[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 145 (Monday, July 29, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 45452-45453]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-18148]


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SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

20 CFR Part 411

[Docket No. SSA-2011-0034]
RIN 0960-AH34


Mailing of Tickets Under the Ticket To Work Program

AGENCY: Social Security Administration.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule 
with request for comments we published in the Federal Register on 
January 12, 2012, at 77 FR 1862. The interim final rule modified our 
rules so that we may send a Ticket to Work (Ticket) to Ticket to Work 
program (Ticket program)-eligible disabled beneficiaries. Under our 
previous rules, we mailed initial Ticket notices to all Ticket-eligible 
beneficiaries immediately after they began receiving benefits, 
regardless of whether they were likely to participate in the program. 
This change did not affect Ticket eligibility requirements.

DATES: The interim final rule with request for comments published on 
January 12, 2012 is confirmed as final effective July 29, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Green, Office of Retirement and 
Disability Policy, Office of Employment Support Programs, Social 
Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-
6401, (410) 965-9852. For information on eligibility or filing for 
benefits, call our national toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-
800-325-0778, or visit our Internet site, Social Security Online, at 
www.socialsecurity.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Congress established the Ticket program in 
the

[[Page 45453]]

Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 to provide 
disability beneficiaries a choice in obtaining the services and 
technology that they need in order to find, secure, and maintain 
employment.\1\ Under the Ticket program, we may issue Tickets to 
eligible Social Security disability beneficiaries and disabled or blind 
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. The beneficiary may use 
the Ticket to obtain vocational rehabilitation services, employment 
services, and other support services from an employment network or from 
a State vocational rehabilitation agency. This support allows these 
individuals to enter into and retain employment and reduces dependency 
on Social Security and SSI cash benefits.
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    \1\ Public Law 106-170.
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    Prior to the publication of our interim final rule with request for 
comments, we mailed Tickets to all Ticket-eligible beneficiaries 
shortly after we awarded a disability or blindness-related benefit, 
regardless of the likelihood that the beneficiary would participate in 
the program. Our interim final rule revised Sec.  411.130 of our 
regulations so that we may send a Ticket to an eligible beneficiary and 
clarified that Ticket-eligible beneficiaries may receive a Ticket upon 
request. The change is consistent with the language of section 
1148(b)(1) of the Social Security Act, which gives us discretion as to 
the form and manner in which Tickets may be distributed.\2\ Removing 
the requirement that we send Tickets to all eligible beneficiaries 
regardless of the likelihood that the beneficiary will ever use the 
Ticket allows us to focus our limited resources on those beneficiaries 
who are most likely to return to work.
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    \2\ Section 1148(b)(1) of the Act states, ``The Commissioner may 
issue a ticket to work and self-sufficiency to disabled 
beneficiaries for participation in the Program.'' 42 U.S.C. 
1348(b)(1).
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    We inform all newly eligible disabled beneficiaries about their 
eligibility for the Ticket program in their award letters and we remind 
current Ticket-eligible beneficiaries of the availability of the 
program via routine correspondence. To increase awareness of the Ticket 
program, we are also conducting outreach directed toward eligible 
beneficiaries who are most likely to return to work. We will send a 
Ticket to any eligible beneficiary upon request, regardless of whether 
we have identified the beneficiary through our outreach efforts. This 
change has made the Ticket program more effective and has not affected 
Ticket eligibility requirements.

Public Comments

    We published an interim final rule with request for comments in the 
Federal Register at 77 FR 1862, on January 12, 2012, and provided a 60-
day comment period. We received one comment from a member of the 
public. We carefully considered the concerns expressed in this comment, 
but did not make any changes to the interim final rule. Below is a 
summary of the comment and our response to the issues that are within 
the scope of the interim final rule.
    Comment: The commenter expressed concern that we did not study how 
many participants in the Ticket program we could expect to drop out of 
the program if we changed the rule and how many people would need to 
drop out in order to create a net cost to us in excess of the expected 
one million dollar annual savings. The commenter also stated that we 
did not mention any possible increase in costs due to enhanced 
notification and outreach measures that may be required under the 
interim final rule.
    Response: We did not adopt this comment. We stated that we ``will 
save about one million dollars each year in print and mail costs by 
informing newly eligible disabled beneficiaries about their eligibility 
for the Ticket program in their award letters instead of sending a 
separate piece of mail containing a ticket.'' \3\ Since the rule only 
affected ``newly eligible disabled beneficiaries,'' we do not expect 
any current participants in the Ticket to drop out of the program 
because of this rule change. Current participants in the Ticket program 
are unaffected by the change in our rules because they already have a 
Ticket, and our interim final rules made it clear that current Ticket-
eligible beneficiaries who do not have a Ticket may receive one upon 
request.
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    \3\ 77 FR at 1862.
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    In addition, our re-focused outreach efforts have not resulted in 
any increase in costs. When we re-focused our outreach efforts, we 
included notification of eligibility for the Ticket program and 
reminders about the availability of the program in correspondence that 
we already send to beneficiaries, such as benefit award letters, cost-
of-living adjustment notices, and certain other letters. Re-focusing 
our existing outreach budget on those beneficiaries most likely to 
return to work has helped us administer the Ticket program more 
efficiently without adversely affecting any beneficiary.

Regulatory Procedures

Executive Order 12866 as Supplemented by Executive Order 13563

    We consulted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
determined that this final rule does not meet the criteria for a 
significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866, as 
supplemented by Executive Order 13563.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    We certify that this final rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it 
only affects individuals. Therefore, a regulatory flexibility analysis 
is not required under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule imposes no reporting or recordkeeping requirements 
subject to OMB clearance.

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 96.001, Social 
Security Disability Insurance; 96.006, Supplemental Security Income)

List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 411

    Administrative practice and procedure, Blind, Disability benefits, 
Public assistance programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Social security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Vocational 
rehabilitation.

    Dated: July 19, 2013.
Carolyn W. Colvin,
Acting Commissioner of Social Security.


0
Accordingly, the interim final rule amending 20 CFR chapter III, part 
411, subpart B that was published at 77 FR 1862 on January 12, 2012 is 
adopted as a final rule without change.

[FR Doc. 2013-18148 Filed 7-26-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4191-02-P