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NENA News

July 2023

It's time for the latest NENA E-News!

Your source for news, resources, and advocacy 

for your Employment Network (EN).

Thank you for your patience while we navigated the NENA Website and Admin Email outage. We were made aware of issues with our website and email on 6/23/2023. Our website and access to email was restored on 7/3/2023. We are working to extend deadlines and get back up to speed.

If you reached out to admin@nenaticket.org between 6/23/2023 and 7/3/2023 and received an undeliverable message, please resend your email to admin@nenaticket.org.

Conference News


Registration for the 13th Annual NENA Training Conference live! Due to technical issues with the NENA Website, the Early Bird Discount has been extended through July 12th 2023!


Agenda and hotel link provided on the Conference Webpage

2023 NENA Board Elections

The NENA Board is pleased to announce the following candidates have been elected to the Board of Directors:

  • Amy Wallish
  • Angelina Bush
  • Christa Nivens
  • Linda Patino
  • Rachel Hoffman

News to Know

April 5, 2023 

TPM will ensure adherence during Service and Support reviews beginning August 1, 2023.

SSA Policy Clarifications: TPA Contact Requirements

The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) program integrity service and supports reviews identified instances where some ENs are not in direct contact with their Ticketholders over extended periods of time. Previous guidance provided only required that the EN document an effort to make contact. As a result, some ENs document attempts to make contact, but have no direct communication with the Ticketholder over prolonged periods of time and are no longer providing services yet continue to have the Ticket assigned.

The intent of the Ticket to Work Program is to provide not only Initial Job Acquisition support services, but also Ongoing Support services through the life of the Ticket to assure the Ticketholder achieves self-sufficiency. Some Ticketholders are receiving CDR protection and in many cases are not making timely progress towards their employment goals. Many of these Tickets should not stay assigned. As a result, SSA is making the following policy clarifications which will be annotated in the next version of the Ticket Program Agreement (TPA).

Part III Section 9.B of the Ticket Program Agreement states that one of the criteria SSA uses for EN evaluation is: employment results for Ticketholders including job placement and retention rates, achievement of timely progress benchmarks, and achievement of financial independence (exit the rolls with earnings at or above SGA).

For Ticketholders who are not actively working towards self-sufficiency and SSA has not paid the EN for that Ticketholder in a 24 consecutive month timeframe, SSA recommends that the EN engage the Ticketholder and make one of the following determinations:

  • Determine if new goals, services, and supports are appropriate and revise the IWP to reflect these changes, this includes employment, education, and or training occurring within the next three months, or
  • Determine if the Ticketholder is not working towards self-sufficiency and no longer wants to work towards their established goals or revise their goals, if this is the case, the Ticket should be unassigned.

SSA is also clarifying the contact requirements for Ticketholders in both the Initial Job Acquisition Phase and the Ongoing Support Phase of a Ticketholder’s progression toward their career goals. SSA is clarifying the requirements for a successful contact with a Ticketholder as well as the maximum length of time a Ticket may remain in assignment status without successful contact.

During the Initial Job Acquisition Phase (i.e., starting with Ticket Assignment through the end of the Phase 1 Milestone Period) At a minimum, the EN shall follow-up with the Ticketholder monthly to verify Ticketholder progress and maintain records of these contacts. This is defined as two-way communication and shall be any of the following acceptable mediums in which the Ticketholder provides a response: in-person meeting, a telephone conversation, personalized email messages, voicemail message received by the Ticketholder, personalized text messages, any form of computerized or telephone app communication (e.g., Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Skype, etc.), and personalized letters to and from individuals. The EN shall document the method of communication and, where possible, retain any evidence available of the communication and provide this evidence during program integrity reviews if requested. The EN shall make a minimum of three attempts in a one-month period to make two-way contact with the Ticketholder. In the event the EN does not have a two-way conversation with the Ticketholder, or the Ticketholder requests no contact, the EN shall unassign the Ticket within 60 days from the date of initial contact attempt.

During the Ongoing Support Phase (i.e., Starting with the Phase 2 Milestone Period through Ticket Unassignment) At a minimum, the EN shall contact and communicate with the Ticketholder quarterly to determine if the Ticketholder requires any ongoing employment supports and, where possible, maintain records of these communications, including the method of communication. This two-way contact shall be in the form of any of the methods of communication described above. The EN shall make a minimum of three attempts in a three-month period to make two-way contact with the Ticketholder. In the event the EN does not have a two-way communication with the Ticketholder, or the Ticketholder requests no further contact, the EN shall unassign the Ticket within 180 days from the date of initial contact attempt.

SSA is asking ENs to review their current Ticket assignments to ensure that they are within the parameters of this guidance. ENs shall either make contact with the Ticketholder to reengage them in the Ticket Program or unassign the Ticket. SSA will begin incorporating random reviews to ensure adherence to this guidance into our current Service and Support reviews beginning August 1, 2023.

These requirements will be annotated in Part III, Section 4 of the TPA. Effective As of this date, all ENs must abide by these requirements.

Please direct any questions about this policy to ENService@ssa.gov.

June 5, 2023

Quarterly Reminder from Social Security

Quarterly, Social Security issues the following reminder to Employment Networks:

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides routine reminders to Employment Networks (EN) regarding Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in accordance with your Ticket Program Agreement, Part III Section 8.E. SSA will enforce the following consequences against ENs that transmit PII through email to the agency or to the Ticket Program Manager (TPM):

First Violation

  • The Signatory Authority or Suitability Contact must send a statement to SSA describing how your EN will mitigate the PII security issue within five days of receiving the violation notification.
  • SSA will remove the EN from ePay for three months or one ePay file, whichever comes first.
  • SSA requires the EN to complete a virtual classroom refresher training on Properly Safeguarding Personally Identifiable Information.

Second Violation

  • The Signatory Authority or Suitability Contact must submit a PII quality control plan to ensure no further violations occur within five days of receiving the violation notification.
  • SSA will require that the EN participate in a call involving EN Leadership and SSA to discuss the quality control plan and consequences of a further violation.
  • SSA may remove the EN from ePay for one year.

Third Violation

  • SSA may terminate the EN due to noncompliance with the requirement to protect PII.

As a reminder, SSA’s policy regarding an EN’s transmission of PII to SSA and TPM states:

  • ENs are prohibited from sending PII by email to the SSA and TPM, even if it is encrypted. The only exception is when ENs submit encrypted documentation to the Center for Suitability and Personnel Security as part of the Suitability process.
  • ENs are prohibited from sending any portion of a social security number by email.

If an EN needs to submit PII to SSA or TPM, the EN must use any of the methods noted below:

  • Email: work case (WC) number to ENPaymentsHelp@yourtickettowork.ssa.gov
  • Fax: 1-703-893-4020
  • Mail: P.O. Box 1433, Alexandria, VA 22313
  • Call the Payments Help Desk: 1-866-949-3687 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET)
  • Government-to-Government Services Online (GSO): for Services and Supports ONLY

TPM will route all faxes and mail to the correct department. Please allow extra time for processing.

Best practices for faxing or mailing PII to TPM:

  • Always use a cover sheet.
  • Include the EN name, Provider ID (PID) and State where you are located.
  • Include the subject and area of interest, for example, “Services and Supports Review.”
  • Organize documents so that all pertaining to one Social Security number are grouped together.
  • If faxing, always print a confirmation sheet in case there are faxing issues.

Please contact ENservice@ssa.gov with any questions concerning the use of electronic systems for transmitting PII.

June 15, 2023

Social Security Announces New EN Guide

On June 15th, Social Security sent the following email to Employment Networks and on June 23rd a revision was sent out that included the following:

Social Security is pleased to announce a new resource to assist Employment Networks (EN) in developing relationships with Ticketholders and supporting them through their journey to financial self-sufficiency. The new EN Guide for Working with Ticketholders provides specific tips and details about:

•     Conducting a thorough intake discussion with a Ticketholder
•     Creating and updating a detailed Individual Work Plan (IWP)
•     Assigning and unassigning Tickets
•     Preparing for IWP and Services and Supports Reviews

ENs can access the new guide here and begin using this new resource.

Please note that we’ve made a revision to page 8 of the guide. ENs should follow the updated guidance below in Section 4: EN Supports and Services under Career Planning:

  • Benefits Counseling: If the Ticketholder requires benefits counseling and the EN does not have a certified Benefits Counselor on staff, the EN should refer the Ticketholder to the Ticket to Work Help Line so they can be referred to the appropriate Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project. The Individual Work Plan (IWP) must clearly state that the Ticketholder is being referred to a WIPA for benefits counseling via the Ticket to Work Help Line.

Contact ENOperations@yourtickettowork.ssa.gov with any questions or comments related to the new guide.

June 21, 2023

Upcoming Learning Events

Social Security is pleased to announce three upcoming learning events as part of “EN Essentials,” a new series of supplemental trainings for both new and established Employment Networks (EN).

Plan to attend the following virtual events featuring the new EN Guide for Working with Ticketholders that shares information for developing relationships with Ticketholders and supporting them through their journey to financial self-sufficiency. Learn tips and details to support your EN’s performance and compliance with Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program policies, from conducting a thorough intake discussion to creating a detailed Individual Work Plan (IWP).

July 12, 2023: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET

Optimizing Ticketholder Intake

Intake is an important first step in developing a relationship with Ticketholders. The purpose of the Ticketholder Intake process is to decide the Ticketholder’s eligibility for the Ticket Program and decide jointly whether your EN is a good fit for them. Get tips and details on how to build rapport and conduct a thorough Ticketholder intake discussion to capture key elements for creating an Individual Work Plan (IWP) that has clear and measurable goals.

August 9, 2023: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET

Developing and Maintaining Successful Individual Work Plans (Part 1)

Discuss how to complete an IWP using Ticketholder intake information to create goals and identify the services and supports the Ticketholder needs. This session will cover Ticket assignment and amending the IWP as the Ticketholder moves toward their employment goals.

September 20, 2023: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. ET

Developing and Maintaining Successful Individual Work Plans (Part 2)

This session will cover Ticket assignment and additional compliance metrics for IWP completion, including the discussion summary and signatures required. The session will also stress the importance of ongoing communication and required documentation of services and supports the EN provides.

Mark your calendar to join these events, which will be held via Microsoft Teams. Look forward to receiving login information soon for participating in the Optimizing Ticketholder Intake session on July 12. There is no need to register in advance.

Please direct any questions or comments to 

ENOperations@yourticketowork.ssa.gov.

June 23, 2023

Updated TPA Change Forms

On June 23, Social Security sent the following email to Employment Networks regarding TPA Change Forms: 

At the end of March, the Social Security Administration (SSA) updated the TPA Change Form to capture important changes to ensure that SSA has all necessary personnel and administrative information from Employment Networks (EN). The form collects information such as corporate status categories, underserved populations specifically targeted and type of organization. In addition, SSA added pertinent information to the personnel section. SSA is finding that many ENs do not submit a TPA Change Form when an employee is either hired to work on their Ticket Program Agreement or when an employee leaves the EN.

The following are TPA Change Form reminders for ENs:

Staff Updates

  • Complete Section Four: EN Staff Information when adding or removing staff from your EN’s TPA. SSA will not accept emails in lieu of the form.
  • Do NOT submit an eQIP applicant listing for a new employee to the Office of Suitability prior to submitting a TPA Change Form to add the individual to your EN’s TPA.

Adding Ticket Portal Users

  • Complete TPA Change Form Section Five: EN Portal Users, and Section Four: EN Staff Information for every new Ticket Portal user.
  • The EN’s Signatory Authority or Program Contact may only designate Ticket Portal users based on the EN’s business need.

Submitting the TPA Change Form

  • Only your EN’s Signatory Authority or Program Contact may sign and send the form. The only exception is when designating a new Signatory Authority. In this case, only the current Signatory Authority or Governing Body may sign and send the form.
  • You can now electronically sign the form, but we recommend downloading the form to your computer first to avoid technical difficulties.
  • Only complete the sections that you need to update when submitting the form.
  • Only send one form for all EN changes. If there is not enough space, you may add additional pages.
  • Send the form to ENService@ssa.gov. Include your PID and EN name in the subject line of each email and submit all changes in the TPA Change Form instead of the body of an email.

If you have any questions, email ENService@ssa.gov.

Cornell University Releases New SSI at Work Toolkit 

In response to the deluge of overpayments that we are seeing, we have created a tool for work incentive planners to help them handle work-related overpayments.  The tool can be found at https://ssi.disabilitybenefitsatwork.org/tool/8/nuts-and-bolts 

It includes quick analysis steps and links to the actual SSA forms that they need, helpful tips, and information about what to expect after filing an overpayment-related request with SSA. Read More...

The FedRAMP Marketplace announced an upgrade to its site on June 20th making it easier to search for cloud services that have achieved a FedRAMP Marketplace designation. Read more here.


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Stay Connected


Add the following Upcoming Events to your calendar:

Bulletin Board

Work Incentives Training 

Interested in learning more about Work Incentives Planning? Opportunities are available!

Work Incentives Training

Help Wanted Job Board

Does your member organization have an internal position available within your organization that you would like to post in the NENA E-News?
As a member courtesy, we will post your opening in our next E-News update one time.

Posting requirements:

  • The posting must be for a specific, EN-related position within your organization (i.e., career specialist, career services provider).
  • Include the title, location, a brief description (25 words max) and contact information on the form.
  • Those interested in applying should contact the EN directly.
  • NENA will have no further information about any posted positions.

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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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