TN 6 (07-24)

DI 55001.995 Glossary of Terms in the Ticket to Work Program

A. Definitions

Active participation: A requirement under the timely progress guidelines during the initial 24-month period that a ticketholder who has assigned a ticket must follow the goals established in the Individual Work Plan (IWP) or Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) that is signed with the State VR agency or EN (see DI 55025.025B.1.).

Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach (BPAO) Program: Community-based work incentives planning and assistance grant program specifically designed to provide accurate information related to work incentives to beneficiaries with disabilities (see DI 55001.005C). The Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program replaced the BPAO program in 2006. The individuals employed by WIPA projects who provide benefits counseling are called Benefit Specialists.

Employment Network (EN): Any qualified private or public entity that enters into an agreement with SSA to provide employment support services to a ticketholder . A State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency can choose to participate as an EN under the Ticket to Work program (see DI 55060.005C).

Employment Plan: A written agreement between a ticketholder and an EN. An employment plan describes the specific services that the EN will provide to the ticketholder to obtain an employment goal. An employment plan may be called an Individual Work Plan (IWP) if developed with an EN or an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) if developed with a State VR agency. (See DI 55020.001B).

Inactive Status: During the initial 24-month period, the ticketholder can make a written request to the Ticket Program Manager (TPM) to place the ticket in inactive status due to possible relapses in health condition or emergency situations. Months in inactive status do not count in deciding whether the ticketholder is making timely progress toward their work goals. (See DI 55025.025C) During this period the ticketholder is subject to a medical Continuing Disability Review (CDR) because they are not using the ticket. (See DI 55025.001B.6.)

Initial 24-Month Period: This is the 24-month period which begins with the month following the month in which the ticketholder first assigned their ticket. It is one of the basic time frames under the timely progress requirements. (See DI 55025.025B.1.)

Milestone/Outcome Payment System: The system providing a schedule of payments under the Ticket to Work program to an Employment Network that includes, in addition to payments during the outcome payment period, payment for completion by a ticketholder of milestones directed toward the goal of permanent employment. (See DI 55060.005B.)

Outcome Payment System: The system providing a payment under the Ticket to Work program to an EN for each month, up to a total of 60 months, during which Social Security disability benefits and Federal SSI cash benefits are not payable to a ticketholder because of the performance of SGA or by reason of earnings from work. (See DI 55060.005B.)

Protection and Advocacy to Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) Program: SSA's grant program authorized by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 for the protection and advocacy (P&A) systems, established under part C of Title I of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, to provide certain services to title II and title XVI disabled beneficiaries seeking gainful employment. The PABSS program awards grants to P&As are for two purposes: (1) to provide information and advice about obtaining vocational rehabilitation and employment services, and (2) to provide advocacy or other services that a disabled beneficiary needs to secure or regain gainful employment (see DI 55001.005B).

State Protection and Advocacy (P&A) System: System established in accordance with Part C of title I of the Developmental Disabilities assistance and Bill of Rights Act (42 U.S.C. 6041 et. Seq.) in each State (including the U.S. territories and P&A for Native Americans) (see DI 55001.005B).

Ticket: A ticket represents an individual's eligibility to participate in the Ticket program. While there are physical, paper tickets, one does not need to supply or possess a physical ticket to participate in the Ticket to Work program. (See DI 55002.020B and DI 55099.001).

Ticket Assignment: If the ticketholder has a valid ticket and is in current pay status, they usually can assign the ticket by selecting an EN/State VR Agency to work with and signing an employment plan. (See DI 55025.001B.1. and DI 55025.001B.2.)

Ticketholder: A ticketholder is an individual age 18 through 64 who is either a title II Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiary, a title XVI Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient, or someone who receives both title II and title XVI at the same time (a concurrent beneficiary).

Ticket In Use: In general, the ticket is in use if the ticketholder is actively following their approved plan to become self-sufficient. A ticket is also considered to be in use during the extension period if the ticket becomes unassigned while in use (see DI 55025.001B.4.). When the ticket is in use, the ticketholder is not subject to a medical CDR. (See DI 55025.001B.3.)

Ticket Program Manager (TPM): The Ticket Program Manager is an organization under contract with SSA to manage the Ticket to Work program (see DI 55005.001).

Ticket Reassignment: A ticketholder may reassign their ticket to an EN if they meet the criteria for assigning a ticket described in DI 55025.001B.1. They may reassign their ticket only if they:

  • Continue to meet the ticket eligibility requirements,

  • Have an unassigned ticket,

  • Have an EN/State VR Agency who is willing to work with them and sign a new IWP/IPE.

    The reassignment is effective on the first day these requirements are met. (See DI 55025.001B.5. for more information.)

Ticket Unassignment: The ticketholder or the EN/State VR Agency may unassign the ticket if either decides not to continue with the employment plan. (See DI 55025.001B.2.)

Timely Progress: Timely progress toward self-supporting employment is the standard that is used to determine if a ticketholder is using their ticket for purposes of suspension of medical CDRs. The TPM/SSA define timely progress using two criteria: active participation within the initial 24-month period and increased work activity and earnings during subsequent 12-month progress review periods. (See DI 55025.025B.)

The Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program: The WIPA Program replaced the BPAO program in 2006. Benefit Specialists employed by WIPA projects provide benefits counseling to ticketholders.

12-month Progress Review Period: After the successful completion of the initial 24-month period, the ticketholder is required to perform work activity for a specific number of months during the 12 month period and have earnings at a specified level. (See DI 55025.025B.2.)


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DI 55001.995 - Glossary of Terms in the Ticket to Work Program - 07/17/2024
Batch run: 07/17/2024