Celebrating 50 years of the Rehabilitation Act

By Erin Thompson Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

        This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This law prohibits disability-related discrimination in programs that are run by federal agencies or receive federal funding. It also protects federal employees and contractors from discrimination.
        Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act requires that federal contractors and subcontractors take affirmative action to recruit, hire, employ, promote, and retain qualified people with disabilities.
        Section 503 and Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program
        Section 503 provides job opportunities for qualified people with disabilities. Our Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program can help connect you with jobs.
        The Ticket Program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and want to work.
        Through this free and voluntary program, participants can work with service providers to receive the supports and services they need to find and maintain employment. This allows them to move toward financial independence through work. 
        Organizations that provide employment-related services, like State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and American Job Centers (AJCs) can help you find federal contractors and subcontractors. If you’re eligible for the Ticket Program, an Employment Network (EN) may also help.
        Many federal contractors and subcontractors look to State VR agencies, AJCs, and ENs to find qualified candidates with disabilities to fill open positions.
        To learn more about the Ticket Program, visit  choosework.ssa.gov or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. ET. Ask for a list of service providers or find providers on your own using the Ticket Program Find Help Tool found at choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp.
        You can also learn more by registering for a free, online event at choosework.ssa.gov/wise or text TICKET to 474747 to receive Ticket Program texts. Standard messaging rates may apply, and you can opt out at any time.


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