Accessible: Easy to approach, enter, operate, participate in, or use safely, independently and with dignity by a person with a disability (i.e., site, facility, work environment, service or program).
Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR): A variety of procedures for resolving disputes. ADR is a fair and efficient alternative to court adjudication that must be entered into voluntarily by all parties. Some of the more common ADR procedures are arbitration, mediation, and conciliation. The Americans with Disabilities Act encourages the use of ADR to resolve conflicts.
Alternate Formats: Formats usable by people with disabilities. These may include, but are not limited to, Braille, ASCII text, large print, and recorded audio.
Alternate Methods: Different means of providing information, including product documentation, to people with disabilities. Alternate methods may include, but are not limited to, voice, fax, relay service, TTY, Internet posting, captioning, text-to-speech synthesis, and audio description.
Alternate Participants (AP): A public or private agency, except the designated participating State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency or agency for the blind, that SSA determined is qualified to provide Vocational Rehabilitation services with whom SSA has signed a contract to provide such services to SSDI/SSI disability beneficiaries.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Comprehensive civil rights law that makes it unlawful to discriminate against individuals with a disability in public and private sector employment (for businesses with 15 or more employees), state and local government services, public accommodations, transportation or telecommunication.
Assets: All items of value owned by an individual or business and constituting the resources of the individual or busine.
Assistive Technology: Any item, piece of equipment, or system, whether acquired commercially, modified, or customized, that is commonly used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Includes items such as communication devices, adapted appliances for accessible living, environmental control devices, modified housing, adapted computers, and specialized software.
Auxiliary Aids and Services: Devices or services that accommodate a functional limitation of a person with a communication-related disability. Includes qualified interpreters and communication devices for persons who have deafness or hardness of hearing; qualified readers, taped texts, braille or other devices for persons with visual impairments; and adaptive equipment for persons with other communication disabilities.
Balance Sheet: A standardized format of analysis and comparison designed to show how the assets, liabilities, and net worth of a company are distributed at a given point in time.
Break-Even Analysis: A calculation that determines how much of the product or service needs to be sold in a month to cover the operating expenses of the business.
Business Plan: A working document that outlines the business background, the proposed resources and strategies that will be used as well as the expected results of a business for a stated period of time.
Cash-Flow Projection: A prediction of future cash income and outflow, forecasted sources of cash, and forecasted uses of cash.
Capital: Money, typically for a business start up, in the form of a loan to be repaid in installments; and/or, equity as the posession of equipment, supplies and inventory that the individual has purchased for the business.
Capital Equipment: Equipment used to manufacture a product, provide a service, or sell, store, and deliver merchandise.
CDR: see Continuing Disability Review.
Continuation of Medicare Coverage: An SSDI beneficiary can receive at least 39 consecutive months of hospital and medical insurance after the trial work period, (93 months if a “Ticket to Work” has been used). This provision allows health insurance to continue when a beneficiary goes to work and is engaged in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
Community Development Financial Institutions: Private financial institutions that have community development as a primary mission and who develop a range of programs and methods to meet the needs of low-income communities. CDFIs extend loans that may be considered unbankable by conventional industry standards and serve borrowers, investors, and customers not serviced by mainstream financial institutions. CDFIs are funded by the US Department of Treasury, Community Development Financial Institution Program, which is a significant source of loan capital for microenterprise programs.
Continuing Disability Review (CDR): All Social Security disability beneficiaries normally undergo periodic medical reviews, called Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs). Social Security uses the CDR to determine if there has been medical improvement in your condition, or to determine whether you are still eligible for benefits.So long as you are making timely progress on your Individual Work Plan (IWP), Social Security will not initiate a medical CDR.
Credit Guarantee: A financial instrument that encourages financial institutions, in this case microlending organizations, to lend to individuals that have good prospects for success but are unable to provide sufficient collateral or do not have a suitable record of financial transactions to prove their creditworthiness. The guarantee functions as a promise by the guarantor to the lender that, in the event of borrower default, the guarantor will repay the lender for the amount of principal risked.
Disability and Technical Assistance Centers (DBTAC): Ten regional centers established by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research that provide information, training, and technical assistance to employers, people with disabilities and others on their rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Disability: Inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity due to physical or mental impairment(s) which has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months or can be expected to result in death.
Electronic and Information Technology: Technology and any equipment or interconnected system or subsystem of equipment that is used in the creation, conversion, or duplication of data or information. The term electronic and information technology includes, but is not limited to, telecommunications products (such as telephones), information kiosks and transaction machines, World Wide Web sites, multimedia, and office equipment such as copiers and fax machines.
Employment Supports: see Work Incentives.
Employment Network (EN): An Employment Network is an entity approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to provide employment-related services under the Ticket to Work Program (TTW). Employment Networks may offer a variety of services such as job readiness services, placement services, vocational rehabilitation, training, job coaches, transportation or other supports. Employment Networks can be a single service provider such as a non-profit community based organization (CBO), a collaboration of providers, or a network of public and private services which agree to work with Ticket-holders.
EN: see Employment Network.
Entrepreneur: A person who organizes, operates and assumes the risk for a business venture.
Entrepreneurship: A process through which individuals and groups pursue opportunity, leverage resources, and initiate change to create value.
EPE: see Extended Period of Eligibility.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): Federal agency responsible for overseeing and enforcing nondiscrimination in hiring, firing, compensation, promotion, recruitment, training, and other terms and conditions of employment regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin or disability.
Essential Job Functions: Fundamental job duties of an employment position that an individual with a disability holds or desires.
Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE): The three year period of SSDI eligibility following the end of the Trial Work Period where benefits are paid for any month in which earnings are under SGA.
Feasibility Study: A written evaluation of the possibilities and challenges of a proposed business idea. Included is an understanding of the financial realities and the technical capacity of the owner to perform the duties of the business. A feasibility study precedes the preparation of a complete business plan and should be done before declaration of a vocational goal and the writing of an IPE.
Financial Analysis: The evaluation of accounting (financial) data and interpretation of the results to determine the company’s financial condition and performance.
Fundamental Alteration: Change in the essential nature of a program or activity, including but not limited to an aid, service, benefit, training service or cost that a recipient can demonstrate would result in an undue burden.
Impairment Related Work Expense (IRWE): A cost incurred by an SSI/SSDI recipient that is needed to be able to work and that SSA can therefore deduct from countable income when determining benefits payment for SSI/SSDI.
Individual with a Disability: Person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of that person’s major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or who is regarded as having such an impairment.
Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE): The agreement signed by a consumer and their vocational rehabilitation counselor that maps out services and supports needed to achieve employment goals.
Individual Work Plan: Your formal agreement with your Employment Network detailing exactly how you will use their services in order to achieve your employment goals. The Plan includes specific steps and time frames and may span many years.
Information Transaction Machines (ITM): Public service kiosks such as fare vending machines and Automated Teller Machines.
IPE: see Individualized Plan for Employment.
IRWE: see Impairment Related Work Expense.
Job Coach: Person hired by a placement agency or provided through an employer to assist an employee with a disability in learning and performing a job and adjusting to the work environment.
Leverage: The use of capital to increase the return possible; for example, an institution may place $50,000 in capital on deposit to borrow $100,000, thereby leveraging their capital 2:1.
Liabilities: The claims of creditors against the assets of a business; what is owed.
Loan Loss Reserves (LLR): Funds set aside in the form of cash reserves or through accounting-based accrual reserves that serve as a cushion to protect an organization against potential future losses from loan default. Establishing a LLR does not take the place of a loan policy, risk rating system or other important credit management techniques.
Major Life Activity: Basic activities that the average person in the general population can perform with little or no difficulty, such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.
Market: A group of people or businesses most likely to use a particular product.
Marketing: Moving goods and services from the provider to the consumer. This involves advertising, publicity, packaging, promotion, pricing, sale and distribution of the goods and services.
Marketing Analysis: Research aimed at predicting or anticipating the demand and profitability of a product or service, based on technical data about the product and the potential market; a study to define a company’s market; a forecast of market direction with a view toward sharing or exploiting new trends.
Medicaid: Medical coverage provided to a person through their state Title XIX program.
Medicare (as it relates to SSDI): A two-part health insurance program for eligible individuals with disabilities and people age 65 or older.
Medicare for People with Disabilities Who Work: Some people with disabilities who qualify for SSDI and have returned to work can buy continued Medicare coverage when their premium-free Medicare ends due to work activity. States are required to help pay the hospital insurance premiums for some working individuals with disabilities.
Microcredit: Loans usually under $25,000 made to entrepreneurs who typically cannot access forms of commercial financing for their businesses.
Microentrepreneur: An individual who owns/operates a microenterprise.
Microenterprise: A subset of small businesses with fewer than five employees and start-up costs less than $25,000.
Microenterprise Development: A grass roots field of publicly and privately funded organizations that target traditionally underserved segments of the population who are most likely to rely on public assistance.
Microenterprise Development Organizations (MDOs): Non profit organizations that provide business development services to people who are currently operating, or are interested in starting, a microenterprise.
Natural Supports: Supports provided to an employee with a disability from supervisors and co-workers, such as mentoring, friendship, socializing at breaks or after work, providing feedback on job performance or learning a new skill together. These natural supports are particularly effective as they enhance the social integration of the employee with a disability with his or her co-workers and supervisor. In addition, natural supports are more permanent, part of the workplace and more readily available than paid job coaches, thereby facilitating long-term job retention.
Niche (Target) Marketing: Further defining a business’ market into smaller groups that have similiar interests, income, buying tendencies or other common characteristics. These sub-markets can then be marketed to specifically in a way that is more appealing to their tendencies and preferences.
PASS: see Plan for Achieving Self Support.
Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS): A PASS plan allows an SSI recipient to set aside money to use for a specific work-related goal, such as education, vocational training, establishment of a business.
Projected Income Statement: Abudgeting tool estimating income and anticipated expense of a business.
Profit and Loss Statement: A summary of all income less expenses to determine the profit or loss of a business.
Qualified Individual with a Disability: Individual with a disability who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of an employment position the individual holds or desires, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of such position.
Reasonable Accommodation: (1) Modification or adjustment to a job application process that enables a qualified applicant with a disability to be considered for the position; (2) modifications or adjustments to the work environment, or to the manner or circumstances under which a position held or desired is customarily performed, that enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of that position; or (3) modifications or adjustments that enable an employee with a disability to enjoy the same benefits and privileges of employment as similarly situated employees without disabilities.
Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Federal legislation that set up grant programs for vocational rehabilitation, supported employment, independent living and client assistance. The Rehabilitative Services Administration in the Department of Education oversees programs created by the Act.
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTC): Centers nationwide that conduct research and offer training in improving rehabilitation methods and delivery systems, alleviating or stabilizing disabling conditions, or promoting maximum independence for people with disabilities.
Resources (as it relates to SSI): Anything that is owned, such as a bank account, stocks, business assets, real property, or personal property that beneficiaries can use for support and maintenance. All resources may not count when determining SSI eligibility.
Revenue: An inflow of cash and accounts receivable to a business resulting from the sales of goods and services.
Section 508: Section of the amended Rehabilitation Act requiring all federal agencies to make their electronic and information technologies available to people with disabilities.
Self Employment: A business operated alone by the owner.
Small Business: A business with less than 500 employees and start up costs greater than $35,000.
SGA: see Substantial Gainful Activity.
Social Security Administration (SSA): The federal agency responsible for managing the SSI and SSDI programs.
Social Security Disability Income (SSDI): A program that pays monthly cash benefits to people who are blind or disabled, have worked, and have paid into the Social Security Trust Fund. Their dependents can also qualify for benefits.
SSA: see Social Security Administration.
SSDI: see Social Security Disability Insurance.
SSI: see Supplemental Security Income.
State Vocational Rehabilitation Agency: The organization in each state that provides vocational rehabilitation services to people with disabilities in its jurisdiction.
Subsidies and Special Conditions: Supports received on the job that could result in more pay than the actual value of the services performed. The SSA would deduct the value of subsidies and special conditions from the earnings when determining Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA): A set dollar amount of earnings that SSA uses to gauge whether an SSI/SSDI applicant or recipient can work enough to support themselves and does not therefore need benefits.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): A program that pays monthly cash benefits to people who are elderly, blind, or disabled and have limited resources and low incomes.
Supported Employment: Supports that help people with severe disabilities (e.g., psychiatric, mental retardation, significant learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury) find competitive work in an integrated setting where they might not otherwise be able to do so. The supports can include job coaches, transportation, assistive technology, specialized job training and individually tailored supervision.
Supported Self Employment: A business in which the individual with a disability is supported by other individuals to perform the necessary functions of the business.
Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS): Service available in all states and territories that enables voice telephone users to talk to people who have deafness or hardness of hearing via trained Communications Assistants who relay the message in real time.
Teletypewriter Technology (TTY): Typewriter keyboards that allow users to type their conversations over the phone lines. The conversation is read on a lighted screen display or a paper printout.
Ticket To Work (TTW): A Social Security Administration (SSA) program that gives tickets to SSI/SSDI beneficiaries so they can get free employment counseling services from an Employment Network and also benefit from CDR protections.
Title V of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Title prohibiting discrimination on the basis of a disability by the federal government, federal contractors, recipients of federal financial assistance, and in federally conducted programs and activities.
Trial Work Period (TWP): A program that allows payment of full SSDI benefits for 9 months when earnings are above SGA.
TTW: see Ticket To Work program.
TWP: see Trial Work Period.
Undue Hardship: Significant difficulty or expense incurred in providing a workplace accommodation for an individual with a disability. Factors considered in determining undue hardship include the size, nature and structure of a business, as well as the resources available to an employer. If the facility considering the accommodation is part of a larger entity, the structure and overall resources of the larger organization are considered, as well as the financial and administrative relationship of the employing facility to the larger organization.
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR): Programs designed to help individuals with disabilities enter or reenter gainful employment.
VR: see Vocational Rehabilitation.
Work Incentives: Rules that help beneficiaries with disabilities go to work by continuing SSI/SSDI payments and Medicaid/Medicare.
Working People With Disabilities program (WPWD): A program that extends Medicaid coverage to individuals who are disabled, working, and whose incomes are higher than the regular Medicaid income limits.
WPWD: see Working People With Disabilities program.