National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Understanding the Issue:

Employment and Income Supports
The unemployment rate of persons with severe mental illnesses remains extraordinarily high - up to 80-90%, according to some estimates. Persons with severe mental illnesses are one of the largest populations on the federal disability rolls.

Supported Employment
NAMI's Fact Sheet on Supported Employment.

1999 Law Addressing Disincentives To Work Falling Short of Expectations

Social Security's Programs As a Barrier to Employment

TWWIIA Designed to Address Multiple Barriers

"Ticket" Slow to Achieve Goal of Consumer Choice

NAMI's Position on the Issue:

Employment, Work, and Income Supports for People with Brain Disorders - WHERE WE STAND
Government income-support programs (including SSI and SSDI) and the healthcare programs that accompany them (Medicare and Medicaid) should never force people with disabilities to be trapped in poverty and dependence by preventing even part-time work that promotes dignity and independence.

NAMI's Advocacy Goals and Strategies:

NAMI's Advocacy Goals and Strategies
NAMI strongly supports full implementation of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act.

Take Action!

Contact Your Representatives about Employment Issues
Use our online advocacy tool to send a letter to your congressional representatives right now and make your voice heard on this issue. Use our suggested text or compose a letter of your own.

Sign Up for E-News Alerts
Keep up with the latest developments on this issue by subscribing to NAMI E-News, our free action alert newsletter.

Other Resources:

NAMI comments on regulations on the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA)
Read comments that NAMI submitted to the Social Security Administration on revised regulations for the "ticket to work" program -- a voucher program that provides SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with a "ticket" that funds job training and employment supportsfor a provider chosen by the beneficiary.

Get Better Coverage
Read a new guide for companies on how to craft effective healthcare contracts that cover both mental health and general healthcare.

Ticket to Work Recommendations
SSI and SSDI beneficiaries with mental illness continue to be frustrated in their effort to use the 1999 Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) to leave the disability rolls and enter the workforce. NAMI member and consumer Randy Bosin has developed his own proposal for fixing the "Ticket" program and more fundamentally addressing the inequities in SSA's disability programs.

"Legacy of Failure"
A NAMI report recommends a series of changes designed to make the VR program more flexible and responsive to the employment and training needs of consumers.

Association for Persons in Supported Employment
A membership organization focusing on improving employment opportunities for people experiencing disabilities. Information, resources, advocacy, education, national, state, and local policy development, and public education.

EEOC Enforcement Guidance on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Psychiatric Disabilities
This Enforcement Guidance clarifies the rights and responsibilities of employers and individuals with disabilities regarding reasonable accommodation and undue hardship.

The Work Site
An information section of Social Security online, this site offer information for beneficiaries and employers on the Ticket to Work Program, including a free national referral service for employers, Ticket to Work fact sheet, frequently asked questions, and protection and advocacy information.

National Mental Health Association
Publications "Supported Employment for Persons With Disabilities", a review of effective services, and "Employment Development for Services for Adults in Recovery form Mental Illness", a position statement on employment services for people recovering from mental illness. Information about model programs, "Partners in Care: Community Access to Recovery of Empowerment."

The ADA: A Primer for Small Businesses
The workshops will address such topics as the "definition of disability," interviewing job applicants with disabilities, and how to make reasonable accommodations within a small business.