1 The Equip For Equality PABSS Project Presents THE TICKET TO WORK
2 Equip For Equality: Protection and Advocacy Mission: To advance the human and civil rights of people with physical & mental disabilities Equip For Equality Services Include: Self-Advocacy Assistance Information & Referral Public Policy Advocacy Training & Education Abuse/Neglect Investigations Latino Outreach Traumatic Brain Injury Project Legal Advocacy Special Education Issues Guardianship Reform Employment Issues Assistive Technology
3 PABSS: A Blue Ribbon Project PABSS P rotection and A dvocacy for B eneficiaries of S ocial S ecurity PABSS Breaking Down Barriers to Employment
5 The 1996 GAO Report In July 1996, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) recommended that SSA place more emphasis on return- to-work efforts. (SSA Disability: Return-to-Work Strategies From Other Systems May Improve Federal Programs – GAO/HEHS-96-133). GAO estimated that if 1% of the disability beneficiaries on the rolls returned to work, lifetime cash benefits would be reduced by $2.9 billion.* * GAO determined that these savings would double if as many as 2% of the beneficiaries returned to work.
6 1996 GAO Report Principle Findings Intervene early to facilitate return to work Identify and provide necessary return-to-work services and manager cases Provide incentives to engage in return-to-work efforts
7 The Ticket to Work Ticket To Work And Work Incentives Improvement Act Of 1999 Enacted on Dec. 17, 1999. Senate Vote: 99 to 0 Goals: Increase beneficiary choice in obtaining rehabilitation and vocational services to help them go to work and attain their employment goals; Remove barriers that require people with disabilities to choose between health care coverage and work; and Assure that more Americans with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in the workforce and lessen their dependence on public benefits.
8 The Ticket to Work: A Winning Ticket? The Ticket To Work Program provides for: Assistance through PABBS and BPA&O Programs Improved Work Incentives: Protection from a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits (EXR) Expanded Medical Coverage (Medicare & Medicaid) Choice in VR services -- Employment Networks (ENs) SSA Area Work Incentive Coordinators (AWIC) and Work Incentive Liaisons Demonstration Projects Ticket to Work Panel
9 Ticket Eligibility 18-64 years of age In active pay status for SS Cash Benefits Not expected to improve medically, or had a CDR within the past 12 months If you have questions, call PABSS at Equip for Equality, or MAXIMUS, the Program Manager for The Ticket to Work Program. (See the Resource List at the end)
10 PABSS: Areas of Assistance PABSS Provides Education, Training, Problem Solving, and Advocacy regarding: Social Security Benefits & Work Incentives Information Obtaining Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Using the Ticket to Work The relationship between a beneficiary and an EN Employment Laws (A.D.A. & F.M.L.A.) School to Work Transition Issues Employment Barriers
11 PABSS: Areas of Assistance PABSS Issues Include: Employment Discrimination VR Services Medical Treatment/Benefits Housing Transportation Garnished Wages SS Overpayments Criminal Records Ticket to Work Issues Any Work Barrier If legal assistance will allow you to work, PABSS may be able to help !
12 BPA&O - Benefits Planning, Assistance & Outreach No cost to the beneficiary Helps beneficiaries determine how going to work may affect all of their benefits Enables beneficiaries to plan their finances while working Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach Programs, (BPA&O), are available through MOPD, DRS, and OMH
14 A New Employment Tool: Employment Networks (EN) Employment Networks (ENs) are private or government agencies that provide employment-related services at No Charge to the beneficiary. DRS is considered an EN. ENs are paid by SSA after an individual returns to work. EN Services include: Work incentives planning Vocational assessment Job Training Job Placement Case management Follow-up services
15 Social Security Administration Rules and Work Incentives SSI and SSDI Know Your Rights Protect Your Benefits
16 Social Security Work Incentives Rules that allow SSI and SSDI beneficiaries to work and maintain their cash and medical benefits Incentives vary according to the benefit received
17 SSDI Work Incentives Trial Work Period (TWP) – 9 Months Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) – 3 Years Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) – $ 830 / $ 1380 Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits (EXR) Extended Medicare Subsidies (For example, a Job Coach) Unsuccessful Work Attempt Ticket to Work
18 SSI Work Incentives Earned & Unearned Income Exclusions ($ 85) Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits (EXR) Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) Impairment-Related Work Expenses (IRWE) Continued Medicaid Coverage [Section 1619(b)] Student Earned Income Exclusion Subsidies Ticket to Work
19 Important Considerations When Using The Ticket When using the Ticket: If you think your condition is improving, place your Ticket with an EN for CDR protection Research the right EN for you Make sure that the IWP fits your needs & goals Have the EN or DRS send the IWP to Maximus
20 Important Considerations When Working Take these steps when you work: Contact a Benefit Planner (BPA&O) Monthly, give Check Stubs to SSA & the EN Keep the originals - have SSA confirm receipt Use IRWEs and other Work Incentives to Reduce your Countable Income for SSA
21 Ticket to Work Statistics "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." Mark Twain There are white lies, damn lies, and statistics. Will Rogers
22 BPAO Study Virginia Commonwealth University 89% Had a Positive View of the BPAO Process Benefits Specialists Received High Ratings for Quality of Service. (Courtesy, time spent with the beneficiary, helpfulness, and information imparted). Prior to receipt of benefits counseling, 28% of participants who received intensive assistance indicated that they were working. Subsequent to meeting with the BPAO, 47% of people receiving intensive assistance were working
23 PABSS Statistics PABSS Outreach Statistics for 2004 Total Number of Outreach/Presentations – 51 Total Number of Participants and Number of Folders Distributed -- 1,798 Cases: 184 individuals served VR Services - 49 Employment Rights - 49 Transportation - 10 Transition Planning - 10 Ticket Issues - 36 SSA CDR - 5 SSA Overpayments - 26
24 Ticket Statistics SSA Ticket Tracker – March 7, 2005 Illinois Information 421,636 Tickets Issued 66 Employment Networks 7,157 Tickets Assigned (1.7%) 288 Tickets Assigned to Employment Networks Other than VR (4%) 6,869 Tickets Assigned to DRS (96%) _____ Employment Networks (including DRS), received payments under the Ticket totaling $ __________
26 2000 GAO Testimony SSA does not integrate efforts to return individuals to work into either its initial or continuing eligibility assessment process. The Social Security Acts definition of disability – where a person must be unable to do any substantial work in the national economy is comparable to the private sectors (or the ADAs) most restrictive definition. This all-or-nothing definition and the all or nothing approach to SSDI benefits is a strong disincentive to demonstrate any capacity to work. GAO Testimony – SSA Disability: Other Programs May Provide Lessons for Improving Return-to-Work Efforts July 13, 2000
27 Transmittal 17 SSAs Transmittal 17 Transmittal 17 states that the signature of the VR client on the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) constitutes assignment of the Ticket in new cases. Ticket Services should not be considered a comparable benefit or service by VR. This sometimes occurs without the client's knowledge or consent. Transmittal 17 permits State Rehab Agencies to use the traditional cost reimbursement system for a client who assigns his or her ticket contrary to TWIIA.
28 Ticket to Work Panel Recommendations Increase funding for the BPAO and PABSS Programs Increase funding for training and outreach to parents and youth regarding SSI work incentives and transition planning. Modify age limits: Lower the Ticket eligibility age from 18 to 16 Raise the re-determination age from 18 to 22 Increase the age limit for the Student Earned Income Exclusion from 22 to at least 26
29 Ticket to Work Panel Recommendations Immediately modify the EN payment system to: Place more of the up-front financial risk on SSA Authorize payments to ENs for benefits reduction, not just benefit elimination Pay ENs more money overall and earlier in the return-to-work effort Implement the Ticket Program as a complement to the traditional SSA VR Reimbursement Program. Reimburse State VR agencies for up- front services and early outcomes. Pay ENs for long-term employment supports and outcomes.
30 Ticket to Work Panel Recommendations Use Ticket payments to supplement funding from other public programs, (such as State VR, Mental Health, Medicaid, Housing & Urban Development, Department of Labor), and should not pay for services for which beneficiaries are already eligible. Test creative approaches to the payment system
31 Resources Equip For Equality www.equipforequality.org www.equipforequality.org Illinois ADA Project www.ADA-IL.org www.ADA-IL.org Social Security Administration www.ssa.gov Maximus – (Progam Manager for the Ticket to Work) www.yourticketowork.com Mayors Office for People with Disabilities www.ci.chi.il.us/Disabilities Great Lakes ADA & Accessible IT Center www.adagreatlakes.org
32 More Resources Job Accommodation Network www.jan.wvu.edu Equal Employment Opportunity Commission www.eeoc.gov U.S. Department of Justice ADA Home Page www.usdoj.gov/crt/adahom1.htm www.usdoj.gov/crt/adahom1.htm ADA Disability and Business Tech. Asst. Ctr. www.adata.org/dbtac.html Industrial Labor Relation Program on Employment and Disability www.ilr.cornell.edu/ped www.ilr.cornell.edu/ped
33 TICKET$ TO WORK TICKET$ TO WORK Know Your Rights Protect Your Benefits THE END