Programs That Support Work

The Basics

For people with disabilities, work is more of a possibility than ever before. A job can let you earn your own money and help you meet more people and live more independently. Many people with disabilities are successful at meaningful jobs that they enjoy.

With the right kind of training, preparation, and reasonable accommodations, you can have a successful career. There are several programs that help people with disabilities prepare for and find jobs.

Ticket to Work

For adults (age 18-64) with disabilities who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), the federal Ticket to Work program provides help preparing for, finding, and keeping a job. Sometimes just called the "Ticket program," it connects people to agencies offering vocational rehabilitation, training, referrals, job coaching, job counseling, and placement services.

Learn more about Ticket to Work.

Illinois workNet

An Illinois workNet Center can help you with your job search or career planning. Their free services include help finding a job, tests to see what skills you have, job training, career counseling, help creating or updating a resume, mock interviews, and workshops.

Learn more about Illinois workNet.

The Illinois Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)

The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) can help you prepare for and find work. Whether you're looking to enter the workforce for the first time, return to work, or enter a new line of work, a counselor can work with you to figure out which services you need and develop a plan to help you reach your work goals.

DRS also offers specialized support services for people who are:

Learn more about the Division of Rehabilitation Services or its specialized DRS services.

Work and benefits can go together

People with disabilities are almost always better off when working. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and Illinois have work incentives that let you start working without losing your benefits. And, if your income drops or you have to stop working, your benefits will go up or start up again.

For more info, check out these DB101 pages and tools:

  • SSI and Work explains rules that help you if you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and start working.
  • SSDI and Work explains rules that help you if you get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and start working.
  • The Benefits and Work Estimator is an interactive tool that lets you put in your work plan to see how your situation could get better.

Learn more