|Sponsor||Rep. Pomeroy, Earl|
|Committee||Ways and Means|
|Date||September 28, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)|
|Staff Contact||John Gray|
H.R. 6200 is expected to be considered on the House floor on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, under suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-PA) on September 23, 2010.
The bill would provide a one year extension of the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) and the Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security programs (PABSS). The authorization for both programs will expire on September 30, 2010. Currently, funding for WIPA will end in June 2011 and funding for PABSS will end in February 2011.
The following background information was provided by the Republican Staff on the Ways and Mean’s Social Security Subcommittee:
Authorization for the WIPA and PABSS programs was signed into law on December 17, 1999. This Act established the Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program, expanded the availability of health care coverage for the disabled, and authorized several demonstration projects and studies. The Ticket to Work Program, administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA), allows Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability recipients to obtain rehabilitation and vocational services that provide enhanced opportunities for those who wish to work.
The WIPA program funds community-based organizations that assist beneficiaries in understanding the SSA’s complex work incentives policies and the effect that employment has on their benefits. There are currently 103 community-based cooperative agreements that ensure the availability of WIPA programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. Territories. These include 614 Community Work Incentives Coordinators (many subsidized by other funding sources) and 212 community partners. The SSA has contracted with Virginia Commonwealth University to provide all technical assistance and training on the SSA's disability programs and work incentives, the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and other federal work incentives programs. Since the program was created in 1999, authorization for WIPA funding has remained at $23 million. In 2009, 37,406 beneficiaries received WIPA services.
An independent assessment of the WIPA program conducted by Mathematica Policy Research is in progress. Based on their most recent data covering the 6-month period ending in March of this year, WIPAs are focusing services on beneficiary employment and are encouraging enrollees to increase employment. For example, 29 percent of WIPA enrollees were working when they first contacted a WIPA, 40 percent of WIPA enrollees were actively looking for work and 6 percent of WIPA enrollees had a job offer pending. Satisfaction surveys show 9 out of 10 respondents rated services as excellent, very good, or good.
The PABSS program is a protection and advocacy program designed to complement and supplement existing programs. Beneficiaries approach PABSS offices with concerns related to employment or employment effects on benefits. In FY 2009, 8,603 beneficiaries received PABSS services. The authorized funding of $7 million (which has remained constant since the program was created) provides resources for 57 grant programs which cover all 50 states and territories.
There is currently no CBO score for H.R. 6200.