Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Human Services Agency



November 6, 2003


November 18, 2003



Honorable Board of Supervisors


Maureen D. Borland, Director, Human Services Agency
Glen H. Brooks, Jr., Director, Central Region



Agreement with the California State Department of Rehabilitation for Benefit Planning Services for Mental Health Social Security Recipients



Adopt a Resolution authorizing:



The execution of the State Agreement 24387 with the California State Department of Rehabilitation (DR) in the amount of $233,677 for October 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004; and



The Human Services Agency Director to execute future Amendments for the purpose of making minor modifications to program services and to accept increases in funding not to exceed $25,000.



Effective January 1, 1999, DR awarded funds from the Social Security Administration (SSA) to develop a five-year research and demonstration project to document to what extent the provision of education and support around work incentive issues might lead to reduction or elimination of Social Security benefits to recipients. Waivers have been authorized by SSA for participants in this project. Participants are provided with guidance in utilizing work incentives and the new waivers to realize employment goals and achieve increased levels of self-sufficiency.


A Previous Agreement with DR provided enhanced benefit planning services for mental health consumers receiving Social Security benefits. This service helps individuals with severe psychiatric disabilities maintain employment and increase self- sufficiency.


The project funds, four unclassified positions to provide benefit planning services and data collection for the Individual Self-Sufficiency Planning Project.


This new Agreement will continue the project into the sixth year, extending the previously approved five-year funding plan. The project's mission is to apply a rigorous data collection and research component to 100 active cases in order to track the number of clients who return to work and cost savings to the Social Security Trust Fund. The extension is due in part to DR project staff billing for less than the budgeted amount during the five year project and SSA was unable to administer the waiver until the end of year two. Although a year five report will be completed in January 2004, the project will continue to study the effects of the waiver and continue to look at effective ways to reduce overpayments, which could lead to reduced SSA administrative costs.


As it is expedient, efficient and appropriate for the Human Services Agency Director to execute future Amendments to the Agreement to accept increases in funding not to exceed $25,000 or program service modifications for the completion of the Individual Self Sufficiency Program, the Human Services Agency is requesting that the Board of Supervisors authorize the Director of Human Services Agency to execute future Amendments. DR requires that four (4) Agreements be returned to them with original signatures. County Counsel has reviewed and approved this Agreement as to form.


Performance Measures


Performance Measures


FY 2002-03


FY 2003-04

Clients obtaining employment



Recipients whose benefits were reduced or eliminated due to living wage




Vision Alignment

The Agreement with DR keeps the commitment of: Ensuring basic health and safety for all and goal number 8. Help vulnerable people-the aged, disabled, mentally ill, at-risk youth and others - achieve a better quality of life. The Agreement with the DR contributes to this commitment and goal since it keeps mental health consumers who receive Social Security Benefits employed, and provides enhanced benefits planning services to those consumers who are unemployed, saving SSA funds and increasing self-sufficiency.


Fiscal Impact

This Agreement provides funding for Salaries and Benefits for two unclassified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor I/II positions at $133,897 and two unclassified Employment Service Specialist II positions at $99,780 for a total funding of $233,677. These positions are fully funded by the SSA through DR. There is no Net County Cost.