Presentation on theme: "Tom Gloss Ticket to Work Specialist CESSI, A Division of Axiom Resource Management Program Manager for Recruitment & Outreach Jun-14 The NEW Ticket To."— Presentation transcript:
Tom Gloss Ticket to Work Specialist CESSI, A Division of Axiom Resource Management Program Manager for Recruitment & Outreach Jun-14 The NEW Ticket To Work New Program, New Opportunities
Briefing for National Alliance for Mental Illness July 8, 2009 Thomas Hale, Project Officer Soosan Shahrokh, Alternate Project Officer
3 Why Mental Illness? Largest group of disabled participants in the Social Security programs –27% of SSDI beneficiaries (~2.1 ml)* –39% of SSI recipients (~2 ml) ** Most forms of mental illness are treatable; many promising treatments integrate work as therapy. * All beneficiaries in pay December 2007, from the Annual Statistical Report on the SSDI Program 2008 ** Recipients under age 65 in December 2006, from the SSI Annual Statistical Supplement Report 2006
4 Research & Policy Questions To what extent does access to high quality mental health treatment and employment supports lead to better employment outcomes and other benefits? What are the characteristics of beneficiaries who elect to enroll in the study (insurance, demographics)? What are the characteristics of beneficiaries who choose not to enroll? What are the costs of the services provided? What programmatic disincentives exist that create barriers to return-to-work? What specific programmatic changes can be made to support efforts to sustain competitive employment?
5 Design Overview Enroll 2,200 SSDI workers with Schizophrenia or Affective Disorder Randomly assign 1,100 to the treatment group and 1,100 to the control group Recruit over a 21 month period Treat/Monitor each recruit for 24 months post enrollment Each recruit participates at one of 23 sites across the country
6 Data Elements Treatment and control group each have 9 interviews over a two year period Demographics and Work History Psychiatric Diagnosis Health Assessment Health Status, Symptoms and Functioning Health Care Coverage and Utilization Attitudes toward Treatment and Work Others (e.g., costs, outcomes, quality of life)
7 Management Contract to Westat in October 2005 Principal Investigators –William Frey, Ph.D., Westat –Robert Drake, MD, Ph.D., Dartmouth
8 Treatment Group Interventions Baseline clinical diagnosis via SCID General physical examination (if none in past 6 months) Health insurance coverage Behavioral health services Supported employment services CDR waiver for 3 years
9 Control Group Interventions $100 in incentives distributed over the 9 interviews Community resource manual provided upon randomization into control group
10 Heath Care Financing Study provides: Insurance for participants with no insurance and supplemental insurance for underinsured beneficiaries Out-of-pocket costs for all behavioral health services Supported employment costs not reimbursed by insurance Costs up to an average of $10,000 per person per year Study does not provide: Co-payments for general health care
11 Interventions Employment Supports: Based on Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Model Placement at time participant expresses readiness Competitive employment Employment integrated with treatment Follow-along supports are continuous Systematic Medication Management Evidence-based use of individual medications
12 22 Study Sites M Denver CO Bridgeport CT Norwich CT Washington DC Ft. Lauderdale FL St. Petersburg FL Smyrna GA Chicago IL Peoria IL Indianapolis IN Kansas City KS Bethesda MD Framingham MA Spring Lake Park MN Manchester NH New York NYMentor OH Grants Pass OR Portland OR Aiken SC San Antonio TX Vancouver WA
13 MHTS Site Staff Research Assistant –Recruit and enroll beneficiaries Nurse Care Coordinator –Facilitate and monitor treatment Case manager –Provide other non medical non employment supports (e.g., talk to families, recommend clothing, transportation to appointments)
14 Timeline Start-up activities: Oct 05 to Sep 06 Recruitment, enrollment and randomization: Oct 06 to Aug month intervention: Oct 06 to Aug 10 Analysis: Aug 10 through Jan 11 Final Report: Jan 11
15 Preliminary Finding Percent of Beneficiaries Employed
THE TICKET TO WORK AND WORK INCENTIVES IMPROVEMENT ACT
What Is the Ticket to Work Program? A free and voluntary employment program run by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assist SSA beneficiaries with disabilities who want to work. Beneficiaries include individuals with disabilities ages 18 through 64 who are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Ticket to Work Program Increased choices for getting the services & supports you need to engage in work and reach your employment goals. Approved providers of services are called Employment Networks or ENs. Examples of services and supports offered by ENs include: –Help finding a job –Education and training –Vocational rehabilitation services –Ongoing services and supports
How Does the Program Work? A paper Ticket is mailed to you when you are determined to be eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits. –If you already receive disability benefits, your Ticket may have already been mailed to you. –You do not need the paper Ticket to participate. You decide: –Whether to use your Ticket –Where to assign your Ticket –When to assign your Ticket MAXIMUS can help you through the process. Call them toll-free at (v) or (tty). Remember, participation is free and voluntary – There are no penalties if you choose not to participate.
What Does the Program Do? Connects you with the resources, personnel and programs to make full use of existing Federal, state and local programs. Offers protection from medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs). The goal is to assist you to: –Go to work. –Make more money. –Reduce your need for cash benefits. –Increase your independence and self-sufficiency.
What Are Employment Networks? E mployment N etworks (ENs) are public and private agencies, schools, colleges, training programs, community-based service providers, employers and others that have agreed to provide services under the Ticket to Work Program to help you achieve your work goals. State V ocational R ehabilitation agencies (VR) are automatic ENs that provide a wide variety of services to help people with disabilities enter or re-enter the workforce. ENs and VR agencies receive payments when they help you get and keep a job.
What Types of Services and Supports can ENs Provide? Counseling and guidance Education and training: –Vocational –Technical –Postsecondary Job search services –resume writing –interview skills Job placement services Job coaching and ongoing support services Work adjustment counseling Job retention services Other supports and services Not all ENs offer the same services. Talk to the EN about services you need before assigning your Ticket.
When you decide to work with an EN, you and someone from the EN will develop an Individualized Work Plan (IWP) An IWP: Is developed and agreed to by you and the EN. Identifies your chosen employment goal. Lists the services and supports that the EN agrees to provide you in achieving that goal. Signing the IWP = assigning your Ticket to that EN. While working with the EN and progressing towards your employment goal, you will not have a medical (CDR). Your IWP can be changed if your situation changes. Individualized Work Plan
Your Ticket is the Key ENs get paid a bonus from the Ticket program, but only if you work! Your Ticket works as an incentive for the EN to provide you services and help you keep working.
If you are receiving services from your State VR agency, you can choose to assign your Ticket to the EN of your choice after VR closes your case. The EN can: Provide additional job training Provide ongoing supports Help you keep your job Help you advance in your job Partnership Plus – A New Option under the Ticket to Work Program
Work Incentives What Are Work Incentives Work Incentives are SSA rules that help you keep your benefits as you explore work. By using Work Incentives you can make more money, gain new skills, and achieve greater independence through work.
Examples of Work Incentives Trial Work Period (TWP) (SSDI only) –The TWP allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months. Extended Period of Eligibility (SSDI only) –For 36 months after the TWP SSA may restart your SSDI benefits without: a new application, disability determination, or waiting period. Earned Income Exclusion (SSI only) –Less than half of earned income is counted by SSA as earnings in determining the amount of your benefit check.
Expedited Reinstatement (EXR) If: –your cash disability benefits ended because of your work and earnings, –and you stop work within 5 years of your benefits ending Then: –SSA may be able to quickly get you on benefits. Up to 6 months of temporary cash benefits Continued Medicare and/or Medicaid coverage Work Incentives (continued)
Medicare You can keep your Medicare coverage for at least 8 ½ years after you return to work. Medicaid If you have earnings too high for a SSI cash payment, you may still be eligible for Medicaid through 1619(b). If your state has a Medicaid Buy-In program it may provide Medicaid benefits while you work. Work Incentives (continued)
Social Security offers many Work Incentives that are designed to meet your needs. Talk to your benefits planner to make sure that you take full advantage of other Work Incentives SSA offers. Other SSA Work Incentives
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Projects Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) SSA Benefits Specialists –Area Work Incentives Coordinator (AWIC) –Work Incentives Liaison (WIL) Who Can Help Me Understand All of This?
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Projects WIPAs are SSA approved organizations that assist beneficiaries in making informed choices about work. WIPA services are free. WIPA staff: –Are trained to provide information about work and Work Incentives. –Can answer questions about how work will affect your Federal, state and local benefits. –Can help you find the resources or services to achieve your individual employment goals. –Host Work Incentives Seminar Events (WISE).
At a WISE Event you can expect to: Learn about the Ticket to Work program and other SSA Work Incentives. Meet with: –ENs –The State Vocational Rehabilitation agency –WIPA Project staff –SSA staff –Other beneficiaries who want to go to work –Additional state agencies and community partners To find out if a WISE event is happening near you, visit Work Incentive Seminars (WISE)
The Protection & Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Program Provides advocacy and legal assistance for disability-related employment issues Is the nations largest provider of legal advocacy services for individuals with disabilities Services are free Protection & Advocacy (P&A) Services
To find the WIPA Project nearest you or to locate your State Protection and Advocacy agency, visit: Locating Your WIPA or P&A
Social Security has a team of Work Incentives Specialists to ensure that you receive: Accurate information about how work will affect your benefits Assistance in reporting your work activity They are: Area Work Incentives Specialists (AWICs) Work Incentives Liaisons (WILs) SSA Benefits Specialists
What Are Area Work Incentives Coordinators (AWICs)? AWICs are experts on SSAs Work Incentives and employment support programs. They: Manage and coordinate Work Incentives Training Provide public support services to beneficiaries with disabilities who want to start or keep working. Conduct public outreach to other members of the community. Visit to find your local AWIC.
What Are Work Incentive Liaisons (WILs)? Every local SSA office has a WIL who provides advice and information about: SSA's Work Incentive provisions Employment support programs. Contact your local SSA office for the name and telephone number of the WIL in your area. Visit or call www.ssa.gov
MAXIMUS, the SSA contractor that assists in the administration of the Ticket to Work program: Helps you assign, un-assign and re-assign your Ticket Provides you with a replacement Ticket Helps you locate ENs Contact MAXIMUS at (v), (tdd) or What Is MAXIMUS?
For more information on Ticket to Work: Visit SSAs Ticket to Work Site at Contact MAXIMUS at (v), (tdd) or For More Information
So, How Is it Going So Far? As of May 2009, over 269,000 Tickets assigned (VR & EN); about 22,000 of those assigned to about 820 ENs March & April 2009first consecutive months with over 1,000 new Tickets assigned to ENs! Total Ticket payments to ENs hit all-time highs after the new regulations went into effect There has been a steady increase in the number of Tickets assigned and Ticket payments requested under the new rules, telling us that the new payment structure is working
SSA Hiring Initiative The Commissioner of Social Security has implemented a national recruitment and hiring initiative for people with disabilities. This is a historic opportunity because SSAs budget for 2009 has been increased enough to hire thousands of new staff, nationwide. SSA wants to maintain its leadership in federal government in hiring people with disabilities and reach out to Ticket Holders, veterans with disabilities, and students with disabilities.
SSA Hiring Initiative There will be a variety of entry level positions as well as some higher level positions: –Claims Representative and Service Representative positions. These are direct public service positions located in our 1300 field offices across the nation. –Teleservice Representatives, 37 teleservice centers nationwide, to assist the public calling SSA 800 number. –Claims Authorizers and Benefit Authorizers to process post entitlement claims related issues - 6 program service centers nationwide and Headquarters location in Baltimore. –Support positions nationwide related to the hearings and appeals process including Legal Assistants, Paralegal Specialists, and Attorney Advisors.
SSA Hiring Initiative For more information visit: Send resumes and Schedule A forms for SSAs review to:
Should Have Used My Ticket! David Jones CESSI Account Manager
SSDI Beneficiary Story I became a beneficiary at age 19 –Because of work during High School I qualified for SSDI and also received some SSI. –While learning to cope with Bipolar disorder I received services from Department of Rehab in CA; a great counselor helped me set career goals and I decided on Social Work. –To make sure college was the right place I started at community college then transferred to a university. –I used a PASS Plan, one of the SSA Work Incentives, to pay for my BSW.
Volunteer Work While obtaining my Social Work degree I volunteered my time with NAMI and helped with Family-to-Family Groups I shared my story of success in college This built my confidence to transition to a professional job after college
Received Ticket I received a Ticket in the mail; wish I would have used it! At the time I had no idea what it was and did not ask: –How would my benefits be affected? –Was this a program I would have to commit to? –Who would I be working with if I used the Ticket? Some of the benefits of the Ticket I did not use: –After college I was on my own to find a job. –I did not receive help creating my resume. –After the second month of work I received a Continuing Disability Review notice; it was difficult to deal with on my own. –Not having the guidance of an EN, I was overpaid by SSA and had to pay them back! I should have called MAXIMUS at
Gamble with Benefits by not Using a Ticket Other benefits of using the Ticket include: –Postponing medical continuing disability review –Long term supports and services to help maintain employment –Expedited reinstatement of benefits if work ends within 5 years of when benefits stopped; up to 6 months of SSDI or SSI benefits paid while reinstatement application is pending
How to Become an Employment Network David Jones CESSI Account Manager
Who Can Become an EN? Any private (for profit & non-profit) organization, government agency, postsecondary institution, employer or service providers that is qualified and agrees to provide employment services, vocational rehabilitation services and other types of supports to assist Ticket Holders to enter and maintain employment Must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Tax ID # Must have general business or professional liability insurance in effect (minimum of $500,000 per occurrence) Must have a DUNS number (contact Dun & Bradstreet at or apply online at Must register your DUNS number through the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) process (www.ccr.gov)www.ccr.gov Must complete forms for simple security clearance for all staff working with beneficiaries or handling personally identifying information of beneficiaries
Why Become an EN? Increase your bottom line - Get paid for the work you are already doing Ticket payments are yours to use as you wish Generous funding stream – between $20,990 (SSI) and $21,905 (SSDI) per successful beneficiary
Employment Network Request for Proposal (RFP) Get the EN RFP at:
EN RFP Contents There are 5 main parts of the RFP Cover letter provides information on how to contact SSA Advised not to mail your RFP, send by: Fax number:
Part IV--EN Proposal Documentation Requirements Part IV has 5 Sections- all must be completed and submitted to SSA Section 1: Form 1449 Section 2: EN Information Sheet Describes who you are, name of EN, services provided - determines how your agency will be listed in the on- line EN directory Need organizations EIN, DUNS, and CCR registration
RFP: Part IV (Continued) Section 3: EN Information Sheet Addendum Only required if you have more than one location to list in EN Directory Section 4: ACH Vendor Enrollment Form This is how you get paid from SSAdirect deposit Bank Official must sign! Section 5: Representations and Certifications Comply with EEOC, you are a service provider, defines what type of organization
RFP: Part IV (Continued) Section 6 : EN Offeror Checklist This is a fantastic way to make sure your EN proposal is complete CESSI offers Application Walk-through teleconferences twice a month. Recommend to send your RFP to Account Manager to review that your RFP is error free
Security & Suitability Determination All employees working with Beneficiaries need to fill out Optional Form 306- Declaration of Federal Employment. These will need to be turned in with the RFP.
Beneficiary Referral CD Approved ENs can get a CD listing all beneficiaries with Tickets available for assignment in the ENs service delivery area To receive the Beneficiary CD, in addition to Optional form 306, an organization must complete: –Form FD-258 Application Fingerprint Chart –Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) Authorization form –Standard Form (SF) 85 Questions for Non-Sensitive Positions Beneficiaries contact information is to be used only for the Ticket to Work program (e.g., for outreach purposes)
Need Help Completing the RFP? Contact David Jones, Account Manager at CESSI, the Program Manager for Recruitment and Outreach, toll-free at (877) or (703) x 201 Participate in an EN Application Walk-through Teleconference ( documentation requirements review forms Q & A Additional help is available through SSAs Employment Network Contracts Team Call:
Help Continues After Being Approved As an EN MAXIMUS, the Operations Support Manager for the Ticket to Work program: Maintains the list of beneficiaries with Tickets available for assignment Handles process for assigning & un-assigning Tickets Maintains the list of approved ENs Processes Ticket payments Conducts timely progress reviews EN Help Desk Provides training & technical assistance to ENs Call (866) 949-ENVR (3687) or visit the MAXIMUS w ebsite at
For More Information To become an EN, contact David Jones, Ticket to Work Account Manager at CESSI, at 1 (703) x201 For more information on the Ticket to Work Program: >Visit SSAs Work Site at: >Visit CESSIs web site at: >Visit the Maximus web site at: or call: ENVR (3687) Any questions on the Ticket to Work Program should be ed to: