Establishing Effective Partnerships under the Ticket to Work Program Easter Seals Nebraska & Apogee Retail Creating Solutions…Changing Lives
What is the Ticket to Work Program? A voluntary employment program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA). Increases choice of service and support providers available to SSI/SSDI beneficiaries Provides medical protections to beneficiaries who assign their Ticket to an Employment Network
Ticket to Work Program How? SSA pays participating Employment Networks (ENs) for specific Milestones and Outcomes Ticket holders achieve in moving towards self-sufficiency. Why? The ultimate goal is to reduce reliance on Social Security benefits, increase self- sufficiency and improve the quality of life for beneficiaries.
What are Employment Networks? Employment Networks (ENs) are organizations, government entities, postsecondary institutions, service providers and employers that agree to provide services and supports to assist Ticket holders to enter, maintain or advance in the workforce. An EN can be a single entity, two entities forming a partnership, or a coalition of providers serving as a single EN.
Why become an EN? Employment Networks are paid as beneficiaries reach milestones… A new source of revenue Increase your bottom line - Get paid for work you are already doing (employment) Generous funding stream Payments are yours to use as you wish –hire additional staff, improve facilities and equipment, fund employment supports, enhance workplace incentive programs and more!
How Do SSI/SSDI Beneficiaries Participate? A paper ticket is mailed when SSDI or SSI benefits are approved for the individual The beneficiary decides whether to use the Ticket and when and where to assign it Nebraska currently has 8 ENs Easter Seals Nebraska is an Employment Network www.nebraskatickettowork.com
How do beneficiaries participate? (cont.) An Individualized Work Plan is established between the beneficiary and the EN during the Ticket assignment process The EN monitors work progress and gathers proof of earnings The EN processes Ticket payments when beneficiaries reach specific earnings milestones
EN & Beneficiary Connect EN & Beneficiary Negotiate a Plan (IWP) Beneficiary Assigns Ticket Beneficiary Goes to Work & EN Collects Evidence of Earnings EN Provides Services & Supports as Outlined in Negotiated IWP EN Submits Payment Request to Maximus & Gets Paid (30 days +/-) EN Submits Payment Request to Maximus & Gets Paid (30 days +/-)
Beneficiaries need support… Benefits Planning –Assisting individuals in making informed decisions by educating them about how work impacts cash and medical disability benefits received Medicaid, Medicare, SSI, SSDI, Food Stamps, Housing, Energy Assistance, etc.. –Advisement on available state and federal work incentives that support return to work efforts Such as Impairment Related Work Expenses related to self-pay for necessary job coach services –See SSAs Guide to Employment Supports (also known as the Red Book)
Easter Seals Nebraska (ESN) offers these supports! The Employment Network isnt successful if the beneficiary isnt also successful ESN has qualified staff and professional expertise in this area Our mission is to help individuals with disabilities… live, work and play in their communities Work is often the key to community involvement and boosts self-confidence and well-being
Social Security understands… Offer a mix of benefit payments and earnings to encourage Ticket holders to try work Acknowledgement that self-sufficiency is an incremental, multi-step process Part time work is a good start Ongoing supports may be necessary Community partnerships are critical
Revenue Potential ENs are paid when beneficiaries meet certain work levels, called milestones. Phase 1 Milestone payments are associated with initial efforts at self-supporting employment. TypeEarningsSSDISSI Phase 1 Milestone 1$350/mo for 1 month$1,211 Milestone 2$670/mo for 3 months w/in 6 months (cumulative) $1,211 Milestone 3$670/mo for 6 months w/in 12 months (cumulative) $1,211 Milestone 4$670/mo for 9 months w/in 18 months (cumulative) $1,211 Total Potential Phase I Milestone Payments $4,844
Phase 2 Milestone Payments TypeEarningsSSDISSI Phase 2Gross > SGA ($980/non-blind; $1,640 for blind) $363/mo. (up to 11 mos.) $207/mo. (up to 18 mos.) Total Phase 2 Payments $3,993$3,654 Total Potential Ticket Payments Phases 1 and 2 $8,837$8,570
Revenue Potential (cont.) TypeEarningsSSDISSI Outcome PhaseNet > SGA ($980/non-blind; $1,640/blind) AND 0 cash benefit $363/mo. for 36 months $207/mo. for 60 months Total Outcome Phase Payments $13,068$12,420 Total Potential Ticket Payments $21,905$20,990 Charts represent 2009 figures Outcome Phase
For Example Two beneficiaries are placed in part-time work earning $700+ each month (with a general assumption that 50% quit the job over the course of 9 months). An EN would have the potential to earn the following in Ticket payments each quarter (starting with the third quarter): 6 new workers achieve milestone 1 (2 weeks p/t work)$7,266 4 workers achieve milestone 2 (3 months p/t work)$4,844 3 workers achieve milestone 3 (6 months p/t work)$3,633 3 workers achieve milestone 4 (9 months p/t work)$3,633 1 SSI worker works above SGA for 12 months (Phase II)$2,484 Ticket milestone billing per quarter = $21,860 ANNUAL revenue potential per position = $87,440 (Actual EN payments depend on several variables and may be different for each beneficiary.)
How can we help? ESN can provide direct services to beneficiaries employed by Apogee that need disability benefit information and work incentive supports in order to obtain, maintain or advance in employment. Ticket monitoring involves frequent contact with the beneficiary and planning/resolution of benefit issues. Monitoring prevents employment disruption due to misinformation or lack of information about benefits. As an EN, Easter Seals Nebraska receives information on available Ticket eligible individuals. These individuals can be referred for employment consideration. –Widening the applicant pool
How can we partner? ESN serves as the EN of record Memorandum is established and a shared percentage of overall return is decided upon –Apogees role = Employment. Do what you do best! –ESN = benefits planning, Ticket management and monitoring functions Handles assignment of Tickets Processes wage verifications and receives payments Provides on and/or off-site benefits planning services to employees who are SSA beneficiaries - obtaining, maintaining or advancing work at Apogee Retail Case monitoring to ensure employment success
OR… Apogee becomes an Employment Network –ESN serves as technical assistance during the Employment Network application process –Under a defined payment arrangement, ESN: Provides mentoring to Apogee staff on submitting payments and developing tracking techniques Educates designated Apogee staff on SSA work incentives to safely navigate the system and maximize revenue potential Provides benefits planning services to employees on a referral basis Provides follow along benefit support services to referred beneficiaries to ensure success
Contact Us Angie Howell - Hastings 402-462-3031 x 9 2727 W. 2 nd Street, Suite 471 Hastings, NE Jim Dolezal - Lincoln 402-483-0240 8055 O Street, Suite 119 Lincoln, NE Bill Morrison - Omaha 402-345-2200 638 N. 109 th Plaza Omaha, NE Creating Solutions…Changing Lives