Types of ENs

An Employment Network (EN) is an organization or group of organizations that has been deemed qualified to provide or coordinate the provision of vocational rehabilitation and other types of employment-related services and supports to assist Social Security beneficiaries with disabilities (Ticketholders) to enter, maintain and advance towards self-supporting employment.

Organizations must apply to become ENs by responding to the EN Request for Application (RFA).

Once approved by the Social Security Administration, an applicant organization must sign a Ticket Program Agreement (TPA) and key staff must complete a suitability determination and orientation training before it can begin operating as an EN.

ENs can be for-profit or non-profit organizations and service providers, state and local government agencies, or a group of providers working together as a single EN. Federal agencies cannot become ENs.

Traditional ENs are community-based service providers that have been involved in promoting employment for individuals with disabilities. Examples of these providers are Community Rehabilitation Programs such as Goodwill Industries and United Cerebral Palsy organizations, community mental health programs, Centers for Independent Living, habilitation providers, disability student services at community colleges and vocational training schools. This is the largest pool of organizations currently operating as ENs. Over the years, a variety of other EN models have emerged.

  • Employer ENs and Consumer-Directed Services (CDS) ENs (CDS no longer awarded since July 2017) are based on service delivery models addressed in the EN RFA.
  • Some are based on the type of local organization or state agency applying to become an EN, such as Workforce ENs and American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation ENs.
  • Some are based on the types of organizations involved in formal partnership arrangements, such as Administrative ENs and Partnership Plus ENs.