SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home

WORK INCENTIVES OUTREACH PROGRAM

Sec1149[42 U.S.C. 1320b–20] (a) Establishment.—

(1) In General.—The Commissioner, in consultation with the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel established under section 101(f) of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999[117], shall establish a community-based work incentives planning and assistance program for the purpose of disseminating accurate information to disabled beneficiaries on work incentives programs and issues related to such programs.

(2) Grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and outreach.—Under the program established under this section, the Commissioner shall—

(A) establish a competitive program of grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts to provide benefits planning and assistance, including information on the availability of protection and advocacy services, to disabled beneficiaries, including individuals participating in the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program established under section 1148, the program established under section 1619, and other programs that are designed to encourage disabled beneficiaries to work;

(B) conduct directly, or through grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts, ongoing outreach efforts to disabled beneficiaries (and to the families of such beneficiaries) who are potentially eligible to participate in Federal or State work incentive programs that are designed to assist disabled beneficiaries to work, including—

(i) preparing and disseminating information explaining such programs; and

(ii) working in cooperation with other Federal, State, and private agencies and nonprofitorganizations that serve disabled beneficiaries, and with agencies and organizations that focus on vocational rehabilitation and work-related training and counseling;

(C) establish a corps of trained, accessible, and responsive work incentives specialists within the Social Security Administration who will specialize in disability work incentives under titles II and XVI for the purpose of disseminating accurate information with respect to inquiries and issues relating to work incentives to—

(i) disabled beneficiaries;

(ii) benefit applicants under titles II and XVI; and

(iii) individuals or entities awarded grants under subparagraphs (A) or (B); and

(D) provide—

(i) training for work incentives specialists and individuals providing planning assistance described in subparagraph (C); and

(ii) technical assistance to organizations and entities that are designed to encourage disabled beneficiaries to return to work.

(3) Coordination with other programs.—The responsibilities of the Commissioner established under this section shall be coordinated with other public and private programs that provide information and assistance regarding rehabilitation services and independent living supports and benefits planning for disabled beneficiaries including the program under section 1619, the plans for achieving self-support program (PASS), and any other Federal or State work incentives programs that are designed to assist disabled beneficiaries, including educational agencies that provide information and assistance regarding rehabilitation, school-to-work programs, transition services (as defined in, and provided in accordance with, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq.)), a one-stop delivery system established under subtitle B of title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (29 U.S.C. 2811 et seq.), and other services.

(b) Conditions.—

(1) Selection of entities.—

(A) Application.—An entity shall submit an application for a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract to provide benefits planning and assistance to the Commissioner at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Commissioner may determine is necessary to meet the requirements of this section.

(B) Statewideness.—The Commissioner shall ensure that the planning, assistance, and information described in paragraph (2) shall be available on a statewide basis.

(C) Eligibility of states and private organizations.—

(i) In general.—The Commissioner may award a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this section to a State or a private agency or organization (other than Social Security Administration Field Offices and the State agency administering the State medicaid program under title XIX, including any agency or entity described in clause (ii), that the Commissioner determines is qualified to provide the planning, assistance, and information described in paragraph (2)).

(ii) Agencies and entities described.—The agencies and entities described in this clause are the following:

(I) Any public or private agency or organization (including Centers for Independent Living established under title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 796 et seq.)[118], protection and advocacy organizations, client assistance programs established in accordance with section 112 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 732)[119], and State Developmental Disabilities Councils established in accordance with section 124 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (42 U.S.C. 6024)) that the Commissioner determines satisfies the requirements of this section.

(II) The State agency administering the State program funded under part A of title IV.

(D) Exclusion for conflict of interest.—The Commissioner may not award a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this section to any entity that the Commissioner determines would have a conflict of interest if the entity were to receive a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this section.

(2) Services provided.—A recipient of a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract to provide benefits planning and assistance shall select individuals who will act as planners and provide information, guidance, and planning to disabled beneficiaries on the—

(A) availability and interrelation of any Federal or State work incentives programs designed to assist disabled beneficiaries that the individual may be eligible to participate in;

(B) adequacy of any health benefits coverage that may be offered by an employer of the individual and the extent to which other health benefits coverage may be available to the individual; and

(C) availability of protection and advocacy services for disabled beneficiaries and how to access such services.

(3) Amount of grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts.—

(A) Based on population of disabled beneficiaries.—Subject to subparagraph (B), the Commissioner shall award a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this section to an entity based on the percentage of the population of the State where the entity is located who are disabled beneficiaries.

(B) Limitations.—

(i) Per grant.—No entity shall receive a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this section for a fiscal year that is less than $50,000 or more than $300,000.

(ii) Total amount for all grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts.—The total amount of all grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts awarded under this section for a fiscal year may not exceed $23,000,000.

(4) Funding.—

(A) Allocation of costs.—The costs

of carrying out this section shall be paid from amounts made available for the administration of title II and amounts made available for the administration of title XVI, and shall be allocated among those amounts as appropriate

(B) Carryover.—An amount not in excess of 10 percent of the total amount obligated through a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract awarded under this section for a fiscal year to a State or a private agency or organization shall remain available for obligation to such State or private agency or organization until the end of the succeeding fiscal year. Any such amount remaining available for obligation during such succeeding fiscal year shall be available for providing benefits planning and assistance only for individuals who are within the caseload of the recipient of the grant, agreement, or contract as of immediately before the beginning of such fiscal year.

(c) Annual Reports.—Each entity awarded a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this section shall submit an annual report to the Commissioner on the benefits planning and assistance provided to individuals under such grant, agreement, or contract.

(d) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) Commissioner.—The term “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Social Security.

(2) Disabled beneficiary.—The term “disabled beneficiary” means an individual—

(A) who is a disabled beneficiary as defined in section 1148(k)(2) of this Act;

(B) who is receiving a cash payment described in section 1616(a) of this Act or a supplementary payment described in section 212(a)(3) of Public Law 93-66 (without regard to whether such payment is paid by the Commissioner pursuant to an agreement under section 1616(a) of this Act or under section 212(b) of Public Law 93-66)[120];

(C) who, pursuant to section 1619(b) of this Act, is considered to be receiving benefits under title XVI of this Act; or

(D) who is entitled to benefits under part A of title XVIII of this Act by reason of the penultimate sentence of section 226(b) of this Act.

(e) Authorization of Appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $23,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2000 through 2011.


[117]  See Vol. II, P.L. 106-170, §101(f).

[118]  P.L. 93-112.

[119]  P.L. 93-112.

[120]  See Vol. II, P.L. 93-66, §212.