News From Our Blog

Join the Virtual Student Foreign Service!

From the State Department:


Are you U.S, citizen currently enrolled in a undergraduate, graduate, or post graduate program and interested in working with the U.S. Department of State?

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2013-2014 Virtual Student Foreign Service e-Internship Program until July 20, 2013. Check out all the available positions here and apply on!

Read the story of an eIntern working with our U.S. Embassy in Venezuela on DipNote and learn more about the VSFS program on YouTube.

For People with Disabilities, There’s a “Ticket” to Work!

Today, more than 13 million working-age people in the U.S. receive Social Security disability benefits. That’s almost one in every 15 adults. I know firsthand that for these individuals, finding and maintaining work can be particularly challenging, especially in today’s economy. For those who have considered returning to work or trying work for the first time, they may have questions like: Am I able to work? Who would hire me? What about job accommodations? How will work affect my disability benefits? If you’re a Social Security disability beneficiary, age 18 through 64, and thinking about work, these are important questions. The good news is that the Ticket to Work program is here to help!

What is Ticket to Work?

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program is a free and voluntary program that offers people who receive disability benefits improved access to meaningful employment. It provides the choices, opportunities, and support needed to find and maintain work and achieve greater financial independence. The program, with the help of special rules called Work Incentives, may allow participants to keep some of their benefits while they gain work experience.

Can I use the “Ticket”?

You already qualify and can participate in Ticket to Work if:

  • You are age 18 through 64 and,
  • You receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

How can I get started?

  • Register for a free Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar, which provides an overview of Ticket to Work and Work Incentives, and answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) to get more information from a customer service representative.
  • Use the Find Help Tool to locate an Employment Network or Vocational Rehabilitation Agency.
  • Learn about real people who used their “Ticket” to find work and achieve financial independence in our success stories!

Going to work, meeting new people, and pursuing a career can greatly enhance your quality of life. The Ticket to Work program takes commitment, but the effort can be very rewarding. If you are interested in changing your life through work, or you know someone who is, explore your options through Social Security’s Ticket to Work program. It could be the best decision you ever make!

Work discrimination is not only wrong, it’s illegal. Find out how to file a work discrimination claim.

Image description: This photograph from 1943 shows a woman in Tennessee operating a hand drill while working on a “Vengeance” dive bomber.
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Image description: This photograph from 1943 shows a woman in Tennessee operating a hand drill while working on a “Vengeance” dive bomber.

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Is There a Link Between Work-Related Diseases and Certain Chemicals?

Have you ever wondered if there are links between certain hazardous job tasks and work-related diseases? You can find the answer to your questions by using Haz-Map, a database of chemicals, jobs and diseases from the National Library of Medicine.

The database lists 225 work-related diseases and over 4,556 chemical and biological agents. A connection between job tasks and jobs or industries and exposure to certain agents may indicate an increased possibility for workers to be at risk for work-related illnesses.

You can search Haz-Map by chemicals like pesticides, dyes or plastics. Or you can search by types of jobs such as food service or aircraft maintenance. Or by symptoms like rashes or dizziness.

Haz-Map can help you discover:

  • If there are adverse effects, such as contact dermatitis, when using disinfectants
  • Which diseases are connected to heavy metal poisoning
  • Which work-related diseases are caused by certain major job categories
  • Which symptoms are linked to certain job categories

Haz-Map has a glossary of the terms used in the database that can help understand what you read. There is also a list of all the references used to create Haz-Map. Those references include the 1997 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for jobs, the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) for industries, and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) for diseases.