NAMI E-News April 20, 2001 Vol. 01-94As part of the continuing implementation of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (TWWIIA), the Social Security Administration (SSA) has released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Employment Networks for the Ticket to Work Program. Employment Networks (ENs) are currently being recruited in the initial 13 states that are participating this year in the phased-in Ticket to Work Program. These states are Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wisconsin. By February 2003, all 50 states are expected to be phased-in and participating in the Ticket Program.
FULL TEXT OF RFP
The full text of the Employment Network RFP can be accessed at http://www.eps.gov/spg/SSA/DCFIAM/OAG/SSA-RFP-01-0010/Attachments.html Scroll down to RFP 01-0010, Employment Networks.
SSA has contracted with MAXIMUS, Inc. to serve as Program Manager of the Ticket to Work Program. The Program Manager of the Ticket to Work Program is responsible for recruiting Employment Networks, helping beneficiaries access ENs, and ensuring availability and reasonable access to services. For more information on becoming an Employment Network or on the Ticket program contact MAXIMUS at:
TTY (1-866-833-2967) (1-866-TDD 2 WORK)
More Background on Tickets for Beneficiaries under TWWIIA
The Ticket to Work Program will be available for SSI/SSDI beneficiaries that live in the 13 states listed above in 2001. The rest of the States will be phased-in over a three year period ending in February 2003. Although most Social Security and SSI beneficiaries with disabilities will receive a ticket, there are provisions in the final rules that will hinder some beneficiaries disabled with serious mental illnesses from entering the program expeditiously or at all. Please refer to the NAMI comments noted above for more information on these restrictions http://www.nami.org/update/20010227.html.
SSA has proposed that all beneficiaries with disabilities who are between the ages of 18 and 65 will be eligible for a ticket except those who:
(1) are not receiving a Federal benefit
(2) are medically expected to improve and have not had their first
continuing disability review (CDR),
(3) are SSI recipients and are not receiving benefits based on the adult standard.
SSA will send eligible beneficiaries a Ticket in the mail. The Ticket will have the beneficiary's name and social security number printed on it. Information about the program and a guide will be sent along with the Ticket. SSA will send more information after a EN has been assigned.
The Ticket to Work program is voluntary. Social Security benefits will not be affected if a SSI/SSDI recipient decides not to participate in the program.
Also, there is not set time limit to use the Ticket. As long as beneficiaries continue to meet the eligibility criteria, they can hold onto the ticket until they want to participate in the program. There are restrictions, however, on the amount of use of the Ticket. Basically, beneficiaries are eligible to participate in the Ticket Program as long as they are receiving a cash benefit from Social Security that is based on a disability. Once an Employment Network has received 60 monthly payments from Social Security for services for a beneficiary, the program will terminate. In addition, as long as a beneficiary meets the Ticket participation requirements, beneficiaries who decide to participate in the program will be exempted from CDRs.
More information for beneficiaries on the Ticket program is available on the SSA website at http://www.ssa.gov/work/ResourcesToolkit/legisreg2.html