CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 24
Beneficiaries seeking assistance from SVR systems often confront
long wait periods for vocational evaluation, wait-lists for services, and
being passed in line for those services due to "order of selection"
requirements compelling SVR systems to serve the most profoundly
disabled individuals first.
Nothing undermines motivation to return to work like being
caught in a waiting list with lengthy delays. Private vocational
rehabilitation services are expensive and are not covered under
traditional health insurance plans.
Flexible Ticket to Work services focus on the beneficiary's interests
and transferable skills as a means of building motivation for greater
participation. Beneficiaries begin Ticket to Work with an assessment
of their past relevant work, their interests and current abilities, as
well as their regional labor market. By identifying both assets and
barriers, beneficiaries are coached toward their goals.
PROTECTIONS & INCENTIVES FOR RETURNING TO WORK
Social Security provides many protections and incentives for
beneficiaries in Ticket to Work.
1. Participants are exempt from medical continuing disability reviews
(CDRs) for up to 60 months. This allows them to make progress
toward their employment goals without worrying that Social
Security will revisit their claim and stop their benefits during
their employment search.
2. The Trial Work Period (TWP) is another important part of Ticket
to Work. Beneficiaries are encouraged to gradually improve their
physical conditioning and improve their tolerance for work. When
they can earn $810 a month or more, Social Security's TWP
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Issue 4 * 2017
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work incentive takes effect. Beneficiaries can work, keep their
paycheck and also keep their full SSDI cash benefits. Beneficiaries
have nine TWP months, and there is no ceiling on earnings.
Following the ninth TWP month, Social Security offers a threemonth transition period, from collecting both SSDI and paycheck
income, to living on only paycheck income again.
3. Immediately following the TWP is a benefits safety net period
called the Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) in which beneficiaries who have worked at least nine months at the Trial Work
level retain their medical eligibility for cash payments for any
month their employment earnings fall below the SGA level of
$1,170 a month. This important safety net assures beneficiaries
that if they experience a setback, their cash benefits can be
restarted quickly without needing a new disability application.
The EPE period lasts for 36 months.
4. Following the 36-month EPE period, Social Security closes the
disability claim for beneficiaries working successfully above SGA
level. The final safety net is the Expedited Reinstatement period
(EXR). Beneficiaries can have their disability claim reinstated if
they again fall below SGA level earnings. They need to complete
a CDR, but they'll also receive up to six months in provisional
cash benefits while Social Security makes the determination.
The EXR period lasts for 60 months.
5. Beneficiaries also retain their Medicare benefits, even while
working, for up to 93 months following the end of the TWP.
If you become disabled and are awarded SSDI benefits, you
can use those benefits to return to employment and financial
independence by using the services of a Social Security-approved
Employment Network. The important advantages with an EN include
benefits counseling, which helps ensure you understand how and
when employment affects the cash and medical benefits you receive.
Ticket to Work offers a fresh start and meaningful assistance to
you if you reject the notion there is nothing for you to do and no
one willing to help. It's a flexible, beneficiary-friendly and financially
advantageous program that promotes employment, independence
and vocational confidence for people with disabilities. It should be
included in any discussion concerning your future after a workdisrupting disability, just like you should include it when planning
with your clients.
The combination of assistance offered through SSDI and Ticket
to Work is a critical tool in the case manager's toolbox. Advocate
for yourself to receive these important benefits and seek assistance from organizations who specialize in benefits advocacy. As
a case manager, you have given countless hours toward making a
difference for your clients. If you face a work-disrupting disability
yourself, now it is your turn to participate in the process-from a
consumer's point of view. ■
John M. Yent, MA, ABDA, CPWIC, is Director of Vocational Services and Community Partner Work Incentives
Coordinator for Allsup Employment Services, Belleville, Illinois, a national Employment Network
approved by the Social Security Administration.
He has 25 years' experience as a vocational rehabilitation case manager and vocational expert
in the court system.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017
CMSA Conference Supporters
CMSA Corporate Partners
Case Management at the Helm of Diverse America
Community Health Workers: A Key Role on the Collaborative Care Team
Ticket to Work: Strategies for Case Managers Who Face Work-Disrupting Disabilities
For Case Managers, Success Requires Mastering Today’s Challenges
Using a Patient Engagement Strategy to Help Care Managers Educate Patients at the Right Time—Before It’s Too Late
Index of Advertisers
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Intro
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - cover1
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - cover2
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 3
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 4
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 5
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - President’s Letter
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 7
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Association News
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 9
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - CMSA Conference Supporters
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - CMSA Corporate Partners
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Case Management at the Helm of Diverse America
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 13
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 14
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 15
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Community Health Workers: A Key Role on the Collaborative Care Team
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 17
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 18
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 19
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Ticket to Work: Strategies for Case Managers Who Face Work-Disrupting Disabilities
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 21
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 22
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 23
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 24
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - For Case Managers, Success Requires Mastering Today’s Challenges
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 26
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 27
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Using a Patient Engagement Strategy to Help Care Managers Educate Patients at the Right Time—Before It’s Too Late
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - 29
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - Index of Advertisers
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - cover3
CMSA Today - Issue 4, 2017 - cover4