Pathways to Employment

The Pathways to Employment Tool below is designed to provide you with a roadmap to lead you down your pathway to employment. It provides answers to common questions you may have about returning to work following a spinal cord injury. As you click on the question linked below, you will find additional information and links to resources that will provides you with more detailed information about return to work, such as:

  1. Accommodations you may need in the workplace;
  2. Ways to match your skills with other jobs, if you cannot return to your pre-injury job;
  3. Programs to help you work while keeping your benefits, such as the Ticket to Work Program;
  4. Webpages with more detailed information about return to work programs; and
  5. Webinars that provide you with specific information and resources about return to work programs and benefits available to you.
  • Accommodation Examples:
    • Work sitting instead of standing;
    • Raising the height of a desk;
    • Using voice activation software on a computer
  • See JAN Job Accommodation Network https://askjan.org/ for more potential accommodations
  • Will my employer work with me?
  • Do I need accommodations to do the new job with my same employer?
  • Accommodation Examples:
    • Work sitting instead of standing;
    • Raising the height of a desk;
    • Using voice activation software on a computer
  • See JAN Job Accommodation Network https://askjan.org/ for more potential accommodations
  • Have I told my friends and family members that I am looking for a job to see if they know people who are hiring or if they have any possible leads for me? Is there anyone else that I know that I should contact about possible job leads?
  • How do I prepare for a job search? (see below)
  • What accommodations do I need?
  • The Ticket to Work Program has employment networks and state vocational rehabilitation agencies you can work with that will work with you on re-training
  • Ticket to Work Homepage: Webinars and resources on work incentive programs about returning to work if you are on SSDI or SSI. https://choosework.ssa.gov; This link describes the kind of assistance each provider or agency provides to people who seek to work: https://choosework.ssa.gov/about/meet-your-employment-team/index.html; This site helps you find the services, such as job coaching, job counseling, training, benefits counseling (the WIPAs) and job placement
  • Ticket to Work Programs has employment networks and state vocational rehabilitation agencies you can work with that will help you look for a job
  • Ticket to Work Homepage: Webinars and resources on work incentive programs about returning to work if you are on SSDI or SSI. https://choosework.ssa.gov; This link describes the kind of assistance each provider or agency provides to people who seek to work: https://choosework.ssa.gov/about/meet-your-employment-team/index.html; This site helps you find the services, such as job coaching, job counseling, training, benefits counseling (the WIPAs) and job placement
  • Examples:
    • Do I have Medicare?
    • Do I have Medicaid?
    • Do I need attendant care?
  • There are programs available to make your return to work easier, however, these programs can be very complicated to understand. You can find out more information about them in The Red Book at https://www.ssa.gov/redbook. You may find it easier to speak to a benefits counselor at one of the WIPAs (Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Programs). The WIPAs can help you learn how to keep benefits and other benefits available to help you return to work. You can locate a benefits counselor (Community Partner Work Incentives Coordinator, or CPWIC) at your local WIPA office. The WIPAs counsel people with disabilities on how to return to work and keep as much of their benefits as possible https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp. You can find your local WIPA office through this link, by checking the Benefits Counseling (WIPA) box on the page and inserting your zip code: https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/result?option=directSearch
  • What about attendant care?
  • The Medicaid Buy-in program allows you to work and buy-in to Medicaid so you can keep your attendant care services.
    • The WIPA can help you figure out if your state has a Medicaid buy-in program and how you can qualify for the program.
  • Ticket to Work – using the ticket – Vocational Rehabilitation (Sometime called VR, DVR, or OVR)
  • Contact Allsup at https://www.truehelp.com/return-to-work. They can help connect you to job search services with Vocational Rehabilitiation.