The Benefits of Partnership Plus
Emerging 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 services and make individualized, sequential services available to beneficiaries;
- Improving the coordination of VR's pre-employment and placement services with the ongoing post-employment support offered by ENs;
- Allowing beneficiaries to receive intensive, up-front services from State VR agencies while preserving their tickets for use in securing ongoing post-employment support;
- 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;
- Making an additional source of long-term funding available to beneficiaries engaged in supported employment; and
- Providing additional resources for beneficiaries to cultivate career paths and/or secure higher paying jobs after VR case closure.
State VR Agencies: Successful handoffs under Partnership Plus agreements can benefit State VR agencies by:
- Ensuring the achievement of the intent/requirements of the Rehabilitation Act;
- Emphasizing collaborative relationships that focus on ensuring that 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;
- Reducing the number of beneficiaries returning to VR for additional services to re-enter, retain and/or advance in employment; and
- 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.
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 the ability to:
- Create flexible programs of services and supports focused on meeting the post-employment needs of beneficiaries;
- Work 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; and
- Work with employed beneficiaries with the potential to generate $18,876 for Supplemental Security Income recipients and $19,740 for Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries (the 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 to beneficiaries 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 American taxpayer as increasing numbers of beneficiaries achieve financial independence.