October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month! This month, our goal is to provide free disability employment resources for people who receive SSI/SSDI benefits and are currently working or looking to return to the workforce. One of the free disability employment resources we utilize is the Ticket to Work program. Ticket to Work is a free, voluntary program that connects people with disabilities with free service providers who help explain how disability and health care benefits change with employment. The Ticket to Work program also offers free employment networks, which consist of employment counselors who help workers find and maintain employment.
For National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we want to highlight Tiffiny Carlson, our SPINALpedia Executive Director who is enrolled in Ticket to Work! Read below to learn how Tiffiny makes an impact through her job, along with what she enjoys about the Ticket to Work program.
Tiffiny’s Employment Journey
Tiffiny is a C6 quadriplegic from Minnesota who has been receiving SSI benefits for 13 years and SSDI benefits for 6 years. Tiffiny graduated with her bachelor’s degree years ago, and worked as a part-time freelance writer for many years after. She then started working as a blogger for SPINALpedia, which later led to her Executive Director role in the organization.
Tiffiny works remotely as SPINALpedia’s Executive Director. Tiffiny expresses how grateful she is for remote work: “Working remotely works great, so I do not have to rush to a job in the morning.” Tiffiny has been receiving employment assistance through the Ticket to Work program, where she has met with benefits counselors who have given her advice on employment and SSI/SSDI benefits. Since being enrolled in the Ticket program, she has received helpful advice on how to keep her Social Security benefits while maintaining her Executive Director role. Tiffiny recommends the Ticket to Work program to all who are eligible: “The [Ticket to Work] employment network can help you in more ways than you realize, giving advice on your resume and interview preparation assistance. I love the open communication and the quick response from my [Ticket to Work provider] if I have any questions, as well.”
Tiffiny is a vital part of the SPINALpedia team, and we are so lucky to have her. Workers with disabilities are some of the most driven, adaptable, and creative employees in the world; Tiffiny exemplifies this every day with her commitment to excellent work at SPINALpedia. Thanks, Tiffiny, for all you do!
We Can Help You!
If you are a person with a disability who receives or has received SSI/SSDI benefits, you may be eligible for Ticket to Work! If you receive Social Security benefits and are currently working, or looking to get back to work, visit willingtoworkusa.com and fill out our short survey. Our disability advocates will connect you with free disability employment resources to help you navigate your journey in the workforce.