Earn Tax Credits
December 14, 2002
Employers throughout the country soon will hear about the new federal Ticket to Work program, and how they can earn tax credits by hiring people with disabilities.
The Social Security Administration program provides incentives to hire people who receive Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income. It will cut the administration's costs by reducing the number of SSI and SSDI claimants; in 2001, those who filed SSDI claims alone received $60 billion in disability benefits. In addition, SSDI claimants may find it easier to take jobs, since they already had work experience before being sidelined with a disability.
The program has incentives for key stakeholders. Employers get up to $2,400 per hire in first-year tax credits. SSDI and SSI claimants receive continued medical benefits for up to 8.5 years. They also are allowed a nine-month trial employment period with continuing disability benefits, and will get expedited reinstatement of disability benefits if they can't continue to work. "Employment networks" that help people with disabilities land jobs will receive up to $19,000 per hire in commissions.
The SSA is rolling out the program in three phases. In mid November, it began launching the second phase to 20 more states, including Michigan, New Jersey, Georgia, and Virginia. Early in 2004, the program will be offered to the remaining 17 states, including California and Texas.
The ambitious program continues to be updated and improved to best serve its disability claimants, agency officials say. To learn more about it, employers can receive help by contacting two Department of Labor programs, the Employer Assistance Referral Network (866-327-6669, www.earnworks.com) and Ticket to Hire (866-889-- 4473).
© 2002 Workforce