TN 2 (12-13)
DI 55005.001 General Questions about the Program Manager's (PM's) Role in the Ticket to Work Program
Social Security Act as Amended in 1999 §§ 1148(d)(1) and (3) and 1148(e);
Public Law 106-107; and Regulations 20 CFR 411.230 through 411.245
A. What is a PM?
A PM is a private or public organization that has entered into a contract with SSA to assist the agency in administering the Ticket to Work program. A PM must have expertise and experience in the field of vocational rehabilitation (VR) or employment services. SSA uses a competitive bidding process to select a PM.
B. Who are the current PMs?
SSA has hired two contractors to perform separate functions that together provide the services necessary to perform the PM's role.
Beneficiary Access and Support Services (BASS)
Booz Allen Hamilton serves as the BASS contractor to provide beneficiary support services to meet the objectives of the Ticket to Work program.
Operations Support Manager (OSM)
MAXIMUS serves as the OSM contractor to handle the operational functions for employment networks (ENs) for the Ticket to Work program.
C. What are the responsibilities of the BASS contractor?
1. Conducts outreach to beneficiaries and recipients
They manage an ongoing, nationwide effort for ticket holders on the advantages of participating in the Ticket to Work program. The BASS contractor:
conducts a telephone marketing program to inform ticket holders about the Ticket to Work program. For example, the Bass contractor calls newly awarded ticket holders to inform them about the benefits of the Ticket to Work program.
maintains a website that provides program related information. They also use social media such as Facebook and other blogs to communicate to ticket holders.
conducts work incentive seminar events to educate beneficiaries and recipients about the Ticket to Work program, work incentives, and other back-to-work and poverty-related issues.
2. Conducts a national beneficiary satisfaction survey
The BASS contractor conducts a survey that measures beneficiaries' and recipients’ satisfaction with their EN. The results of the survey are in the EN profile that beneficiaries and recipients receive when they have a ticket available for assignment.
3. Facilitates beneficiary and recipient access to ENs
The BASS contractor assists SSA in developing and executing strategies to facilitate ticket eligible beneficiaries and recipients access to ENs capable and willing to serve them.
4. Provides timely and accurate communication
The BASS contractor operates a helpline call center that assists beneficiary and recipients:
to understand the effects of work on benefits;
to access EN that may meet the caller's needs; and
by referring them for further assistance and counseling to Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) and Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) programs.
Field Offices, beneficiaries, and recipients may access the helpline contact information at choose work TTW and SSA work site.
D. What are the OSM contractor's responsibilities?
The OSM contractor:
Recruits, evaluates, and monitors ENs and assists them in completing all necessary enrollment documents. (For more information about ENs, see DI 55010.001.)
Reviews and, if necessary, makes recommendations for corrective actions on individual work plans (IWPs), and amendments to those plans. (For more information on Employment Plans, see DI 55020.001.)
Facilitates and monitors active ticket participation by ENs. The OSM compiles and maintains information on ticket holders, and in accordance with privacy rules, makes information about those with unassigned tickets available to ENs based on the geographic area the ENs serve. (For information on when to refer beneficiary to the OSM, see DI 55050.025A.)
Administers and supports the ticket assignment process. The OSM verifies that ticket holders are eligible to assign or reassign their tickets and updates the disability control file (DCF) to reflect changes in ticket status. (For ticket status, see DI 55025.001B.)
Administers and supports the EN payment process.
The OSM contractor:
reviews EN payment claims for accuracy and completeness;
secures additional evidence as needed; and
submits claims with payment recommendations to SSA. (For information on EN payments, see DI 55060.001B.)
Conducts ticket holder progress reviews. (For information on progress reviews, see DI 55025.025.)
Helps resolve disputes that arise between ticket holders and ENs. (For information on resolution on disputes, see DI 55075.005.)
E. Both contractors play a key role in other administrative aspects of the Ticket to Work program.
Both contractors assist with:
financial reporting and accounting,
conference planning (e.g., for ENs and prospective ENs), and
F. PM limitations
Within the service area covered, the PM's contract prohibits the PM from:
directly participating in the delivery of employment services, VR services, or other support services to beneficiaries; and
holding a financial interest in an EN or service provider that provides services under the Ticket to Work program in the PM's designated service delivery area.