New Ticket to Work Regulations Create Exciting New Opportunities

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is pleased to announce exciting improvements to the Ticket to Work Program. These changes were published in the Federal Register on May 20, 2008 and will go in to effect on July 21, 2008.  Check out the new regulations at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-10879.pdf

The revised regulations incorporate SSA’s vision of the future direction of the Ticket to Work Program. SSA issued proposed changes to the Ticket Program in 2005 and 2007 based on lessons learned and issues arising from SSA’s experience in implementing the prior rules.  Changes to the Ticket to Work Program demonstrate that SSA is listening, learning and responding to both lessons learned and critically important feedback from a variety of stakeholders, including beneficiaries, employers, disability organizations, advocates and service providers.

At-a-Glance Ticket Changes

All disability beneficiaries ages 18 through 64 are now eligible to receive Tickets.

Under the previous regulations, any beneficiary categorized as “medical improvement expected” was not eligible to receive a Ticket until a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR) was conducted and his/her continuing eligibility for disability benefits was determined.

Employment Networks (ENs) can now earn Milestone payments earlier, more often and at higher rates.

For the first time, SSA can pay Milestone payments to ENs when beneficiaries have earnings consistent with part-time work;

Milestone payments will be based on gross earnings, encouraging the use of various beneficiary Work Incentives.

Total payments available on behalf of beneficiaries under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs are now almost equal.

Payments to ENs and State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies can now be paid for providing sequential services for the same beneficiary.

SSA would like to thank all of its stakeholders for their valuable insights, which helped inform these important changes. In support of the rapid and seamless implementation of these changes, SSA will be offering training to those who have a role, or are interested in having a role in implementing the program. This training will cover these and other changes in greater depth.

Agendas for the teleconferences, a side-by-side table comparing selected provisions in the New Ticket rules with the old and other resources will be posted by Thursday morning to www.ssa.gov/work.

May 20, 2008