 and 64 who need help finding a job, need vocational training, or require other services that will help them return to work.

In addition to helping people with disabilities reenter the workforce, the Ticket to Work program also provides other incentives such as the ability for participants to remain eligible -- and continue receiving -- their disability benefits after they return to work. This further helps people with disabilities to stay independent while also affording them additional financial support as a safety net.

Sources: The United States Department of Labor, "National Disability Employment Awareness Month," Accessed Oct. 1, 2014

The Social Security Administration, "Your Ticket to Work," Accessed Oct. 2, 2014

The Social Security Administration, "Congress Passes The Ticket To Work And Work Incentives Improvement Act Of 1999," Accessed Oct. 2, 2014

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