April 4, 2012

YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY Davenport, Iowa Office

By Karen Cole
Social Security District Manager
Davenport, Iowa


Megan Riggs was just like many other people in their late twenties: bright, ambitious, and full of life. She earned Bachelor degrees in Forensic Science and Biology, with a minor in Chemistry. Riggs started working and building her career. In her spare time, she pursued her passion, competitive ballroom dancing.

In January of 2008, Riggs had a major depressive episode. Her illness caused her to lose her job, and financial struggles resulted. Riggs qualified for Social Security disability benefits. The monthly payments helped keep her afloat financially, but even then she had the desire to work again. Knowing she would need help returning to work, she looked to Social Security’s “Ticket to Work” program and other work incentives for support on her path back toward self-sufficiency.

Riggs learned that the Ticket program was free, voluntary, and designed specifically for adults who receive disability benefits through Social Security. She decided the program was a good fit for her, as it would help her find a career that could lead to a brighter future.

Once Riggs made her choice to participate in the Ticket to Work program, she decided to work with an Employment Network (EN) that provides employment support and guidance. The EN helped Riggs develop a plan to achieve her work goals and offered advice on career building, job placement, training, and counseling. “I could try work,” said Riggs. “I knew I wasn’t going to be on my own.”

Using her Ticket, she was able to test her abilities, build her confidence, and continue to receive her benefits while working toward becoming fully self-sufficient. Through Social Security’s work incentives, she maintained her health care coverage, which gave her peace of mind.

Riggs found stable employment. As a result of her hard work, she now works as a document control specialist, earning more money than she received on disability benefits.

The Ticket to Work program helped Riggs achieve a more fulfilling life by helping her regain the satisfaction of work. She now enjoys working, reading, spending time with her Cocker Spaniels, and has even been able to return to competitive ballroom dancing.

“With Ticket to Work, I’ve received the tools to excel and the help of people to keep me going.”

Thousands of Social Security beneficiaries like Megan Riggs have earned more money, begun careers, learned new skills, and met new people through the Ticket to Work program. If you’re disabled and ready to change your life through work, this program may be the ticket for you, too. To learn more, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/work.


Eggs have long been a symbol of new life in the spring. In America, the Easter egg hunt finds its roots in the 1700s when German immigrants brought the tradition to Pennsylvania. Today, the traditional egg hunt thrills children everywhere.

We at Social Security would like to serve up our own Easter egg hunt. Instead of eggs, we challenge you to hunt for our most popular online services. Our online services are almost as easy to find as they are easy to use! Let us lead you in the right direction: begin your hunt at www.socialsecurity.gov. Here are some of the good eggs worth discovering.

• The Retirement Estimator provides an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. In just minutes, you can have a nice ballpark figure of what to expect in future benefits.
• The Online Retirement Application lets you complete your application for Social Security retirement benefits in as little as 15 minutes. Better yet, you can apply from the comfort of your home or office at a time most convenient for you. There’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. It’s so easy.
• The Online Medicare Application allows you to apply for Medicare benefits if you’re age 65 but not yet ready to start receiving retirement benefits. It takes less than 10 minutes to sign up for Medicare.
• Apply for Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs. The Extra Help is worth about $4,000 a year. To qualify for the Extra Help, you must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia.
• Get a replacement Medicare card if you already receive Medicare and you can’t find the card you were issued.
• Request a proof of income letter that verifies your Social Security benefit information, including Medicare and SSI benefits.
• Get answers to our FAQs. Getting an answer to our most frequently asked questions is as easy as finding the big question mark on our home page.

Also on our website, you’ll find such treasures as links to publications, videos, and our Facebook and Twitter pages. The more you search the corners of the website, the more good eggs you’ll find. Start the egg hunt now! You’ll find all the eggs in one basket: www.socialsecurity.gov.