Social Security Act, Section 1149(d); Section 121,
Public Law 106-170; Ticket-to-Work Incentives Improvement Act; Rehabilitation
Act of 1973; Developmental Disabilities Rehabilitation and Assistance and Bill
of Rights Act; Workforce Improvement Act of 1998; Lobbying Disclosure Act; 2
To comply with the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives
Improvement Act legislation passed in December 1999, requiring that the SSA
establish a community-based work incentives planning and assistance program.
To establish a competitive program Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach
Program. To disseminate accurate information to beneficiaries with
disabilities about work incentives programs and issues related to such
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
Project Grants. Place Cursor Here for Definition
USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Cooperative agreements are awarded to organizations to:
(1) Provide statewide benefits planning and assistance, including information
on the availability of protection and advocacy services, to all Social
Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
beneficiaries with disabilities, and to conduct ongoing outreach to those
beneficiaries with disabilities and to their families) that are potentially
eligible to participate in State or Federal work incentives programs. (2)
Disseminate accurate information to beneficiaries with disabilities (including
transition-to- work aged youth) about work incentives programs and issues
related to such programs, to enable them to make informed choices about work.
Cooperative agreement funds may not be used for construction or major
renovation of buildings.
Applicants applying for cooperative agreement funds may include State or local
governments, public or private organizations, or nonprofit or for-profit
organizations that the Commissioner determines is qualified to provide
benefits planning, assistance, and outreach to all SSDI and SSI beneficiaries
with disabilities, within the targeted geographic area. These may include
Centers for Independent Living established under Title VII of the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, protection and advocacy organizations, Native
American tribal entities, client assistance programs established in accordance
with Section 112 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, State Developmental
Disabilities Councils established in accordance with Section 124 of the
Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, and State
agencies administering the State program funded under Part A of Title IV of
the Act. The Commissioner may also award a cooperative agreement to a State or
local Workforce Investment Board, a Department of Labor (DOL) One-Stop Career
Center System established under the Workforce Improvement Act of 1998, or a
State Vocational Rehabilitation agency. Cooperative agreements may not be
awarded to any individual, the Social Security Administration Field Offices,
any State agency administrating the State Medicaid program under Title XIX of
the Act, any entity that the Commissioner determines would have a conflict of
interest if the entity were to receive a cooperative agreement under the
Benefits Planning, Assistance, and Outreach program or any organization
described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1968 that
engages in lobbying (in accordance with Section 18 of the Lobbying Disclosure
Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. 1611).
State or local governments, public or private organizations, or nonprofit or
for-profit organizations, including Centers for Independent Living, protection
and advocacy organizations, Native American tribal entities, client assistance
programs, State Developmental Disabilities Councils, State agencies
administering the State program funded under Part A of Title IV of the Act, a
State or local Workforce Investment Board, a DOL One-Stop Career Center
System, or a State vocational rehabilitation agency.
Costs and administrative requirements for grantees will be determined in
accordance with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations 45
CFR 74 and 92.
Not applicable. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure: The
standard application forms furnished by SSA must be used for this program.
When cooperative agreement opportunities are available. SSA publishes a notice
in the Federal Register soliciting cooperative agreement applications.
Application kits that contain the prescribed application forms and
supplemental descriptive information on the priority areas are available from:
Grants Management Team, Office of Operations Contracts and Grants (OOCG),
Office of Acquisition and Grants (OAG), Office of the Deputy Commissioner for
Finance, Assessment and Management (DCFAM), Social Security Administration,
1-E-4, Gwynn Oak Building, 1710 Gwynn Oak Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21207-5279.
Contact: Ms. Phyllis Y. Smith, Grants Management Officer. Telephone: (410)
965-9518. Also, SSA cooperative agreement program announcements and
application information can be obtained from the SSA/OAG Internet site. To be
considered for a cooperative agreement award, all applicants must complete the
prescribed application forms and submit them to the Grants Management Team.
The application shall be executed by an individual authorized to act for the
applicant agency or organization who will assume the obligations imposed by
the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement. At least three
independent reviewers prepare written assessments of each program- relevant
cooperative agreement application. Applications found irrelevant to program
objectives are returned to the applicants.
Award Procedure: OAG
provides a Notice of Cooperative Agreement Award as official notice for
approved applications. The notice indicates award amount, the purpose of the
award, award terms and conditions, the budget period, the anticipated project
period, and the awardee's cost- sharing requirement.
Deadlines: Closing dates
for receipt of cooperative agreement applications are published in the Federal
Register announcement (usually 60 to 90 days after date of publication in the
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:
Generally, 3 to 6 months after the closing date established in the Federal
Appeals: There are no
formal appeal procedures. If an application is not approved, the reasons will
be stipulated in the denial notice.
agreements can be continued via formal application, which is subject to
approval. If an application is recommended for approval for 2 or more budget
periods, the awardee must submit a formal request for funding continuation
each year. Continuation applications are evaluated prior to a recommendation
of additional funding.
Formula and Matching Requirements:
The formula is based on the amount appropriated and the percentage of
beneficiaries with disabilities: maximum of $300,000 and minimum of $50,000.
Awardees are required to share the cost of projects. The cost-sharing ranges
from five to 25 percent of total project costs.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:
Funds are usually granted for a period of 12 to 17 months. Funds, however, can
be granted for a minimum of 3 months, and up to a maximum of 60 months.
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: Progress and
financial reports are required on all projects. Quarterly reports are due
within 30 days after the end of each quarter of the budget period.
Comprehensive final reports are due no later than 90 days after the
cooperative agreement expires.
Audits: Audits shall be
conducted in accordance with HHS regulations 45 CFR 74 and 92. In accordance
with the provisions of (OMB) Circular A-133 (Revised, June 24, 1997),
"Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations,
"nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more
in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for
that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in
Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year,
except as noted in Circular No. A-133.
Records: Awardees must
maintain financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and all
other records pertinent to an award for 3 years after the end of the project.
In the event of an audit, records must be maintained until all questions are
Obligations: Grants and
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 01 $19,844,416; FY 02 est $23,000,000; and FY 03
Range and Average of Financial Assistance:
From $50,000 to $300,000. Figures may vary with type of program.
In fiscal year (FY) 2001, SSA awarded $19,844,416 in
cooperative agreements to provide benefit planning and assistance services. In
fiscal year 2002, $23 million is available for cooperative agreements to
provide benefit planning and assistance services and provide for their
technical support. SSA issued cooperative agreements to establish benefits
planning and assistance services for beneficiaries wishing to return to work
in all 56 U.S. territories which include all 50 States, Washington DC, Puerto
Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Northern Mariana Islands.
(1) Poverty Among Older Women: A Cross National
Perspective; (2) Disability Research Institute: Partnership in a New Paradigm;
(3) Putting the Pieces Together for Employment; (4) Opening Doors to the
Future for Adolescents with Special Healthcare Needs; (5) Making Work Pay:
Reducing Medicaid and Social Security Barriers to Employment; (6) Work
Incentive, Counseling, and Assistance Program for SSI Recipients; and (7)
Individual Planning for Self Sufficiency.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:
Generally, applications are evaluated on the following
criteria: (1) Capability; (2) relevance and adequacy of project design; (3)
resources and management; and (4) quality assurance.