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There is a group on Facebook called Choose Work That is Social Securities program that was ostensibly set up to help persons such as myself engage in gainful employment.

Admittedly I do troll them with real world questions about how one is to become employed while unable to meet monthly basic needs. For example one answer to a question I had was to call the Social Security office and do X. My response was to explain how I couldn't because the last time I called Social Security I was on hold over an hour which left me with no phone minutes for the rest of the month.

My question to them today was more urgent as I lost my glasses at Netroots somewhere. I asked them how I was supposed to fill out applications if I can't read them. The only way I could afford glasses is to literally only pay rent and utilities for a month and hope I find a sale.  

If you can't access the Facebook link above their suggestion to me was to contact my State's Vocational Rehabilitation Office.

Good so far.

So I go to the Voc Rehab ticket to work page.

And I find this:

The Ticket Program is part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 – legislation designed to remove many of the barriers that previously influenced people’s decisions about going to work because of the concerns over losing health care coverage. The goal of the Ticket Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation (VR), and other support services from public and private providers, employers, and other organizations.

Under the Ticket Program, the Social Security Administration provides disability beneficiaries with a Ticket they may use to obtain the services and jobs they need from a universe of organizations called Employment Networks (ENs).

MAXIMUS, a private company, has been contracted by the Social Security Administration to provide oversight and process support necessary to sustain ongoing Ticket Program Operations.

Get more information from the Ticket to Work Web site.

So I go to the TTW website.

There I find two things.

One pages not clear on how one progresses to the ticket to work information. And two a language I am unfamiliar with. This is not the normal bureaucratic droll. Nor is it legalese or corporate scam speak. The best definition would be insider word salad.

How Does My State VR Agency Get Involved?

State VR agencies were given an automatic status as an Employment Network (EN) in the Ticket legislation. As a result, your agency does not need to respond to the EN Request for Quotation (RFQ) to be able to function as an EN. A State VR agency must simply notify Social Security in writing of the desire to participate in the Ticket program. The Ticket legislation also gave State VR agencies the option to choose, on a case-by-case basis, between serving a beneficiary under the traditional Cost Reimbursement (CR) program or as an EN under the Ticket program. If your State VR agency is planning to serve beneficiaries as an EN, you must notify Social Security in writing of your elected EN payment system (Outcome Payment System or Outcome/Milestone Payment System).

How does the average American make sense of pages of that?

The third thing I found is what the State of Oregon is paying MAXIMUS the big bucks for.

A link to the Social Security Choose Work website.

So who is MAXIMUS?

BUSINESS MODEL:

Maximus Inc.'s health division advertises that it provides various services including government health insurance program administration, program eligibility and enrollment, application assistance and enrollment counseling, and administration and consumer outreach. In its human services division, services provided include welfare case management, job training, and support services, such as welfare-to-work, customer contact center operations, child support case management, K-12 special education case management, and tax credit and employer services.

[1] Maximus has the following subsidiaries as of November 2012:[1]

MAXNetwork Pty Limited (incorporated/organized in Australia)
MAXIMUS Canada, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Canada)
MAXIMUS Properties LLC (incorporated/organized in Virginia)
MAXIMUS International, LLC (incorporated/organized in Virginia)
MAXIMUS Federal Services, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Virginia)
MAXIMUS Consulting Services, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Virginia)
MAXIMUS Health Services, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Indiana)
MAXIMUS Human Services, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Virginia)
MAXIMUS K-12 Education, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Virginia)
MAXIMUS Higher Education, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Virginia)
MAXIMUS BC Health, Inc. (incorporated/organized in British Columbia)
MAXIMUS Employment & Training Limited (incorporated/organized in United Kingdom)
MAXIMUS Employment UK Limited (incorporated/organized in United Kingdom)
Policy Studies, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Colorado)
PSI Services Holding, Inc. (incorporated/organized in Delaware)

From the link above:
Maximus has been a Private Sector member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at least from 1994 to 1995.[27] ALEC’s full list of corporate funders over the past few decades is not known, and so any subsequent funding of ALEC by Maximus is not known.
Now I think I've got a VR number from the past. But since MAXIMUS is so good at their job of protecting corporate profits that I was given no direction on how to progress or even what benefits I may be eligible for. Not telling us is the easiest was to cut costs.

Originally posted to Your Government at Work on Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 03:52 PM PDT.

Also republished by Subversive Agitation Team Action Network and Social Security Defenders.

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