SSVE Section Efforts Once Again Yield Results!
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
IARP is proud to share the hard-won efforts of the IARP Social Security Vocational Expert (SS-VE) Section. The IARP SSVE Section represents the interests of vocational experts that testify before the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Board of the IARP SSVE Section have been working with a Lobbyist over the past three years, traveling to Washington D.C., and promoting vocational experts wherever possible with ammunition like the SSVE Qualifications White Paper.
During the week of April 22, 2019, the SSVE Leadership learned that the SSA has decided not to move forward at this time with a single-provider-type contracting model for SSVE services. Instead, they plan to issue a solicitation for BPAs by late summer/early fall, and that this would continue for approximately five years. This should be in place before the current ones expire next March. Something the SSVE Section has been advocating. The SSVE Section has then been asked to provide input about qualifications and about how to establish a fair market rate for SSVE services, something the SSVE Section Leadership is doing and feels strongly about. The Section Leadership is looking forward to continued dialogue with SSA as they develop the new BPA.
This comes on the heels of recent lobbying efforts that resulted in an 11% fee increase for all SSVEs, bringing about $7.7 million dollars in additional fees per year.
Said SSVE Chair Michelle Aliff, " This is a major accomplishment. Not only have we managed to get a raise for everyone but now we have also managed to kick the can down the road again on the single provider contracts." Aliff finished this statement with, "This is HUGE."
Reaction in the SSVE community has been gigantic and it shows, definitively, how having a seat at the table, being a part of the discussion, has made a difference. With the lobbying efforts paid for through the SSVE section fee, we have an authoritative voice at the bargaining table and the ability to educate and influence decision makers – we are essentially "at the table and not on the menu". If you would like to be a part of this movement and show support for the efforts of the SSVE and the Lobbyist, be sure to join the SSVE Section of IARP today!