The Ticket to Work program is the centerpiece of new legislation signed into law by President Clinton in December of 1999 under the Ticket to Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. The goal of this program is to: increase the choices of Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities for obtaining employment, vocational rehabilitation (VR) or other support services from public and private providers.
Under the Program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will provide disability beneficiaries with a Ticket they may use to obtain the services they need from an Employment Network (EN) of their choice.
Day to day administration of the Ticket Program is the responsibility of the Program Manager (PM). SSA has contracted with MAXIMUS to perform this role.
To ensure successful implementation, the Ticket to Work Program is being phased in gradually over a period of three years. Eventually, most Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities will receive a Ticket.
SSA plans to release the initial group of Tickets concurrent with publication of final Ticket Program regulations. The first thirteen States involved are: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Implementation of the Program will completed nationwide by early 2004.
In 2001, SSA will be contracting with service providers to become Employment Networks. Initially, SSA will concentrate on contracting with providers serving individuals in the first thirteen states.
The Ticket Program is voluntary. Beneficiaries receiving Tickets will have the option of contacting one or more Employment Networks to discuss services. The EN and the beneficiary will work together to design and Individual Work Plan (IWP) that will outline the services to be provided to enable the beneficiary to reach his or her employment goal.
After the EN and the beneficiary have agreed to and signed the IWP, The Ticket will be assigned to the EN. This is necessary for the EN to receive payment.
SSA has overall program authority for the Ticket to Work Program. SSA will determine the sequence and timing of the implementation of the Ticket Program in each State, determine beneficiary eligibility, schedule the mailing of Tickets to eligible beneficiaries, and make payments to Employment Networks for services provided to the Ticket Program.
The Ticket to Work legislation required SSA to identify a Program Manager (PM) to assist in the administration of the Ticket to Work Program. On September 29, 2000, MAXIMUS was awarded a contract to serve as the Program Manager.
The role as PM include: recruitment of Employment Networks; assisting in the facilitation of access for beneficiaries to Employment Networks; ensuring adequate employment services are available; ensuring reasonable access to these services for beneficiaries; operating a toll free telephone line to answer questions about the Ticket Program, and overall administration and oversight for ongoing Ticket Program operations.
Any agency or an instrumentality of a state (or political subdivision), or a private entity that takes responsibility for the coordination or the actual delivery of services is eligible to apply to be an EN.
Employment Networks can be a single entity, a consortium, or an association of organizations collaborating to combine resources to serve Ticket-holders.
Examples of Organizations that may wish to become Employment Networks include, but are not limited to:
Employment Networks have two Payment Options under which they can be paid for services provided to Ticket-holders. Payments are made through either an outcome payment method or through an outcome-milestone payment method. The EN will be asked to select its preferred method at the time of application. SSA will announce periodic opportunities for Employment Networks to change their payment elections.
Ticket to Work Program
Toll-free line: 1-866-968-7842
Toll-free TDD line for Hearing and Speech Impaired: 1-866-833-2967
Visit the SSA website: www.ssa.gov/work