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  • November 30, 2022 11:39 AM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    The NENA Board of Directors met for a special series of Planning and Training meetings from November 13-14, 2022.  The board utilized this time to plan for the coming year and ensure that NENA offerings are relevant to the NENA mission and membership needs.  As you know, the NENA Board of Directors and other volunteers work to ensure that NENA adds value to all members. 

    Do you know what the NENA mission is?  You will see that it is now featured prominently on the website home page

    During the planning and training meetings, the board conducted a thorough analysis of NENA’s budget, Annual Training Conference, monthly meetings, training and networking opportunities, website, newsletter and other member resources.  We also me with Robert Pfaff, Director – Office of Research, Demonstration and Employment Support for the Social Security Administration to solicit feedback regarding the Ticket Program.    

    As a board we are committed to continuing our commitment to excellence in providing training and technical support to members, creating opportunities for connection and collaboration, maintaining a strong working relationship with the Social Security Administration and the Ticket Program Manager.  In the coming year we plan to build on this foundation while focusing our attention and efforts on several key areas for growth. 

    The board identified four specific areas, central to NENA’s mission, which will be the focus of our work in 2023. 

    1. Advocacy: NENA has a powerful collective voice and opportunity to offer feedback regarding the Ticket Program with Social Security and the Ticket Program Manager.  Our goal for 2023 is to nurture and maximize these relationships to advocate for policies and that benefit NENA membership and Ticketholders. 
    2. Training: NENA is well-respected for our work training members and providing technical assistance.  We offer many resources to help you maintain compliance and grow your program. Our goals for 2023 is to maximize the effectiveness of meetings and other offerings to ensure content is relevant, unique and comprehensively meets all member needs.
    3. Engagement: Members have shared that they value the interaction and information sharing they have with other members, especially during the annual training conference.  Our goal for 2023 is to facilitate additional opportunities for members to make meaningful connections.
    4. Board Organization: We recognize that the NENA Board of Directors exists to serve the needs of the membership.  Our goal for 2023 is to ensure that all members have access to important information about board operations including by-laws, election procedures, finances, and other relevant information.     

    Over the coming months will see updates to the website and newsletter as we implement action items from this meeting.  Several work groups have been tasked with action items surrounding these goals.  We are eager to hear your feedback and ideas as to how NENA can better meet your needs and help you to grow.



    Partnering with Social Security

    The NENA Board of Directors met with Robert Pfaff, Director, Office of Research, Demonstration and Employment Support for the Social Security Administration to solicit feedback regarding the Ticket Program. Several recommendations were made to increase Ticket Program growth and continued success. 

    1. Employment Networks should offer certified benefits planning as a part of their services whenever possible; benefits planning and work incentives information is key to Ticket program growth and helping Ticketholders to successfully return to work.
    2. Vocational Rehabilitation partnerships provide a unique opportunity to expand Ticket Program participation and Ticket assignments.  NENA should continue their work of engaging with state Vocational Rehabilitation to expand Ticket to Work.
    3. NENA members have a powerful collective and individual voices which can be used to advocate for policies which benefit Ticketholders and increase the visibility of the Ticket to Work Program.  It is important for NENA to support advocacy efforts.  Communication with legislators is especially important in times of turnover.
    4. Cost of Living Adjustment letters will be going out to Ticketholders over the next few weeks.  These letters are accompanied by information about Ticket to Work which will lead to an increase in Ticket to Work interest, calls and possible Ticket assignments.  


  • October 24, 2022 10:30 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    Why do some Ticketholders succeed at work while others struggle to maintain employment? Why do some Ticketholders have conflict with service providers while others withdraw? As a Ticket to Work provider you are trained to identify a wide range of disability related barriers, but there is one factor you might be overlooking: trauma.

    There is a growing movement among human service professionals to provide Trauma Informed Care training and resources to staff. This has been driven by overwhelming research demonstrating the extent and impact of trauma on persons, especially those with disabilities.

    According to the National Council for Behavioral Health 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event in their lives. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012)

    Persons with disabilities are more than three times as likely to experience serious violent victimization than non-disabled individual including rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012).

    Research consistently shows that women with disabilities regardless of age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or class are assaulted, raped, and abused at a rate two times greater than women without disabilities. (Sobsey, 1994; Cusitar, 1994)

    The risk of being physically assaulted for an adult with developmental disabilities is 4-10 times higher than for other adults. (Sobsey, 1994; Cusitar, 1994)

    Children with disabilities estimated to be 3.4 more likely to experience child abuse than their peers. (Sullivan, 2000; Knutson 2000)

    In public behavioral health, more than 90% of all clients have experienced trauma. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2012)

    While no two persons respond to traumatic events the same, there are many signs and symptoms which have been identified as possible indicators of trauma. The following could be an indicator that the individual you are serving has experienced trauma:

    • Fear, anxiety & depression
    • Mood Swings
    • Difficulty with sleep
    • Reactivity to sound or touch
    • Angry Outbursts
    • Violence or aggression
    • High risk behaviors
    • Self-injurious behaviors
    • Physical pain
    • Gastrointestinal symptoms
    • Compromised immune system
    • Substance use
    • Social isolation or withdrawal (ignoring phone calls)
    • Avoidant behavior
    • Zoning out/ Difficulty focusing
    • Behavioral regulation/ Impulse control
    • Relational difficulties/ Difficulty trusting others
    • Memory deficit

    Because of the prevalence of trauma, providers should work to recognize and understand trauma, how it impacts clients, and deliver all services in a way that minimizes the risk of re-traumatization. It is not our role to seek out information about trauma that has occurred- that in and of itself would be traumatizing. Rather, the goal should be to deliver services to all Ticketholders in a way that is Trauma Informed.

    Trauma response could be an underlying factor which impacts your Ticketholder’s success in services and at work. If your organization is not already providing training around Trauma Informed Care, I highly recommend adding this as a part of your staff training. Together we can provide support services in a way that is accessible and appropriate to those who may have experienced trauma.



    Sources

    Sullivan, P. M., & Knutson, J.F., (2000). Maltreatment and disabilities: A population-based epidemiological study. Child Abuse and Neglect, 24, 1257-1273.

    Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2012). Prevalence of violent crime among households with children, 1993-2010. Retrieved from http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=4472

    SAMHSA’s Concept of Trauma and Guidance for a Trauma-Informed Approach (2014 ). Retrieved from https://ncsacw.samhsa.gov/userfiles/files/SAMHSA_Trauma.pdf

    “How to Manage Trauma.” The National Council for Behavioral Health. Retrieved from https://www.thenationalcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Trauma-infographic.pdf?daf=375ateTbd56.


  • September 26, 2022 9:44 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    The circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic presented a wide range of hardships to American citizens and businesses, but has also allowed us to witness the gains and losses to employment rates by people with and without disabilities during that time.

     Several factors besides the fear of the transmission of the virus played into the total picture, such as, a higher incidence of “burn out” in the healthcare industry and, more specifically, in nursing home settings where lower wages were reported pre-COVID and may also have been a contributor to vacant positions.

    Infection numbers and rates of transmission, quarantine protocol, deaths and long-term health implications resulted in the need for temporary workers and new applicants in most every industry. People who have disabilities saw favorable movement securing employment early on followed by a reduction. While they still experience unemployment rates higher than people who aren’t disabled, unemployment is lower than the numbers before the pandemic. Much attention has been placed on the disadvantages and losses related to the American way of life, including, unemployment and our economy due to the pandemic, therefore, I thought it might be useful to summarize the benefits not often discussed particularly for persons who have disabilities and where employment is concerned.

    The points are as follows:

    1. More leveled playing field for disabled job seekers in terms of learning about openings (common job boards with less reliance on networking), applying for positions online and interviewing (mostly virtual)

    2. Increased pool of available openings (due to positions allowing for telecommuting and, therefore, qualified applicants were able to apply for jobs regardless of location)

    3. Gaps in work history were viewed as less important as many people were “in flux” and took extended time off, changed industries or started businesses

    4. More “legitimate” home-based jobs were and are now being advertised that can be done virtually or as a hybrid

    5. More understanding and sensitivity to disability by the general public and by employers and, further, its impact on working, the barriers of disability as well as other disability related topics

    6. Less reliance on the need for transportation or to be located near employment

    7. Staff shortages in some industries have helped employers to look beyond gaps and view past experience more favorably than previously

    8. Increased interest in hiring people who have disabilities due to recent legislation

    9. Increased access and choices for telehealth services as well as other services (employment supports, counseling, training programs) that also transitioned in part to telephone/video conferencing in order to connect with distanced users

    10. Less emphasis placed on appearance due to a reliance on virtual interviews and, therefore, it may be more difficult to identify people who have disabilities especially those who have physical disabilities and who choose not to disclose

    11. More attention placed on requesting and obtaining workplace accommodations

    12. Access to unemployment and government funded Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans for self-employment/small business enabled people who have disabilities to revise business plans and implement changes to business practices and to attempt to project needs moving forward without losing their businesses

    13. Increased funding for programs that provide infrastructure to support higher broad band usage and to reach out to rural users, training, technology, internet service and tech support

    https://www.fcc.gov/keep-americans-connected

    FACT SHEET: Biden-Harris Administration Announces Over $25 Billion in American Rescue Plan Funding to Help Ensure Every American Has Access to High Speed, Affordable Internet - The White House

    • Industries that rely upon “in person” services and did not have the ability to switch to all virtual were hit hardest and are continuing to try to recover, such as, healthcare and hospitality
    • Individuals who have disabilities who are less educated or are unskilled are often not qualified to work jobs that can be carried out virtually
    • Individuals who have disabilities typically have issues of affordability, access to equipment, access to home-based internet services and may experience more quality and connectivity problems. This put them at a disadvantage when applying for and accepting virtual positions.
    • Those people who have “invisible” disabilities, such as, mental illness, still benefitted from gains made in most of the above areas.

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/07/26/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-marks-anniversary-of-americans-with-disabilities-act-and-announces-resources-to-support-individuals-with-long-covid/


  • August 29, 2022 6:35 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    Finding talent is still a challenge for most employers these days.  As service providers for SSA’s Ticket to Work Program, it presents us with a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between employers and our talented ticket pools.  Outside of searching for jobs online, how else do you identify opportunities that would assist your beneficiaries, and more importantly, connect with the decision makers?

    Partnerships. 

    • Reach out to a company’s HR or Recruiting team.  Sometimes it is beneficial to just go straight to the source, let them know who your organization is, and how you want to help provide the employer with a quality talent pool. 
    • Join your local Chamber of Commerce.  The local Chamber of Commerce is a network of employers and entrepreneurs and allows you to get insight into your local market.
    • Affiliate with American Job Centers.  AJC’s provide direct access to jobs, training, and other employment related resources for your clients.
    • Build network connections through LinkedIn.  LinkedIn allows you to learn a lot about other organizations through their profile, social media contributions, and even reviewing and connecting with the profiles of some of the key staff that work there. 
    • Connect with talent engagement platforms.  This has developed into our most successful relationships with placing beneficiaries in jobs.  Some platforms will allow you to establish a profile for your organization showcasing your best assets and the clients you serve. Employers then have a directory of organizations they can contact and build private, direct connections with your organization to fulfill their critical hiring needs.  Similarly, some others operate curated job boards that are dedicated to helping employers build diverse workforces and connecting jobseekers with employers. 

    We always look forward to the annual NENA Conference, not just for the informative sessions, but because of the excellent networking opportunities available with other organizations.  It’s always a fun and great opportunity to learn and share ideas on how others tackle similar challenges, including developing and maintaining employer partnerships.  Can’t wait to see you in Nashville!


  • July 21, 2022 11:53 AM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    As Employment Networks, our goals are to have satisfied beneficiaries. That said, complaints happen. When a beneficiary or employer complains, it is usually for a good reason or genuine concern. Most often job seekers often feel that they are not being attended to as they would like. Employers’ concerns can range from unprepared job seekers to a lack of strong candidates. We must take care of the customer by listening to the complaint and resolving it.

    Our job seekers want to know someone is listening and they are understood, and they are hoping you are willing to take care of the problem to their satisfaction. No matter what the situation, when a customer brings a complaint to your attention—even if they do it in a less-than-desirable way—be thankful. As the old saying goes, “We can’t fix it, if we don’t know it’s broken.” Moreover, we must realize that improper handling of a customer complaint can move up the ladder. It is always preferred to have a complaint resolved in house.

    I am sharing strategies for complaint resolution. Be mindful, we are all contractors with the Federal Government, and you should always follow mandated guidelines.

    Here are five strategies that will help you handle a customer complaint in a smooth and professional manner:

    1.      Stay calm. When a customer presents you with a complaint, keep in mind that the issue is not personal; he or she is not attacking you directly but rather the situation at hand. “Winning” the confrontation accomplishes nothing. A person who remains in control of his or her emotions deals from a position of strength. While it is perfectly natural to get defensive when attacked, choose to be the “professional” and keep your cool.

    2.      Listen well. Let the irate customer blow off steam. Respond with phrases such as, “Hmm,” “I see,” and “Tell me more.” Do not interrupt. As the customer vents and sees you are not reacting, he or she will begin to calm down. The customer needs to get into a calm frame of mind before he or she can hear your solution—or anything you say, for that matter.

    3.      Acknowledge the problem. Let the customer know you hear what he or she is saying. If you or your company made a mistake, admit it. If you did not make a mistake and it is a misunderstanding, simply explain it to the customer: “I can see how that would be incredibly frustrating for you.” You are not necessarily agreeing with what the customer is saying, but respecting how he or she perceives and feels about the situation. An excellent phrase for opening up this particular conversation would be, “So, if I understand you correctly…” After the customer responds, follow up with, “So, if I understand you correctly, we were to resolve the problem by noon today. I can see how that must be frustrating for you.” Then be quiet. Usually, the customer will respond with “That’s right” or “Exactly.” By repeating to the customer what you think you heard, you lower his or her defenses, and win the right to be heard.

    4.      Get the facts. After listening, take the initiative in the conversation. Now that the customer has calmed down and feels you have heard his or her side, begin asking questions. Be careful not to speak scripted replies, but use this as an opportunity to start a genuine conversation, building a trusting relationship with your customer. To help you understand the situation, get as many details as possible.

    5.      Offer a solution. This happens only after you have sufficient details. One thing to keep in mind: Know what you can and cannot do within your company’s guidelines. Making a promise you cannot commit to will only set you back. Remember, when offering a solution, be courteous and respectful. Let the customer know you are willing to take ownership of the issue, even if it was out of your control. Take charge of the situation and let the customer know what you are going to do to solve the problem.

    A quick follow-up phone call a few days later to make sure everything is alright is icing on the cake. Even a small gesture of apology can turn this interaction from disaster to legendary. A simple gesture like this could result in a future referral or a positive word-of-mouth marketing recommendation.


  • June 28, 2022 7:47 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By Jessica Conant, NENA Director
    Disability Resource Coordinator, Golden Sierra Job Training Agency

    We are all in different stages of transitioning into ever evolving business practices due to the pandemic. One thing that is sure to stay is the ability to provide remote services to serve all participants in our programs. We have all discovered various practices that are now a part of our daily work. From Zoom, Microsoft Teams, DocuSign, and online assessments and tools, these are here to stay and we continue to add new ones! One that we recently discovered is Interview Warmup from Google. This program uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help our participants prepare for upcoming interviews. It is programed to ask common interview questions and analyze the voice and/or typed responses to provide valuable feedback. Participants can use this information to up their interview game on their own time and in their homes.

    As a part of the Training Committee we are always on the lookout for new tools that we can bring to the group. If you have discovered anything that has helped you or your participants grow, please send it in so we can share with all of our NENA members! https://grow.google/certificates/interview-warmup/


  • May 23, 2022 8:00 AM | Rachel Hoffman (Administrator)
    Blurred image of two women talking at a table in an office setting.

    By Lauren Parker, NENA Director
    Senior Director, The SkillSource Group, Inc.
    Virginia Career Works - Northern Region

    Things have been busy here at NENA as we gear up for the 12th Annual National Training Conference – our first in-person conference in two years! All this training talk has me thinking about the different professional development opportunities that have helped me over my career in workforce development and Ticket to Work. One high on my list is Motivational Interviewing (MI). Many of you have probably heard of MI. Others may be MI trainers. But if MI is new to you, you are not alone. When I first heard the term, I remember wondering if it was some new employer-preferred style of interviewing.

    What is MI?

    MI is a method of communication (rather than an intervention) that helps us talk to job seekers who are experiencing ambivalence. Ambivalence can sound like many things. A few examples that might sound familiar:

    • “I don’t want to depend on my benefits, but I’m scared to lose my safety net.”
    • “I know that I might need to start with an entry-level job, but I don’t want to sell myself short.”
    • “I know it’s better to find a job while I have a job, but I really want to quit.”

    MI helps us tap into our job seekers’ motivations and explore their “why”. By listening and eliciting their reasons for change, we can help them fully explore their ambivalence which is essential to change. In short, MI helps us arrange the conversation so that our job seekers become more motivated. It is also an evidence-based approach with numerous studies across various settings and populations on its effectiveness.

    MI Has Spirit!

    The spirit of MI is how the conversation should feel. That conversation should feel like a partnership (collaboration), with the job seeker feeling valued and accepted (autonomy). The conversation should demonstrate compassion while evoking and drawing out ideas (evocation) rather than imposing them. Examples of these concepts might sound like this:
    • “This is a partnership. We will work together to help you achieve your career goals.”
    • “I have some experience with that. Can I make some suggestions? You get to choose any or none of them.”
    • “You probably feel two ways about this. Tell me about your internal struggle.”
    • “I’m really interested in understanding your perspective. How do you feel about talking to me more about your point of view?”

    How MI Helped Me Help Others

    Learning the full MI framework takes time and practice to master. It is a complex skill. Despite first being introduced to MI concepts in 2017, I am still a novice. But what I quickly came to love about MI was that I could immediately implement many of its lessons and techniques. I gained micro skills to evoke change talk through open-ended questions, affirmations (recognize strengths and values), reflections, and summarizing. By applying these skills, I found I could move conversations toward change, and I became a better listener in the process. Additionally, I no longer needed to supply all the solutions. In the end, the choice for change is theirs to make.

    What training has been pivotal in your career? Perhaps you'll find your answer in Nashville at this year’s Annual National Training Conference!

    ----

    Curious about MI? Check out these resources:

  • April 22, 2022 3:36 PM | Rachel Hoffman (Administrator)

    As a Wisconsin Partnership Plus EN, I cannot stress enough the value of having this relationship with our state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. Partnership Plus is a win-win-win: it’s a win for the ticketholder as they get seamless services transitioning from VR to an EN while working; it’s a win for the state VR agency because of the performance measures under the Workforce Incentives and Opportunity Act also known as WIOA (tracking retention and earnings post-closure); and it’s a win for the EN to continue to have referrals coming in to grow and sustain our programs and services.  While not every state has or supports Partnership Plus, there are ways you can implement some of the best practices into your services and outreach to other community organizations. 

     
    Partnership Plus (+)  
    The Ticket Program counts a successful handoff if the ticket holder assigns their ticket to a Partnership Plus EN within 90 days of VR case closure. A ticketholder can assign their ticket to an EN if they are in current pay status with Social Security or within 90 days of VR case closure or EN unassignment. This 90-day extension period to assign their Ticket after VR case closure or EN unassignment is available regardless of their benefit status with SSA. If a ticket holder’s benefits are in suspense and they are beyond the 90-day extension period, their ticket will be unassignable.    

    It is important to share these timelines with your partners to ensure that a ticket holder can use their ticket with an EN.  Timely assignment of a Ticket allows ENs to provide services and supports to a ticketholder anywhere from 3 to 5+ years depending on their benefits and work history. If your agency has ever had to tell someone that while they have a ticket for the Ticket to Work Program, they are not able to use it (aka ticket is not assignable)- you understand the disappointment this brings to ticket holders. The key to avoiding that situation is to educate! 

    What do I mean when I say community partners? Here are some examples: 

    • State VR staff (counselors)  

    • Project Search Coordinators  

    • Community Rehab Providers (CRPs)  

    • Long-term care providers  

    • Independent Living Centers (ILCs)  

    • Aging and Disability Resource Centers 

    • American Job Centers 

    • Social Security Administration  

    • Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects 
       

    Engage with community partners to: 

    • Communicate who is eligible for the Ticket to Work Program. 

    • Identify Ticket to Work candidates.  

    • Determine when someone’s ticket is available to use and the sense of urgency in referring.  

    • Respond promptly to inquiries about the Ticket Program- ticketholders, family members, VR counselors or other professionals.   

    • Create a referral process. Make it easy for people to refer and be referred to your program/agency.  

    • Release of Information (ROI)—have the ticket holder sign a ROI when appropriate for coordination of services. 

    • Close the loop— (with ROI) communicate when someone is enrolled with your Ticket to Work services, when appropriate. 

    Partnerships are a two-way street. You should also inquire what your community partner does, how they work with individuals, what their referral process is, and other key service details. 

    Do you have other tips on partnering? If so, email me- I’d love to hear them! 
     

    Lastly, I wanted to address a few common misunderstandings about the Ticket Program: 

    • An SSDI beneficiary who is 64 can use their Ticket with an EN. If their Ticket is assigned while they are age 64, they can utilize their Ticket with an EN until they reach their full retirement age or until their Ticket is exhausted, whichever comes first.  

    • Rules about how benefits are affected by work are the same whether someone is using their ticket or not. The Ticket Program provides additional options for employment services and medical review protection if someone is making Timely Progress 

    What other myths about the Ticket program and/or working on benefits do you hear often?  
     
    All the best, 

    Sarah Lyngdal, NENA Secretary 

    Employment Resources, Inc. (ERI PLUS)

  • March 29, 2022 5:07 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By David Leon, NENA Director
    Director Workforce Programs
    Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

    It’s April, which means it’s Financial Literacy Month! Now is the perfect time to think about how money, or a lack thereof, is impacting your clients’ abilities to reach their goals and how you can empower them on their journey toward financial independence. Here are a few easily accessible tools that may be helpful to the people that you serve:

    ABLE Accounts – People receiving cash benefits often have difficulty saving money without jeopardizing their eligibility for other resource-restricted programs (SSI, Medicaid, food and/or housing assistance, etc). ABLE accounts allow individuals to save resources well-above $2,000 in a tax-advantaged account while maintaining access to their other programs! Contributions can be made directly to an account by friends and family (bypassing requirements for reporting unearned income when applicable), and funds can be used for a wide variety of goods and services that help the account holder Achieve a Better Life Experience (ABLE)!

    VITA – Many people with disabilities are paying for assistance with tax preparation and/or are accepting costly refund anticipation loans. The IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) offers free tax assistance for individuals who are earning less than $54,000, have a disability, speak limited English or are Senior citizens. Use the link to find providers that meet your clients’ needs!

    Financial Empowerment – Many Employment Networks and Vocational Rehabilitation agencies are adept at helping their clients find employment but are not equipped to support their client’s financial wellness. There are several curricula available that provide basic financial literacy instruction specifically designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. These can provide basic or detailed information on spending/savings plans, identity protection, understanding credit and credit scores, paying bills and other important topics. You may also choose to partner with nonprofits or financial institutions. Adding financial empowerment services may increase referrals and outcomes for your EN and the beneficiaries you serve. 

  • February 17, 2022 6:25 PM | NENA Admin (Administrator)

    By Jan Dabroski, NENA Director
    Center for People with Disabilities 

    A majority of beneficiaries are unaware of the services and supports available to them free of charge. Provided is a list of services and supports that are available and can be shared with Ticket to Work Beneficiaries while beneficiaries are in the Ticket to Work program. 

    Ticket to Work Helpline - 1-866-968-7842

    Ticket to Work Website - https://choosework.ssa.gov/

    Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE) - https://choosework.ssa.gov/webinars-tutorials/index.html

    Fact Sheets / Success Stories / Videos / Podcasts - https://choosework.ssa.gov/library/index.html


    EMPLOYMENT TEAM

    Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS) – 57 Nationwide. Attorneys and Advocates that give support and guidance on disability beneficiary rights, complaints, work incentives, and sometimes free legal services/representatives. 1-866-968-7842

    Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) - 103 Nationwide. WIPA personnel help recipients plan their work lives, determine eligibility for various federal and state programs, assist with health benefits coverage from employers and/or the federal government, and provides referrals and resources.

    Employment Network (EN) - A public or private organization that contracts with Social Security to provide free employment support services to Social Security disability beneficiaries ages 18 through 64.

    Worksheet to assist with finding an EN -  https://choosework.ssa.gov/Assets/cw/docs-materials/BeneficiaryWsht-form6-05-2015_508.pdf

    Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (VR) - State VR helps individuals return to work who need more significant services such as tuition for school, extensive training, rehabilitation services, vehicle modifications, and more before starting work. https://rsa.ed.gov/about/states

    Workforce Center/American Job Center Employment Network - Employment Networks that are part of a state's public workforce system. They provide access to a wide array of employment support services, including training programs, job development, and special programs for youth in transition and veterans. 

    Along with the website provided you can also find your Employment Team in your area (PABSS, WIPA, EN, WR, WF) by going to: 

    https://choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp/result?p_sort=alphabetical&option=2&resStr=en,wf&p_pagesize=25&p_pagenum=1


    OTHER SUPPORTS/SERVICES/RESOURCES

    Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - Free expert guidance and one-on-one consultations on workplace accommodations, the American Disability Act (ADA), related legislation, and employment issues including self-employment. 1-866-526-7842 – www.askJAN.org

    American Disability Act (ADA) - Assistance with rights, laws, and discrimination https://www.ada.gov/

    Department of Labor (DOL) & Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - Information on jobs, training, unemployment, labor laws, workers compensation, and employment discrimination

    DOL -  https://www.dol.gov/   

    EEOC - https://www.eeoc.gov/

    Legal Assistance - Free to low-cost legal assistance. National Disability Rights Network https://www.ndrn.org/  You can find the legal centers in your area using the National site.

    Center for Independent Living Centers (ILC) - Private, non-profit, consumer controlled, community-based organization that provides services and advocacy for persons with all types of disabilities. They assist with employment, housing, transportation, health issues, and more. The goal is to assist individuals towards independent living.

    National Independent Living Center – Washington, DC (202)-207-0334 – www.ncil.org

    Federal Employment of People With Disabilities (Federal Jobs) -  https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/disability-employment/

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The National Employment Network Association (NENA) serves Employment Networks (ENs), American Job Centers (AJCs), State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs) and other Stakeholders involved in the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.

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