Sudden Onset Disability

Finding a New Job

In this article we’ve already discussed various health and cash benefits that can help you when you have a disability. We’ve also covered what you can do to make sure that you can keep working for the same employer you had before you became disabled. Here we are going to look at how you can prepare yourself for work if you didn’t have a job before you became disabled or if you are no longer able to do the job you used to do.

In this situation, there are 2 major programs that can help you:

The Ticket to Work program helps people on SSI or SSDI benefits find jobs

If you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you can participate in the Ticket to Work (TTW) program. This program can help you get:

  • A vocational assessment
  • Training
  • Job placement
  • Job coaching
  • Other help you need to prepare for, get, or keep a job

If you want to participate, you can sign up with an Employment Network (EN), which is an agency that will supply these services. You get to choose your EN. The most common EN is Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), but there are hundreds of other ENs.

To learn more about Ticket to Work and find a local EN, click here.

Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) can supply you with a wide variety of counseling, training, job skills, and job placement services.

What it offers

With VR, you will get a counselor who can help you find work. If you have never had a job, your counselor will orient you to the possibilities that exist. If you had a job before but your disability means you can no longer do that job, your counselor will help you adapt to your new reality and find different work.

The exact services VR supplies are carefully chosen to match your individual needs. You and your counselor will work together closely to set goals and then develop a plan to help you reach them.

VR does many things, including:

  • Finding you the training or other services that you need to return to work
  • Supporting you to enter a new line of work
  • Helping you enter the workforce for the first time
  • Doing vocational assessments
  • Supplying you with ongoing job coaching
  • Performing other services that can help you prepare for, get, or keep a job

How you get it

Eligibility for Vocational Rehabilitation is based mostly on whether you have a physical or mental disability that makes it difficult to prepare for, get, or keep work. How VR defines a disability is different from how the Social Security Administration (SSA) defines a disability. So even if you don’t meet SSA’s definition of disability, you may qualify for VR services.

If you get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), you are automatically eligible for VR services through the Ticket to Work (TTW) program. If you’re in the Ticket to Work program, you can also choose to get similar services from other Employment Networks.

If you are not on SSI or SSDI benefits, you can still apply to get VR services. However, VR sometimes does not have enough resources to supply services to every person who is eligible to get them. People who have the most severe disabilities will get services first and you may be placed on a waiting list.

To apply for services, call or visit a vocational rehabilitation counselor at your local VR office. If you are blind, contact Missouri’s Rehabilitation Services for the Blind agency, which offers similar services.

When it’s a good option

Vocational rehabilitation is a good option if you don’t have a job and want to get one or if you want to get additional training and education to get a job. It’s especially good if you are on SSI or SSDI benefits, because you will be guaranteed services without having to get on a waiting list.

Read more about Vocational Rehabilitation in the DB101 article on Work Incentives.

Missouri Job Centers

Missouri Job Centers can help you with your job search or career planning.

What they offer

Missouri Job Centers are places where you can get various things, including:

  • Advice about local employers who are hiring
  • The basics of how to do a job search
  • Help with your resume
  • Training on how to interview, network, and apply for jobs
  • Instruction on how to use online jobs websites like the statewide Missouri Job Source website.
  • Help finding out about jobs and career fairs

Missouri Job Centers also have assistive technology to help people with disabilities use their services and resources. You can also just stop by if you want to try out these technologies.

How you get their services

To find a Missouri Job Center near you, call 1-888-728-5627 (1-888-728-JOBS) or click here for a list of all Job Centers in Missouri.

When they are a good option

Job Centers supply these services to all jobseekers, whether or not you have a disability. This means that if you don’t qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) or if VR puts you on a waiting list, you can still get a lot of good services that can help you get a job.

Read more about Job Centers on the Missouri Job Source website.

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