From the web page
TICKET TO WORK AND
WORK INCENTIVES IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 1999
The President signed the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives
Improvement Act of 1999 on December 17. This new law:
The provisions of the law become effective at various times,
generally beginning one year after enactment. They are described
increases beneficiary choice in obtaining
rehabilitation and vocational services;
- removes barriers that require people with
disabilities to choose between health care
coverage and work; and
- assures that more Americans with disabilities have
the opportunity to participate in the workforce
and lessen their dependence on public benefits.
Establishment of the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program
The program will be phased in nationally over a three-year
period beginning January 1, 2001, with the first Tickets issued
early in 2001.
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
disability beneficiaries will receive a "Ticket" they may use to
obtain vocational rehabilitation (VR), employment or other
support services from an approved provider of their choice.
The Ticket program is voluntary.
Expanded Availability of Health Care Services
The law includes several enhancements to Medicaid and Medicare
that are effective October 1, 2000.
States will have the option to provide Medicaid coverage to more
people ages 16-64 with disabilities who work.
States will have the option to permit working individuals with
incomes above 250 percent of the federal poverty level to buy in
The law creates a new Medicaid buy-in demonstration project to
provide medical assistance to workers with impairments who are
not yet too disabled to work.
The law also extends Medicare coverage for people with
disabilities who return to work. It extends Part A premium-free
coverage for 4 1/2 years beyond the current limit for Social
Security disability beneficiaries who return to work.
Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits
Effective January 1, 2001, when a person's Social Security or
Supplemental Security Income disability benefits have ended
because of earnings from work, he or she would be able to
request reinstatement of benefits.
Beneficiaries must be unable to work because of their medical
They must file the request for reinstatement with Social
Security within 60 months from the month of their termination.
While Social Security is making a new determination,
beneficiaries may receive up to six months of provisional
benefits, including Medicare and Medicaid, as appropriate.
If Social Security decides that the medical condition no longer
prevents the individual from working, the provisional benefits
paid would not be considered an overpayment.
Continuing Disability Reviews
Effective January 1, 2001, Social Security cannot initiate a
continuing disability medical review while a Social Security or
SSI disability beneficiary is using a ticket. Cash benefits may
be subject to termination if earnings are substantial.
Effective January 1, 2002, work activity by a Social Security
disability beneficiary who has received Social Security
disability benefits for at least 24 months could not be used as
a basis for conducting a disability review. However, the
individual would be subject to regularly scheduled medical
reviews. Again, cash benefits may be subject to termination if
earnings are substantial.
Work Incentives Advisory Panel
The law establishes a Work Incentives Advisory Panel within
Social Security composed of 12 members appointed by the
President and Congress. The Panel is to advise the Commissioner
and report to Congress on implementation of the Ticket program.
At least one-half of the Panel members are required to be
individuals with disabilities, or representatives of individuals
of disabilities, with consideration given to current or former
Social Security disability beneficiaries.
Work Incentives Outreach Program
The law directs Social Security to establish a community-based
work incentives planning and assistance program for the purpose
of disseminating accurate information related to work
incentives. Social Security will establish a program of grants,
cooperative agreements or contracts to provide benefits planning
and assistance, including the availability of protection and
advocacy services, and outreach.
The law also directs Social Security to establish a corps of
work incentives specialists within Social Security.
Protection and Advocacy
The law authorizes Social Security to make payments to
protection and advocacy systems established in each state to
provide information, advice, advocacy and other services to
Demonstration Projects and Studies
The law extends Social Security Disability Insurance
demonstration authority for 5 years. Under the law, Social
Security is required to conduct a demonstration project to test
reducing Social Security Disability Insurance benefits by $1 for
each $2 that a beneficiary earns over a certain amount or
The implementation dates and locations for this demonstration
will be announced.
Social Security Administration
From the web page
Questions and Answers
On December 17, 1999, President Clinton signed the Ticket to
Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. This law
includes several important new opportunities for people who
receive Social Security disability benefits who want to go to
I. The Ticket to Work Program
II. Expanded Availability of Health Care Services
What is the Ticket to Work Program?
The Ticket Program is something new in SSA. The program will
offer SSA disability beneficiaries greater choice in obtaining
the services they need to help them go to work.
- When will the Ticket Program begin?
Before we officially begin this major new program, SSA will take
one year to make sure that it will operate as well as possible.
Some beneficiaries will begin to receive Tickets early in 2001.
Will the Ticket Program start everywhere at the same time?
No. During the first year of operation, which will begin January
2001, the program will be available only in certain States. In
the next couple of years, we will expand the program to other
parts of the country. The program will be operating in the
entire country by January 1, 2004. So, people will receive their
Tickets at different times.
- How will I know where the Ticket Program is available?
We will announce our plans in many different places where people
who receive Social Security disability benefits get information
about SSA, including Social Security's Internet web site,
- What will a Ticket look like?
The Ticket will be a paper document that will have some personal
information and some general information about the Ticket Program.
- How will I get my Ticket?
When the program begins in January 2001, we will be working with
an organization the law calls a Program Manager. The Program
Manager, whom we have not yet selected, will help us to manage
the Ticket program. The Program Manager will help us send the
Ticket in the mail with a letter explaining the program.
- Where would I take my Ticket to get services?
You will take your Ticket to what the law calls an Employment
Network. The Employment Networks will be private organizations
or public agencies that have agreed to work with Social Security
to provide services under this program.
How will I find out about the Employment Networks?
The Program Manager will send you a list of the approved
Employment Networks in your area when we send you your Ticket.
Also, some Employment Networks may contact you to offer their
services. This information also will be available on our web
site and in other places.
- How will I choose an Employment Network?
You can contact any Employment Network in your area to see if it
is the right one for you. Both you and the Employment Network
have to agree to work together.
Can I change Employment Networks?
Yes. You can stop working with one Employment Network and begin
working with another one. Before you make this decision,
however, you should make sure you fully understand how the
Employment Network plans to help you to work.
- How can I get more information about the Ticket program now?
Before the program begins in January 2001, you can contact
Beginning in January 2001, you will be able to contact the
Program Manager. We will announce their toll-free telephone
number, and the date they are available to answer questions.
You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213.
- We will have pamphlets and other written material available
at local Social Security offices.
- Information about the Ticket program also will be available
from many other private and government organizations that
help people with disabilities.
- If you have access to the Internet, you can get information
from our special web site, www.ssa.gov/work.
- If I get a Ticket, do I have to use it?
No. The Ticket Program is voluntary.
Does the new law include changes in health care coverage?
Yes. Starting October 1, 2000, the law extends Medicare Part A
(Hospital) premium-free coverage for four and one-half years
beyond the current limit for disability beneficiaries who work.
- What about Medicaid?
The law includes several important changes to Medicaid. For
example, it gives states the option of providing Medicaid
coverage to more people ages 16-64 with disabilities who work.
III. Removal of Work Disincentives
If I go back to work, will I automatically lose my disability
No, the new law has not changed our work incentives rules.
For more information about Social Security's work incentives you
- call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213;
- contact your local Social Security office; or
- visit our special web site at www.ssa.gov/work
If my disability benefits stop because I go back to work, will I
have to file a new application if I can't work anymore?
Starting January 1, 2001, if your benefits have ended because of
work, you can request that we start your benefits again without
having to file a new application. There are some important
You have to be unable to work because of your medical
- The medical condition must be the same as or related to the
condition you had when we first decided that you should
receive disability benefits.
- You have to file your request to start your benefits again
within 60 months of the date you were last entitled to
Will I have to wait for you to make a new medical decision
before I can receive benefits?
No. We will make a new medical decision, but while we are making
the decision, you can receive up to six months of temporary
If you decide that you are unable to start my benefits again,
will I have to pay back the temporary benefits?
Will you still review my medical condition?
Starting January 1, 2001, SSA will not review the medical
condition of a person receiving disability benefits if that
person is using a Ticket.
Starting January 1, 2002, under certain conditions, SSA will not
review the medical condition of beneficiaries who have received
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for at least 24
We will provide more information about medical reviews in the
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