On December 17, 1999, President Clinton signed the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (P.L. 106-170) into law establishing in section 101(a) the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program (Ticket to Work Program) as well as several other provisions to support the movement of beneficiaries with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) into employment.
The Ticket to Work Program was established to expand the universe of providers available to beneficiaries with disabilities as they are afforded the opportunity to choose from whom they access their needed employment services and supports. The Ticket to Work Program also increased provider incentives to serve these individuals. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers this new program with the support of Maximus, Inc, the entity contracted with by the SSA to serve as the program manager.
The SSA is currently contracting with agencies to serve as Employment Networks (EN). These ENs perform an array of duties under the law, including providing employment services, vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, and other support services to assist individuals with disabilities to obtain and maintain employment. Under this program, the SSA is directed to provide to beneficiaries with disabilities who meet certain eligibility criteria a Ticket they may use to obtain employment services, VR services and/or other support services from an EN of their choice.
“A Ticket under the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program is a document that provides evidence of SSA’s agreement to pay an EN or a State VR agency for providing employment services, VR services and/or other support services to a Ticket recipient who requests such services.” (SSA 2001, p. 12) The Ticket to Work Program will be phased in nationally over a three-year period beginning in January, 2002, with beneficiaries in 13 states: Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont and Wisconsin. The remaining states will be included by January, 2004.