The Milestone/Outcome Payment System

The Milestone/Outcome Payment System offers two sets of milestone payments in addition to a set of outcome payments. Milestone payments offer Employment Networks (EN) some financial compensation prior to benefit cessation. This creates a financial incentive for ENs to work with beneficiaries who might take longer to achieve earnings high enough to result in the cessation of disability benefits.

Phase 1 milestones are potentially available to ENs when the following criteria are met:

  • The beneficiary is in current pay status, meaning the beneficiary is receiving a monthly Federal cash benefit payment.
  • The beneficiary is working with earnings at or above the Trial Work Level (TWL).
  • The beneficiary's work constitutes a real job. Paid vocational training with no record of continued self-supporting employment is not considered to be a job for the purposes of the Ticket program.
  • The EN provided career planning and job placement services resulting in the beneficiary's short-term employment success.
  • The request for payment submitted by the EN includes information on the services provided to the beneficiary during this initial phase of employment.
  • None of the Phase 1 milestone exclusions described in a separate section apply to the beneficiary for which payment is being sought.

The payment rate established for Phase 1 milestones is the same for all four milestones and for all beneficiaries regardless of the type of benefits they receive. The following chart portrays the potential revenue generated by Phase 1 milestones in 2016.

Phase 1 Milestone Payments (2017 Rates)

Phase 1 Milestones Beneficiary Gross Earnings SSDI (Title II) Payment Amount SSI (Title XIV) Payment Amount
P1M1 Greater than or equal to $840/mo x 1 calendar mo. $1,400 $1,400
P1M2 Greater than or equal to
$840/mo x 3 mos. w/in
6 mos.
$1,400 $1,400
P1M3 Greater than or equal to
$840/mo x 6 mos. w/in
12 mos.
$1,400 $1,400
P1M4 Greater than or equal to
$840/mo for 9 mos. w/in
18 mos.
$1,400 $1,400
Total Potential P1M Payments   $5,600 $5,600

 

The work and earnings that trigger the Phase 1 milestones are cumulative as long as the earnings occur within the designated timeframe. This means the first month of TWL earnings needed to qualify for P1M1 counts towards the 3 months of TWL earnings needed to qualify for P1M2; the 3 months of TWL earnings needed to qualify for P1M2 counts towards the 6 months of earnings needed to qualify for P1M3; and so on.

There is one exception to the earnings requirement that applies to P1M1. If a beneficiary's earnings are between 50 percent of TWL and the SGA amount, the EN with the beneficiary's Ticket assignment may request P1M1 if the beneficiary achieves TWL earning within the next two months. There are other factors that can prevent the payment of Phase 1 milestones. Review the section on Phase 1 Milestone Exclusions to learn more.

Phase 2 milestones are available to ENs based on the same criteria as Phase 1 milestones with the exception of the earnings requirement. A beneficiary must earn at or above the applicable SGA level and be receiving cash benefits for an EN to qualify for Phase 2 milestone payments. The monthly payment to the EN and the duration of these payments vary depending on the type of disability benefits the beneficiary receives.

  • SSDI Beneficiaries: An EN can qualify for up to 11 months of Phase 2 milestone payments at the rate of $420 a month in 2017 ($420 x 11 = $4,620).
  • SSI Recipients: An EN can qualify for up to 18 months of Phase 2 milestone payments at the rate of $242 a month in 2017 ($242 x 18 = $4,356).

Outcome Payments are available when a beneficiary has earnings above SGA and his/her disability benefits cease due to work and earnings. The monthly outcome payment to the EN and the duration of these payments varies depending on the type of disability benefits the beneficiary receives.

  • SSDI Beneficiaries: An EN can qualify for up to 36 months of outcome payments at the rate of $420 a month in 2017 ($420 x 36 = $15,120).
  • SSI Recipients: An EN can qualify for up to 60 months of outcome payments at the rate of $242 a month in 2017 ($242 x 60 = $14,520).