Ticket to Work Priorities
The priorities of the PABSS program are as follows:
1) Provide education and training to Social Security beneficiaries and their families, as well as to community and governmental providers about rights and protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other employment laws, Social Security work incenitives information, and the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act.
2) Provide information and referral services to Social Security beneficiaries needed to secure, regain or retain gainful employment.
3) Provide advice and technical assistance to Social Security beneficiaries seeking vocational rehabilitation services, employment services and other support services from employment networks and other service providers.
4) Provide advocacy and representation to Social Security beneficiaries when such services become necessary to protect the employment rights of such beneficiaries.
5) Coordinate with other entities that have responsibilities to assist Social Security beneficiaries on employment issues to ensure that proper services and referrals are being provided.
6) Assist Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities in disputes before SSA involving work-related program decisions and benefits overpayments that are clearly a barrier to obtaining employment. Because of the expected demand for assistance with these cases, PABSS will explore other possible resources to assist with these cases including the private bar and law students.
7) Advocate to identify and correct deficiencies in entities providing vocational rehabilitation services, employment services and other support services to beneficiaries with disabilities, including reporting to the program manager on identified deficiencies related to employment networks and other concerns related to the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency program.
General Case Acceptance Guidelines for all Programs
All cases need to meet the following general case acceptance guidelines: the case has merit; there is a definable client case objective; the client is willing to participate actively and cooperate in the case resolution process, as appropriate; the client would not likely prevail without assistance from Equip for Equality; an unfavorable outcome would have a significant negative impact on the individual or the disability community; and there are few or no appropriate referrals. However, even if a case meets case priorities criteria and general case acceptance guidelines, a case may not be accepted if current caseloads prevent the case from being accepted or there are not sufficient resources to devote to the matter. Finally, at the discretion of the program, an individual may be provided with advocacy services even if the case does not fall within in the above priorities if it enhances Equip for Equality's services to an un-served or under-served population. At a minimum, all individuals will be provided with information and referral to other sources of assistance.
For a case to be accepted for litigation (representation in court), consideration should also be given to the following criteria:
- The case resolution is likely to benefit other people with disabilities by changing a policy, practice, law or physical environment.
- The case involves a fundamental right under the state or federal Constitution or statute.
- The case is likely to enhance public understanding and support of the rights of people with disabilities.