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State Rehabilitation Council Meeting Minutes

September 13, 2003

Call to Order of the State Rehabilitation Council

Following the Commission meeting, John Miller opened the State Rehabilitation Council meeting at 11:50 a.m. The following members were present: Allen Moore, Mary Le O’Daniel, Annette Clinard, Anita Wayne, Catherleen Thomas, Ron Huber, Tom Winton, and Norma Krajczar.

Members not present: George Murphy with an excused absence; Terry Wethington with an unexcused absence.

Others present: Debbie Jackson, Emily DuBois, Sandy Foster (ex-officio), Sally Syria, Sheryl Dotson, JoAnn Strader, Diane Whitley, Jan Fesperman, and David Arthur.

Approval of Minutes

Motion was made by Mary Le O’Daniel, seconded by Allen Moore, and carried to approve the minutes of the June 14, 2003 meeting.

Committee Reports

Policies and Procedures – Norma Krajczar

Jan Fesperman previously presented before the Policy Committee a policy statement on Ticket to Work and now brings a draft statement before the Commission for adoption and approval. The statement reads as follows:

The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) was signed into law on December 17, 1999, as a nationwide initiative designed to broaden recipient choice in vocational rehabilitation services while removing barriers that previously influenced people’s choices between healthcare and work. The voluntary program was assigned to the authority of the Social Security Administration and administered nationally by Maximus, the contracted program administrator.

In November 2003, North Carolina became one of a group of final states to enact the Ticket Program.

Under Ticket, all T2 (Social Security Disability Income-SSDI) and T16 (Supplemental Security Income-SSI) recipients between age 18 and 65 will receive a Ticket (a ceremonial document) from the Social Security Administration (with the exception of those recipients under a continuing medical review). Accompanying materials will explain the purpose of Ticket and will identity options available to the recipient that could enable him to go to work.

If the recipient does not want to go to work, he does nothing.

Should the recipient want to go to work, he will be made aware of various service options (Employment Networks-ENs) and Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) that can assist him/her in achieving his/her vocational goals. The recipient then has the option of assigning the Ticket either to the EN or VR identifying that entity as the one the recipient chooses to assist him/her in going to work. When the recipient goes to work, the entity to whom the Ticket is assigned will do an earnings review. If the recipient has earned income that equals or exceeds that identified by SSA as "substantial gainful activity," the entity has the opportunity to request payment from SSA for expenses incurred or a portion thereof.

There are various payout options available to the ENs and VR, but the Cost Reimbursement Option used by VR since 1987 is available exclusively to that entity and in most cases, it will be exercised.

Ms. Fesperman indicated that DSB is requesting approval to include a policy statement in DSB’s policy manual, which states that DSB will be participating with the Social Security Administration in the new Ticket to Work Program that will go into effect on November 1, 2003.

A motion was made by Norma Krajczar, seconded by Kathy Brack, and carried to approve this policy statement. Ms. Fesperman will forward a final document to Commission/SRC members.

State Plan – Mary Le O’Daniel

Ms. O’Daniel indicated there was nothing to report at this time.

Consumer Information – Catherleen Thomas

Annual Report

David Arthur presented theme options for consideration for the Annual Report. They are: Working Together for a Better Future; Expanding Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow; Building a Better Tomorrow.

After discussion, it was decided to go with Working Together for a Better Future. Ms. Krajczar extended her willingness to review drafts as they are available.

Mr. Arthur also presented format options. All members like the calendar format.

Satisfaction Survey

Ms. Thomas stated that the 4th quarter surveys were distributed on August 14. Thus far DSB has received 88 completed surveys and 12 have been returned due to insufficient addresses. Some of the surveys have been reviewed, and generally, consumers indicate being very pleased with DSB services. The final numbers should be in by October, and Ms. Thomas will have a complete report at the December meeting.

Old Business

None

New Business

Ms. Thomas attended the ACB convention in Pittsburgh and had the opportunity to visit the Division of Services for the Blind there and it was quite interesting. Ms. Thomas shared a copy of their newsletter and brochure of which she passed around for review.

Mr. Winton announced that he is the proud father of a new baby girl named Joy.

Adjournment of Meeting

With no further business to come before the State Rehabilitation Council, the meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for December 13, 2003.

Respectfully submitted,

John T. Miller, III, Chair
State Rehabilitation Council
Department of Health and Human Services

John B. DeLuca, Director
Division of Services for the Blind
Department of Health and Human Services

 

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