The Coordinated Team Approach, or CTA, is an essential innovation of the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Project. It represents coordinated in-depth and personalized discussions with the client, supported by counseling and services, primarily early on, but continuing as needed between a team consisting of the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Financial Specialist and Job Placement Staff.
The model within the SGA Project was for there to be at least two (2) CTA meetings. The first was to occur very early on, meeting with the individual within five business days of eligibility determination. Partly a rapport building meeting, the intent of this first CTA meeting was to introduce the eligible individual to the team (noted above) that would be working with them, as well as to initiate information and planning elements determined essential for support to successful progress and outcome in competitive and integrated employment.
The second CTA meeting was modeled to occur at or around the establishment of the Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE), within 30 days or so from the date of application. This second meeting was for the team to affirm information regarding components of the plan; impacts of returning to work on Social Security Disability and other related benefits; provide job market and other labor market information as well as support during the job development and placement phase of support when reached. Additional CTA meetings were encouraged to be held, as well direct one-on-one communications with individual team members, as needed, throughout their Rehabilitation experience.
In addition to the CTA meetings, each of the team members met individually with the client as appropriate. For example, early in the process the Financial Specialists were heavily involved with the client on financial education and benefits analysis, assisting the client in understanding the impact of work on their benefits as well as developing a plan for self-sufficiency. This information was shared with other team members and critical in the development of the IPE and establishing the client’s employment goal. Team members shared information through formal case documentation and informal “huddles” to keep each other updated on activities.
The Coordinated Team Approach was lauded by both individuals receiving services, and SGA staff as one of the more meaningful elements of the Project.