Administering Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program
For nearly two decades, MAXIMUS has played a central role in administering Social Security’s Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency (Ticket) program. The ultimate goal of the Ticket program is to provide Social Security disability beneficiaries with choices and opportunities for obtaining employment support services in their quest for financial independence. Under the current contract, we serve as the Ticket Program Manager, responsible for securing, training and compensating providers for their services to these beneficiaries, as well as informing beneficiaries of the availability and desirability of those services.
MAXIMUS provides technical assistance and support to service providers, such as Employment Networks (EN) and State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies throughout the country. In turn, the service providers connect with beneficiaries to assist them with career counseling, job search and placement and ongoing support to sustain employment. Our interaction with and support to service providers begins with outreach and recruiting and continues through reviews of their applications, award recommendations, onboarding and training. We also conduct quality assurance reviews and participate in nationwide site visits to assure service providers are meeting their contractual obligations under the Ticket program. Through these actions, we have established and maintain a national network of approximately 550 Employment Networks and 77 State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies.
Prompt, Accurate Claims Processing and Support
Once Employment Networks become program participants, we process their claims for payment as their beneficiary clients achieve certain milestones on their path to employment. We process all claims within 30 days of receipt utilizing Social Security’s case management system to track and report on all transactions and digitally store all documents. We use a proprietary, manual quality-control process, as all claims must be manually processed (adjudicated). In 2018, we processed 155,835 payment claims within 30 days of receipt with an accuracy rate of 99.1 percent and an average staff productivity rate of 7.55 claims per hour. In addition, we staff and maintain a help desk to resolve service providers’ system and payment issues.
Enhanced Program Efficiency to Reduce Overpayments
In an effort to reduce programmatic overpayments, we implemented a new system of alerts which identify and assign wage reporting tasks and status updates for select beneficiaries. The process has provided more accurate information on the number of beneficiaries who have left the program due to earnings from work and has eliminated thousands of dollars in overpayments.
With a mission of informing beneficiaries of the advantages of participating in the Ticket program, we developed a national outreach program that includes daily social media postings, paid print, radio and social media advertising, monthly educational webinars, weekly blog posts, beneficiary testimonials, and a website that received nearly 3 million page views by more than 800,00 visitors in 2018. In the same year, we received six communications industry awards for our products. We maintain a toll-free help line that is staffed by representatives, trained and certified to provide beneficiaries with information about their status, ticket eligibility and program attributes.