Under the Disability Employment Initiative, the U.S. Department of Labor has announced $21 million in funding for education improvements, employment opportunities, and training for the unemployed or underemployed who receive Social Security Benefits. The funding and planning for this effort is also supported by the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration and the Office of Disability Employment Policy. The funding is set to go out to seven states, to provide support and assistance to people with disabilities seeking secure employment. The initiative already provides funding in sixteen state projects. The projects require that the staff hired have experience in workforce and disability issues and that the disability service systems coordinate with workforce systems. In addition, the initiative expands participation with the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work Program. The program and funding is primarily designed to get those with disabilities who want to work into the workforce, but also to reduce dependence on Social Security Disability benefits by securing employment for disabled youth before they need the assistance.
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