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  1. #1

    Anyone have experience with the Ticket To Work program?

    I've been involved with the Ticket To Work program for the last two and a half months and am wondering how others have fared with the program. Anyone have a good or bad experience? My experience with the program isn't that good so far, although it's definitely fair to partially blame the current economy for being unable to find work after two and a half months of searching.

    A bit of history on me is that I recently (August to be exact) finished a graduate degree in Health Services Administration. Thought that because of my undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems, that I would be able to quickly score a job working with Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) or something technology-based as part of a healthcare organization. I was wrong. Somewhere around ninety-percent of my employment applications immediately hit the recycle bin because I have a roughly four-year employment gap (two and a half solid years for repeat surgeries, rehabilitation, and just becoming accustomed to SCI and then eighteen months for my graduate degree) on my resume.

    Back to the Ticket To Work program, I'm not finding the whole situation very beneficial. With me, because I already know what I want to do and have finished the necessary training, what I really needed from this program were job leads. After an initial session with the Vocational Rehab counselor, I was assigned to a consulting firm that apparently finds more "professional" jobs for people with disabilities. There help has been largely in guiding me through my professional interests and making sure I can interview well, not necessarily on finding job leads. I was hoping that this consulting firm would have a great deal of inside contacts that would improve my chances of being interviewed, but that has largely not been the case as most job leads presented to me by the consulting firm have been through simple online job searches. Through the few leads that the consulting firm has given me, plus the fifty or so jobs I've found myself, I've only landed three in-person interviews.

    So in the last two and a half months I've applied for roughly fifty positions and have had three in-person interviews. I have been denied for two of the three positions. Just yesterday I was told that another candidate was chosen for a job that I thought the interview went great. I was nearly certain that I would get the job, but apparently not.

    I'm trying to figure out what more I should be doing to improve my chances of employment. I write cover letters, follow-up with calls after submitting a job application, and also write thank you letters. In the cover letters or follow-up calls, I establish that my employment gap was due to an accident and while I had to go through surgeries/rehabilitation, I am 100% capable of completing the tasks of the job.

    What else should I be doing? Is your experience the same as mine with the Ticket to Work program? Anyone by chance have a contact for someone in the Portland or Vancouver area that is somewhat in my field? Really appreciate all the help.
    Last edited by cvelusc; 11-06-2008 at 02:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Hey! Darkeyeddaisy used to have info on how you can assign your ticket to yourself. These agencies get paid to help you find a job. Someone like you is competent enough to find your own job. You shuould get that money, not them. I went through VR and the agencies. They are a big waste of time. Well in tennessee they are. VR is only benefitting me bc they are paying for school even though they give me giant hassles about it.
    Did you already assign your ticket? If you did you have to unassign it and assign it to the new place. I will try to find the link she sent me for this place. There used to be a thread about it. Good luck and I hope you like where you moved to.

    As far as finding actual employment out there I have no great advice besides keep trying!


    OK found it
    Don't know if this will help but this has the website for that program.
    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=79524
    good luck

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by addiesue View Post
    Hey! Darkeyeddaisy used to have info on how you can assign your ticket to yourself. These agencies get paid to help you find a job. Someone like you is competent enough to find your own job. You shuould get that money, not them. I went through VR and the agencies. They are a big waste of time. Well in tennessee they are. VR is only benefitting me bc they are paying for school even though they give me giant hassles about it.
    Did you already assign your ticket? If you did you have to unassign it and assign it to the new place. I will try to find the link she sent me for this place. There used to be a thread about it. Good luck and I hope you like where you moved to.

    As far as finding actual employment out there I have no great advice besides keep trying!


    OK found it
    Don't know if this will help but this has the website for that program.
    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=79524
    good luck
    Very good information! Regarding your question: Unfortunately, I have already assigned my "ticket" to a local Vocational Rehab branch. Just to be certain we're talking about the same agency, this branch is operated by the DHHS.

    I really feel like whatever money is being spent on "rehabilitating" me is largely being wasted. It's hard for me to justify the $70/hr that Vocational Rehab is paying the consulting agency considering what I'm getting in return. I don't think that money is being spent well seeing as how the consultant isn't finding many job leads. It's really just like seeing a counselor; we often times talk about my frustration with finding employment while the counselor remarks that this is a "numbers" game.

    I have appointments with both the consultant and Vocational rehab next week. Depending on how it goes with them, I may assign my Ticket elsewhere. Bottom-line is that after two and a half months I am still unemployed and both the consultant and agency have been largely ineffective.

    Again, thank you very much for the response.

  4. #4
    You can re-assign your Ticket at anytime. It is just a brief letter. I used to have what is called a CWIC on my staff. However, I do not any longer. They specifically work with the Ticket to Work Program. I have never heard of assigning it to yourself. But, that would be awesome! Why give someone else the money for something that is not benefitting you. After all they are getting paid to assist you in getting and then maintaining a job. You do know that beyond your 9 month trial work period things can get sticky when it comes to continued SSDI and the like correct? With your skill set I am to assume you will make much more than you SSDI and are just trying to get back to work and off the "rolls" --no offense to anyone collecting SSDI as it is a valid and viable program and much needed. I did find an agency that has trained CWIC's in Portland. Although, I have no experience with them-- www.mmc.org or you can private massage me and I have most of the forms from when we had a CWIC on staff that I can provide to you. Obviously, I am not looking to drum up consults or fees. Just help a fellow person with a disability. My forms are Florida Specific BUT they are in Word and I think you could adapt them-- Even the Work Plan and Cost Plan (the plan that allows you to deduct a portion of your expenses from your income to better maintain your benefits) Even if you do your 9 month trial work period and loose SSDI providing you are on that. You can typically keep your Medicare in some states for up to 9 years. Good luck to you and I wish you well! Assigning your Ticket to VR in my humble opinion is a waste. Even Job Coaches typically can't do much for someone as educated and intelligent as yourself.
    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by addiesue View Post
    Hey! Darkeyeddaisy used to have info on how you can assign your ticket to yourself. These agencies get paid to help you find a job. Someone like you is competent enough to find your own job. You shuould get that money, not them. I went through VR and the agencies. They are a big waste of time. Well in tennessee they are. VR is only benefitting me bc they are paying for school even though they give me giant hassles about it.
    Did you already assign your ticket? If you did you have to unassign it and assign it to the new place. I will try to find the link she sent me for this place. There used to be a thread about it. Good luck and I hope you like where you moved to.

    As far as finding actual employment out there I have no great advice besides keep trying!


    OK found it
    Don't know if this will help but this has the website for that program.
    http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=79524
    good luck
    RSA is supposed to help level the playing field. Of course,that's work and they don't like leaving their office. Complain to your US Senator.VR needs to be held accountable as to how they spend their money and who they actually help. If ever an agency needs a Congressional investifation,RSA is the one

  6. #6
    I was assigned to a consulting firm here as well. They had NO contacts for me. Not even one. Everytime I called they were working on it. They would refer me to the job database through the career center that I already knew about. I found my own job, albeit part time but kept with VR because I wanted my masters. I hope Ticket to Work is better there than Tennessee.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by addiesue View Post
    I was assigned to a consulting firm here as well. They had NO contacts for me. Not even one. Everytime I called they were working on it. They would refer me to the job database through the career center that I already knew about. I found my own job, albeit part time but kept with VR because I wanted my masters. I hope Ticket to Work is better there than Tennessee.
    Sounds like the consulting firms are nearly identical. I think you're right and I need to assign myself the ticket and maybe take that money to a job placement firm. A firm that is unlinked to the Vocational Rehab agency so that I can best get my money's worth.

    I'm really interested in what makes one Vocational Rehab agency better than the other. According to the thread you previously posted, Cheesecake mentioned that the program in NJ is very strong and in MO very weak. From my experience here in Portland, I would say our program is fairly weak as well. I say this because the Vocational Rehab agency had zero contacts for potential jobs. There was mention of "contacts" at DHHS, VA, but they never materialized. In fact, I even had an informational interview at our local VA and surprisingly enough, there weren't any jobs available for me nor even volunteer opportunities. The way I see it, if you have a job, hold onto that sucker as tight as you can because it's definitely tough out here.
    Last edited by cvelusc; 11-06-2008 at 03:54 PM.

  8. #8
    I will call you back tonight when I won't be interrupted. Be careful though if Voc rehab spends too much money on you you can not recind your ticket. When you do recind it call every day until it is done otherwise it sits in a pile rotting. I tried recinding mine. It took forever because VR played their cards. I couldn't do it because they paid for my setup on my truck. It was fine though bc I wanted them paying for my school.

    What makes one VR better is the amount of funding they have for you and the competency of your counselor. TN obv does not have much money for this. The approval process is so long I believe because they hope you will give up and go away. Once they approved things I have had to call my counselor daily to make sure he does his work. For example they approved to pay for my internet service so I could take online classes. I've been in school two months and they just now sent out the form for me to sign so they can pay.

    The recruiting agency I went to last year was about as good at finding me a job as the Goodwill was.

  9. #9
    Senior Member skippy13's Avatar
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    Cvelusc, I also live in Oregon. I looked into the ticket to work program here in Eugene. I went online to "investigate" the programs listed in the packet. Most of the resources/agencies listed were no longer in business, or their websites were shut down. Some of them seemed to be outright scams. Not very promising. I found it would be better (at the time) to simply go to the employment office to find a job. You might be better off going to an agency on your own if you can get the money from T to W program. I went to VR three times, and they wouldnt even take my application, so I just gave up. I will try VR through the VA next. Oregon does not and never has had the best economy for jobs. But the scenery is great!

  10. #10
    Have you applied for any IT positions within the VA healthcare system? They are relatively disability friendly, and since the entire VA Healthcare used a nearly totally electronic medical record, which can be accessed from any VA locality, there is a lot of demand for IT people in general, esp. with your type of background. Of course you may need to be willing to relocate.

    (KLD)

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