1. Purpose. The purpose of this Training and Employment Notice is to provide information to the workforce investment system on the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program and how it impacts the One-Stop system.
2. References. Training and Employment Information Notice (TEIN) No. 18-99 dated May 4, 2000, and Training and Employment Information Notice (TEIN) No. 16-99 dated April 12, 2000.
3. Background. The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) of 1999, Public Law 106-170, was signed into law December 17, 1999. TWWIIA has four purposes [Section 2(b)]:
To provide health care and employment preparation and placement services to individuals with disabilities that will enable those individuals to reduce their dependency on cash benefit programs,
To encourage states to adopt the option of allowing individuals with disabilities to purchase Medicaid coverage that is necessary to enable such individuals to maintain employment,
To provide individuals with disabilities the option of maintaining Medicare coverage while working, and
· To establish a return to work ticket program that will allow individuals with disabilities to seek the services necessary to obtain and retain employment and reduce their dependency on cash benefit programs.
Title I of TWWIIA establishes the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program ("Ticket to Work" program) to expand access to vocational rehabilitation, employment and other support services that are necessary for regaining, obtaining, or maintaining employment for beneficiaries of Social Security Administration (SSA) disability programs. TWWIIA also provides employment incentives for beneficiaries of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (hereinafter beneficiaries) by increasing access to health care coverage and establishing other initiatives in support of TWWIIA employment objectives.
In addition to the benefits of achieving economic independence and self-sufficiency for beneficiaries, SSA is interested in the long-term savings to the Social Security Trust Fund through the Ticket to Work program. SSA reports that in calendar year 1999, $51.3 billion in SSDI and $22.9 billion in SSI benefits were paid to beneficiaries and that less than one percent of beneficiaries left SSA rolls as a result of paid employment. SSA estimates that approximately $3.5 billion of Social Security Trust Funds can be saved if only one-half of one percent of current beneficiaries entered self-sustaining employment. There are more than 7.5 million individuals with disabilities currently receiving benefits. With greater degree of choice in service providers and other incentives implemented under TWWIIA, SSA anticipates achieving at least this level of increased work participation.
Prior to the enactment of TWWIIA, state vocational rehabilitation agencies were the primary provider of services to SSI and SSDI beneficiaries. These agencies were (and continue to be) eligible to receive reimbursement for costs associated with successful outcomes -- defined as achieving nine months of continuous employment at a "substantial gainful activity" level, which is earnings from any source of $780 per month for non-blind beneficiaries and $1300 for beneficiaries who are blind in calendar year 2002 [section 222(a) and (d) and sections 1615(d) and (e) of the Social Security Act]. SSA also established an Alternate Participant program several years ago to allow other qualified public and private providers to serve beneficiaries under the same reimbursement system. TWWIIA automatically allows for approved Alternate Participants (APs) to transition into the Ticket to Work program as part of the implementation process. Although TWWIIA requires APs to submit a proposal, expedited processing is available to them, particularly if they have current certifications on file.
Final regulations on the Ticket to Work program were published at 20 CFR Part 411 on December 28, 2001. The full text and final regulations of TWWIIA, as well as other information on the Ticket program, are available on the disAbility Online website at: http://wdsc.doleta.gov/disability or SSA's website at: http://www.ssa.gov/work/Ticket/ticket_info.html
4.The Ticket to Work Program.
As one of the first Administration initiatives, President Bush announced the New Freedom Initiative in February 2001 to fulfill America's promise to people with disabilities. There are more than 54 million Americans with disabilities. About two-thirds of these individuals have significant disabilities and more than 74 percent of them are unemployed. One of the primary goals of the New Freedom Initiative is to ensure swift implementation of the Ticket to Work program. The direct engagement of the workforce investment system is an important element in successful achievement of Ticket provisions and will significantly expand available services to beneficiaries with disabilities. The involvement of WIA Title I and Wagner-Peyser programs, either singly or in partnership with vocational rehabilitation agencies, can go a long way to increasing overall employment opportunities and outcomes for SSA beneficiaries.
To further support Ticket to Work objectives, ETA and SSA are also working together to fund a Disability Program Navigator initiative in selected states over the next two years. The Navigator demonstration program will implement staff expertise on disability issues, including SSA work incentives, in One-Stop Career Centers to facilitate successful service delivery and employment outcomes for persons with disabilities as well as beneficiaries of SSA disability programs. Additional information on this important endeavor will be made available to the workforce system at a later date.
The following sections provide general information on the Ticket to Work program to foster workforce investment system participation, with more specific details available through a number of websites and contacts noted throughout the TEN. Ticket to Work issues addressed include:
What is the basic structure of the Ticket to Work program?
How does a beneficiary use their Ticket?
Who may become an Employment Network (EN)?
What services does an EN provide?
What are EN payment options?
What are EN reporting requirements?
What is the application process to become an EN?
How can the One-Stop system participate in the Ticket to Work program?
What is the role of state vocational rehabilitation agencies?
Who is the Program Manager and what do they do?
When are states implementing the Ticket to Work program?
What are the dispute resolution requirements?
What other services are available for beneficiaries and ENs to assist them?
What resources are available to the One-Stop Center system to provide comprehensive services to Ticket beneficiaries and other people with disabilities?
What is the basic structure of the Ticket to Work program? The Ticket to Work program establishes a system of qualified Employment Networks (ENs) as providers of vocational rehabilitation, employment and other support services, and provides individualized "Tickets" to beneficiaries for the "purchase" of services from approved ENs. Public and private entities can apply to become an EN and, if determined qualified, enter into a cooperative agreement with SSA establishing their EN status. Participation in the Ticket to Work program is optional: beneficiaries may elect to use their Ticket and present it to the Employment Network (EN) of their choice and approved ENs may choose whether or not to accept a Ticket from a beneficiary, based upon the EN's ability to serve the individual.
TWWIIA specifically states that a One-Stop delivery system may become an eligible provider of services as an EN [P.L.106-170, section 101(f)(1)(B)]. State vocational rehabilitation agencies may decide to participate as ENs; however, all SSA beneficiaries are presumptively eligible for state vocational rehabilitation agency services regardless of whether state vocational rehabilitation agencies are functioning as an EN.
The Ticket to Work program provides for two payment schemes - outcome and outcome-milestone payment systems - for which an EN may be eligible if self-sustaining employment is achieved for a beneficiary who received services from the EN. In addition, Ticket to Work sets forth special payment provisions for state vocational rehabilitation agencies that include a cost reimbursement payment option, as well as the ability to serve beneficiaries as an EN or under the cost reimbursement option on a case-by-case basis.
In addition, TWWIIA establishes the role of Program Manager(s) to provide day-to-day administration of the Ticket program under the direction of SSA. This includes approval and oversight of ENs, facilitating beneficiary access to ENs, and managing Ticket implementation. SSA entered into a contract with MAXIMUS, Inc. in September 2000 to serve as Program Manager for national coverage of the Ticket to Work program.
The Ticket to Work program is being implemented in three phases with full implementation expected by January 2004. The first thirteen states began receiving beneficiary Tickets in February 2002 (see Ticket to Work program implementation table on page 10).
How does a beneficiary use their Ticket? SSI/SSDI beneficiaries will receive their Tickets in the mail according to a predetermined schedule as SSA implements the Ticket to Work program in each state. The Ticket is a personal document that is unique to each beneficiary and includes identifying information such as name and Social Security number. The Ticket also contains a pamphlet with detailed information on the program. MAXIMUS contact numbers are also provided to assist beneficiaries in understanding their options under the Ticket and to identify ENs available in their local area.
Beneficiaries may discuss their rehabilitation and employment plans with as many ENs as they wish in the process of selecting their EN provider. They may select an EN of their choice, or the state vocational rehabilitation agency, but they may not assign their Ticket to more than one EN at a time. Beneficiaries may also terminate their relationship with one EN and assign their Ticket to another EN. Tickets may be assigned to an approved EN in another state as long as SSA has approved the EN for service delivery in the applicable geographical area.
Beneficiaries do not have to participate in the program and may set aside the Ticket with plans to participate at a later point in time. SSI and/or SSDI benefits will not be affected if beneficiaries decide to not participate in Ticket to Work.
Please note that not all SSI/SSDI beneficiaries will be eligible to receive a Ticket. For example, beneficiaries under the age of 18 are not eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work.
Who may become an Employment Network (EN)?Any qualified agency, instrumentality of a state, or a private entity that assumes responsibility for the coordination and delivery of employment, rehabilitation or other support services under the Ticket program can apply to be an EN. These include qualified state and local public entities, private non-profit and for-profit entities, private and public schools that provide vocational rehabilitation or employment services, and employers.
An organization may apply as a stand-alone EN or in partnership with other entities as a consortium. Organizations may apply to cover a local community specified by zip code, city or county, or may do so based upon regional or state-wide service coverage. Qualified national organizations may apply to become ENs and are eligible to provide services in any of the implementation states.
Organizations located in states that will implement the Ticket at a later time may also qualify to become EN service providers in an early implementation state. For example, a One-Stop Center in Pennsylvania, which is not currently a Ticket to Work state, could apply to provide services to Delaware beneficiaries where the Ticket program is already in process.
What services does an EN provide?Organizations applying to become ENs may elect to provide limited services that address their organizational capacity or that enable them to focus on what they consider to be their strengths. Therefore, a single EN applicant is not required to provide a full complement of vocational rehabilitation, employment and other support services. An EN may also enter into an agreement with another EN to jointly provide services to a beneficiary.
Upon accepting a Ticket from a beneficiary, an EN is required to work with the beneficiary to develop an Individual Work Plan (IWP) based upon the employment goals and objectives of the beneficiary. The IWP is a required written document signed by the EN and beneficiary (or his/her representative) that outlines the specific employment, vocational rehabilitation or other support services that are necessary to achieve the beneficiary's stated employment goal. The IWP is similar in scope to the Individual Employment Plan (IEP) provided under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and the IEP could potentially be used or adapted for use as an IWP with the approval of MAXIMUS. State vocational rehabilitation agencies use the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) which is allowable in place of the Ticket to Work IWP (20 CFR 411.385(a)).
There is no obligation for an approved EN to accept a Ticket from a beneficiary who requests their services. The EN may determine they are unable to provide the type of services requested by the beneficiary or that a successful employment outcome may not be possible. An EN may also terminate its relationship with a beneficiary if it is apparent that it can no longer effectively assist the beneficiary in achieving his/her employment goals agreed upon in the IWP.
ENs that are unable to provide the services requested from an interested beneficiary may provide the beneficiary information on additional employment, training, and rehabilitation services, such as the state or local contacts listed in the EN Directory. The EN Directory can be found on the MAXIMUS website at http://www.yourtickettowork.com/endir.
What are the EN payment options?TWWIIA establishes two payment options for ENs, the "outcome payment " and the "outcome-milestone payment," which are further delineated in 20 CFR Part 411. Approved ENs are required to select one of these two payment options that will then be in effect for all beneficiaries to whom they are the designated Ticket holder.
Selection of a payment option will be generally based upon a balancing of the EN's anticipated costs and expected successful outcomes the EN expects to achieve. SSA will make payments based upon beneficiaries who achieve established employment benchmarks according to the selected payment option. No payments will be made if a beneficiary does not achieve an applicable payment benchmark regardless of the services that have been provided or costs incurred.
Under the outcome payment system, an EN will "earn" payments for outcome-reached months only. These are generally defined as months where SSI/SSDI beneficiaries are not paid federal cash benefits because of employment earnings. Outcome payments may be made for up to 60 months at 40% of the average monthly benefits (upon successful employment outcomes). Outcome payment months do not have to be consecutive. Any month in which Federal cash benefits are not paid due to employment earnings may qualify as an outcome payment month.
Under the outcome-milestone payment system, an EN will also "earn" payments, but the total paid out under the outcome-milestone payment system will be less than the total paid out under the outcome payment system. Total payments under this system equal approximately 85% of the total available to an EN if they had selected the outcome payment system. However, payments will begin earlier and begin before beneficiary benefits have stopped for a given month. Under the outcome-milestone option, ENs will be paid up to four milestones payments and up to 60 months of reduced outcome payments.
The average monthly disability benefit in Calendar Year 2002 for SSDI recipients is $791.68 and for SSI beneficiaries is $476.80. Using these figures, the maximum payment under the outcome payment method would be $19,020 for SSDI and $11,460 for SSI beneficiaries over 60 months. Under outcome-milestone payments the maximum would be $16,140 for SSDI and $9,720 for SSI beneficiaries over 60 months.
An EN can change its payment system once during the first 12 months of participation in the program. Thereafter, SSA will periodically give an EN the opportunity to change its elected payment system when working with future beneficiaries. There are no limitations on the use of Ticket to Work payments and such payments are considered revenue to the recipient organization. With regard to the One-Stop Center system, these payments are not considered program income. More information on the Ticket payment system can be found on SSA's website at: http://www.ssa.gov/work/ResourcesToolkit/paymentsystem_factsheet.html.
What are EN reporting requirements?An EN must report to the Project Manager each time it accepts a Ticket for assignment and must provide other information that relates to the progress of the beneficiary/EN relationship and achieving IWP employment goals. These would include such items as a copy of each signed IWP, copies of amendments to the IWP, information on all cases where the beneficiary/EN relationship has ended, outcomes achieved with respect to services provided to beneficiaries, and other pertinent information. In addition, an EN must submit copies of any agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the EN and a state vocational rehabilitation agency regarding the conditions under which the EN will refer the Ticket beneficiaries to the state vocational rehabilitation agency.
What is the application process to become an EN?SSA has established an open-ended, non-competitive Request for Proposal (RFP)(SSA-RFP-01-0010) that can be completed and submitted by interested service providers at any point for the life of the program. The full text of SSA-RFP-01-0010 and related amendments can be obtained at: http://www.fedbizopps.gov/ by entering RFP 01-0010 using the Search feature. To learn more about becoming an EN, review the calendar of Public Information Training and Outreach Activities in Support of TWWIIA at: http://www.ssa.gov/work/ticketschedule.htm, or call the EN Marketing Team at MAXIMUS on one of their two toll-free numbers at 1-866-968-7842 (1-866-YOURTICKET) and 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) (1-866-TDD 2 WORK).
How can the One-Stop system participate in the Ticket to Work program?The comprehensive nature of the One-Stop system makes it a natural service provider as an EN, either as a stand-alone provider, in partnership with non-profit organizations with expertise in disability, or through the pre-existing WIA partnership with state vocational rehabilitation agencies. The Ticket to Work legislation specifically cites One-Stop delivery systems as potential ENs. The involvement of the One-Stop system can significantly expand the availability of services to beneficiaries, and SSA is strongly encouraging the system to participate in Ticket to Work. Participation as an EN also provides an additional revenue source to the One-Stop delivery system since outcome or outcome-milestone payments are not considered program income and will not replace existing funding sources.
There are a variety of different options under which the One-Stop system can participate that include, but are not limited to, the following possibilities:
A state Workforce Investment Board or State Workforce Agency may apply to be an EN on behalf of all workforce investment areas in the state;
A local Workforce Investment Board, or single One-Stop Center operator in consultation with the local Board, may apply to be an EN;
Several Workforce Investment Boards may apply to form a regional partnership to cover their workforce investment areas;
A state or local Workforce Investment Board may partner with the state vocational rehabilitation agency; or
A One-Stop Center may apply jointly with other partners and/or local public or private providers such as: 1) other state mental health or TANF agencies; 2) state or local nonprofit organizations; 3) federally funded grantees; 4) community colleges and vocational schools; 5) Centers for Independent Living or 6) employers.
As with other potential ENs, the benefits and obligations of participation discussed previously relate to the One-Stop system. The state or local system must apply to become an EN, enter into an agreement with another organization that is an approved EN or the state vocational rehabilitation service agency. The One-Stop Center may elect to be the lead agency in a consortium with administrative responsibilities of holding the Ticket on behalf of the EN partnership. EN partnerships may benefit considerably by sharing service costs while maximizing expertise and resources available to provide optimal services to achieve beneficiary goals, while accepting at the same time reduced payments based upon the terms of the consortium agreement and the proportionate level of service provided by respective partners.
The fact that state vocational rehabilitation agencies are required partners in One-Stop systems does not mean that a One-Stop Center is automatically an EN provider under Ticket to Work. Vocational rehabilitation agencies have the option of accepting tickets on a case-by-case basis and may serve a beneficiary under the cost reimbursement method that is uniquely available to them. However, participation can occur by mutual agreement in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding or modification to the existing MOU required under WIA. The agreement or amendment must state the process for referrals to vocational rehabilitation and vice versa, the financial responsibilities of each party, terms and procedures under which one party may pay the other for providing services, and procedures for resolving disputes.
If the state or local One-Stop system does not elect to participate in Ticket to Work, it cannot accept a Ticket from a beneficiary or receive the benefits of SSA payment options when services are provided and successful. It is also important to note that SSI and SSDI beneficiaries are eligible for core services, intensive and training services in accordance with WIA section 188 regardless of the One-Stop system's participation in the Ticket program.
The workforce investment system should assure that information on additional employment, training, and rehabilitation services, including EN providers, are made available to beneficiaries who seek their services. MAXIMUS maintains a regularly updated EN directory at: http://www.yourtickettowork.com.
What is the role of state vocational rehabilitation agencies?Vocational rehabilitation agencies have been perceived as the sole provider of services to SSI/SSDI beneficiaries for many years with only recent implementation of the Alternate Participant program, and now Ticket to Work, creating additional options. In recognition of the longstanding relationship with SSA, TWWIIA and the implementing regulations establish special provisions that are unique to state vocational rehabilitation agencies. These include, but are not limited to, the discretion by vocational rehabilitation agencies of accepting a Ticket and serving as an EN on a case-by-case basis. Alternatively, state vocational rehabilitation agencies may decide to serve a beneficiary under a cost reimbursement methodology that is solely available to them (20 CFR 411.400 and 405). They may assume the role of EN without formal application to SSA. However, when functioning as an EN they must identify their payment option (i.e., outcome or milestone). They are also automatically able to use their Individualized Plan for Employment in the place of the required IWP when participating in the Ticket program.
ENs can refer beneficiaries that are serving under the Ticket program to state vocational rehabilitation agencies. However, a referral can be made only if the vocational rehabilitation agency and the EN have signed an agreement setting forth the conditions under which services will be provided. Agreements should include procedures for referrals and sharing information, financial responsibilities of each party, terms and procedures under which the EN will pay the state vocational rehabilitation agency for services, and procedures for resolving disputes.
Who is the Program Manager and what do they do?As mentioned previously, SSA awarded a contract to MAXIMUS, Inc. to be the Ticket to Work Program Manager responsible for implementation and daily management of the Ticket to Work program, including assisting beneficiaries and facilitating their access to EN providers, providing technical assistance and information to potential ENs, and marketing the Ticket to Work program to the general public. They are also responsible for administrative processes, such as tracking use of beneficiary Tickets and application of EN payments.
MAXIMUS has been actively recruiting ENs since last year and implemented much of the infrastructure needed to support the ENs. As Program Manager, MAXIMUS has established simplified reporting procedures and developed a wide range of training options for EN staff. They have held a number of recruitment events in the first 13 Ticket states and will continue to conduct similar events as Ticket implementation proceeds. The calendar for future events and other Ticket program outreach activities can be found on SSA's website at: http://www.ssa.gov/work/ticketschedule.htm and on the MAXIMUS website at http://www.ssa.gov/work/ticketschedule.htm.
Training and information is available to ENs and beneficiaries in a variety of formats including technology-based, non-traditional media (i.e., videophone conferencing, web cast presentations, and satellite), traditional media (i.e., print and CD-ROM), and custom classroom-based training on-line or on-site. The web-based training can be accessed at the MAXIMUS website: http://www.yourtickettowork.com. MAXIMUS also has two toll-free telephone numbers for any questions relating to the Ticket program: 1-866-968-7842 (1-866-YOURTICKET) and TTY: 1-866-833-2967 (1-866-TDD 2 WORK).
When are states implementing the Ticket to Work program? SSA is implementing Ticket to Work in three phases with 13 Phase-One Ticket states issued the first Tickets beginning February 2002. Approximately 2.4 million Tickets were issued during Phase One. The following table identifies SSA's schedule for Ticket to Work implementation in each state or territory.
|PHASE ONE - FEBRUARY 2002|
|Massachusetts||New York||Oklahoma||Oregon||South Carolina|
|PHASE TWO - FALL 2002|
Connecticut||New Hampshire||New Jersey||Washington DC ||Virginia
|Kansas||Missouri||North Dakota||South Dakota||Nevada
|| || || |
|PHASE THREE - JANUARY 2OO3|
Maine||Rhode Island||Puerto Rico||US Virgin Isl.||Maryland|
|Pennsylvania||West Virginia||Alabama||No. Carolina||Minnesota|
|California||American Samoa||Guam||Hawaii||No. Marianas|
|| || ||
What are the dispute resolution requirements?ENs must establish internal procedures for resolving disputes between the EN and beneficiaries. ENs must also notify beneficiaries of assistance available to them from the Protection and Advocacy (P & A) system described below. Requests for dispute resolution may be raised to the Program Manager and then to SSA for final arbitration. In addition, each recipient of WIA Title I financial assistance must establish its own discrimination complaint-processing-procedures. The nondiscrimination regulations at 29 CFR 37 set forth specific criteria to which a recipient's complaint-processing-procedures must adhere.
In order to be a qualified EN, service providers must not discriminate "in the provision of services based on a beneficiary's age, gender, race, color, creed or national origin" [20 CFR 411.315(a)(3)]. In addition, non-discrimination provisions of WIA Section 188 and its implementing regulations at 29 CFR Part 37 apply to all recipients of financial assistance under WIA Title I, and to programs and activities that are part of the One-Stop delivery system. One-Stop Centers that serve as ENs must comply with the nondiscrimination and equal opportunity obligations set forth in those provisions, including the obligations to provide physical and programmatic access and reasonable accommodations/modifications. As is the case with WIA Title I participants, beneficiaries must be given the option of filing a complaint regarding a violation of the nondiscrimination provisions of WIA section 188 with the recipient or the Department of Labor's Civil Rights Center.
Disputes between EN partners must use resolution procedures identified in the partner agreement or, if not defined, apply procedures based upon state and administrative law. Payment or other issues such as status of Ticket holder can be elevated to the Program Manager and then SSA for final resolution.
What other services are available for beneficiaries and ENs to assist them?? TWWIIA establishes, or makes resources available to, three different programs to assist beneficiaries achieve self-sufficiency and support the efforts of EN providers: Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach program, Employment Support Representatives program, and Protection and Advocacy System. Additional information on these Ticket to Work initiatives, including program providers in each state, can be obtained at: http://www.ssa.gov/work/ServiceProviders/congrant.html.
Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach (BPAO) Program - The goal of the BPAO Program is to better enable SSA's beneficiaries with disabilities (including transition?to?work aged youth) to make informed choices about work and the impact of work on their benefits. BPAO specialists are extensively trained in the full range of benefits a beneficiary may receive, including food stamps, housing subsidies, and transportation support. In many cases benefits such as food stamps or housing subsidies are directly linked to receipt of SSI/SSDI benefits with the result that a beneficiary may simultaneously lose these as well as their benefit payments upon reaching certain income levels. BPAO specialists are trained to provide accurate information on when and if benefits would be lost and the impact on the beneficiary's living situation. Since loss of health care benefits is one of the most common barriers to seeking unsubsidized employment, the BPAO program is also designed to provide current information to beneficiaries on health care options available to them in their state, including the potential availability of buying-in to Medicaid and maintaining Medicare while working.
SSA is required to provide national coverage under the BPAO Program and awarded 117 cooperative agreements to community?based organizations in 2000 and 2001for five-year periods of performance. A number of BPAO specialists opted to provide services through their local One-Stop Center and vocational rehabilitation agency. Under the Department of Labor Work Incentive Grant program, the Employment and Training Administration is also providing resources to increase workforce investment staff capacity to provide expanded counseling services that are similar to those provided by BPAO specialists.
BPAO specialists also receive extensive training through contracts established by SSA with Cornell University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the University of Missouri?Columbia to train them on SSI/SSDI work incentives, Medicare and Medicaid, and other federal benefit programs.
Employment Support Representatives (ESRs)- SSA is establishing a corps of ESRs located within Social Security offices. ESRs serve as SSA's representative to beneficiaries on work incentives and employment supports. They are also the technical resource for other SSA employees and conduct training and outreach to external organizations on Ticket to Work. For example, ESR staff may conduct presentations at workforce investment conferences on the Ticket program. SSA has hired 32 ESRs and is considering making this resource available in more SSA offices.
Protection and Advocacy System (P & A) - Under section 122 of TWWIIA, SSA provides additional funding to the existing P & A System established in each state, District of Columbia, U.S. Trust Territories, and Tribal Governments. P & A grant recipients provide information, advice, advocacy, legal counsel, and other services to SSI/SSDI beneficiaries.
What resources are available to the One-Stop Center system to provide comprehensive services to Ticket beneficiaries and other people with disabilities? The Work Incentive Grant program provides grant funds to consortia and/or partnerships of public and private non?profit entities working in coordination with the state and/or local One?Stop delivery system to augment the existing programs and services and ensure programmatic access and streamlined, seamless service delivery for people with disabilities. The Work Incentive Grant program is designed to further support the employment objectives of the Ticket to Work program through enhancements to the workforce investment system that complement and support services to SSI/SSDI beneficiaries as well as other people with disabilities. A major objective of Work Incentive Grants is to build One-Stop infrastructures qualified to serve as effective ENs under Ticket to Work.
The Employment and Training Administration awarded $20 million under the Work Incentive Grant program to 23 Workforce Investment Boards or other organizations working with them. Five grants were awarded in the following early implementation states: Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Oregon, and Vermont. The Department of Labor announced new Work Incentive Grant recipients during the spring 2002 and will be issuing a third Solicitation for Grant Application in Program Year 2002. More information on this grant program and current grantees is available on the disAbility Online website at: http://wdsc.doleta.gov/disability/htmldocs/wiggrants.htm.
5. Action Required. Recipients are requested to distribute this TEN with attachments to the state and local WIBs and other workforce development partners. Interested WIBs and One-Stop Centers should review the calendar of Employment Network recruiting sessions (see attachments) which are being sponsored by MAXIMUS and, if interested, sign up to attend a session in your area. For additional information or questions, contact MAXIMUS on their toll-free number at: 1-866-YOURTICKET (1-866-968-7842), or their toll-free TTY/TDD line for hearing and speech impaired at: 1-866-TDD2WORK (1-866-833-2967).
Organizations that wish to become an EN should download and complete the EN Contract Request for Proposal (RFP), which was posted on April 13, 2001 and revised on July 20, 2001, on the Federal procurement website at: http://www.fedbizopps.gov/ (Type RFP 01?0010 in the box titled Search by Solicitation Number. Download both the contract RFP and any Amendments or attachments).
6. Inquiries. Questions should be directed to your Regional Office.