the act also provided funding for the establishment of community-based benefits planning, assistance and outreach (bpao) projects.">

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How the Ticket to Work Act Addressed the Concerns of Social Security Recipients With Psychiatric Disabilities

Posted on:1/17/2013
The Ticket to Work Act addressed other common concerns of people with disabilities considering employment.

To ensure that the regulations and work incentives are widely understood and administered in a consistent way, the Social Security Administration established employment support representatives (ESRs) to train local SSA claims representatives and to provide outreach about work incentives.


The Act also provided funding for the establishment of community-based benefits Planning, Assistance and Outreach (BPAO) projects. These projects are staffed with well trained specialists to assist people who are receiving benefits to understand and use SSA work incentives.


A major concern for people with psychiatric disabilities in becoming employed is the fear of losing benefits and then being unable to sustain employment. The Act addressed this concern by establishing an expedited reinstatement of benefits process. If an individual becomes unemployed for reasons related to their disability within 60 months of termination of their benefits, they can request an expedited reinstatement of benefits. That is, they do not have to go through a new application process.


The Act provided a mechanism by which potential vendors, called Employer Networks, could take tickets from Social Security recipients and provide services that would be reimbursed by the Social Security Trust Fund. Individuals or organizations could apply to become an EN and be listed by the government as approved to receive tickets. State VR agencies were encouraged to become ENs, but were not required to do so.
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