The Benefits of Partnership Plus

Partnership Plus models are designed to promote cooperation, collaboration and creativity in the provision of services and supports to assist beneficiaries with disabilities to achieve long-term employment success leading to economic self-support. These models offer many benefits to all involved: beneficiaries, State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies, and Employment Networks (EN).

Beneficiaries: A seamless handoff of services to an EN after a State VR agency closes a beneficiary's Cost Reimbursement (CR) case can benefit beneficiaries by:

  • Expanding the scope of long term services available to beneficiaries
  • Allowing beneficiaries to receive intensive, up-front services from State VR agencies while preserving their Tickets to secure ongoing employment support
  • Improving service coordination between VR agencies and ENs
  • Providing beneficiaries who are working when their VR cases are closed with access to up to three to five additional years of ongoing support provided by ENs;
  • Providing a long-term funding source for beneficiaries engaged in supported employment
  • Providing additional resources for beneficiaries to cultivate career paths and/or secure higher paying jobs after VR case closure
  • Extending beneficiary protection from medical Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR)

State VR Agencies: Successful handoffs under Partnership Plus collaboration can benefit State VR agencies by:

  • Maintaining and expanding best practices, ethical standards, and support for consumer rights and choices by ensuring that beneficiaries understand their options and choices under the Ticket program
  • Ensuring the achievement of the intent/requirements of the Rehabilitation Act
  • Increasing VR Cost Reimbursement (CR for beneficiaries who achieve 9 out of 12 months of SGA earnings due to ongoing services provided by ENs after case closure
  • Reducing the number of beneficiaries returning to VR for additional services to re-enter, retain and/or advance in employment
  • Emphasizing collaborative relationships so beneficiaries can access ongoing employment supports and engage in long-term competitive employment
  • Engaging ENs in identifying intensive service needs and referring beneficiaries to VR to meet those needs
  • Providing an alternative for beneficiaries being wait-listed under a VR agency's Order of Selection
  • Giving beneficiaries the option to seek/receive services from an EN prior to seeking VR services

Employment Networks: ENs that accept Ticket assignments from beneficiaries who have completed VR services and have been working for at least 90 days will have opportunities for:

  • Creating flexible programs of services and supports focused on meeting the post-employment needs of beneficiaries
  • Working with beneficiaries at a single point in time (at VR case closure) or at different points in the rehabilitation process by acting as a VR vendor while the beneficiary's VR case is open and then as an EN after VR case closure
  • Generating up to $18,876 for SSI recipients and $19,740 for SSDI beneficiaries (value of all Phase 2 milestone and outcome payments in 2017) as they maintain employment and advance to economic self-support

Benefits to All: Partnership Plus has the potential to benefit everyone involved in the delivery of services by:

  • Facilitating increased cooperation and communication between and among service providers
  • Emphasizing collaborative partnerships designed to assist beneficiaries to achieve economic self-support
  • Providing the opportunity to strengthen all partners in the service delivery system as State VR agencies receive more CR revenue and ENs receive Ticket payments
  • Generating savings to the Social Security Trust Fund, the General Revenue Fund, and the taxpayer as increasing numbers of beneficiaries achieve financial independence