The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) is an independent agency that administers Social Security, a social insurance program.  SSA administers the largest of several federal programs providing assistance to Americans with disabilities through its disability benefits programs.  In addition, SSA administers a self-sufficiency program to help existing beneficiaries reduce dependency on cash benefits.  These resources are listed below to help you connect the pieces.

SSA pays disability benefits under two programs – (1) the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and (2) the Supplemental Security Income (SSI).   The SSDI program provides cash benefits to individuals who are disabled and not able to work.  These contributions are based on worker’s earnings (or those of worker’s spouse or parents).  Whereas, the SSI program provides cash assistance to individuals with disabilities who have limited income and resources.  For most people, the medical requirements are the same under both programs and the disability determination is determined by the same process.


1.  Contact Social Security:  Resource link to call, email, or find your local Social Security office through a ZIP code locator to schedule an appointment or file an application.

Benefits Program

2.  Disability Benefits Online:  Link to SSA’s disability benefits online resource page with application supported by two resource toolkits - 1) Disability Planner and 2) Manage Your Benefits.

Self-Sufficiency Program

3.  What is Ticket to Work?:  Link to SSA’s public facing website for the Ticket to Work Program featuring all information and resources to assist SSA beneficiaries return to work.

4. Ticket to Work Service Providers:  A direct link to a directory of service providers to help beneficiaries find employment support including job coaching, job counseling, training, benefits counseling and job placement

5. Trial Work Period:  The Trial Work Period (TWP) is one of the many Work Incentives available to SSDI recipients. If you receive SSDI, your TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine months. This SSA Fact Sheet provides an overview about the TWP.

my Social Security Account

6. my Social Security Account: With your free, personal my Social Security Account, you can receive personalized estimates of future benefits based on your real earnings, see your latest Statement, and review your earnings history. It even makes it easy to request a replacement Social Security Card or check the status of an application, from anywhere.