As a registered nurse I did not qualify for the usual and customary assistance via Ticket To Work vocational rehabilitation or job placement assistance that most applicants qualify for because I had a college education, therefore after being on SSI for 10 years due to a severe chronic illness that nearly took my life I had very little assistance to gain reentry into the job market.
NTI contacted me, and after a quick internet search, and review of the Ticket To Work paperwork I received I was able to verify that this company was legitimately associated with the Social Security Administration Ticket To Work program. I worked briefly for NTI a number of years ago as a disabled RN (I do not wish to give any specifics about myself, or other information traceable to me should NTI wish).
My employment lasted several months, and I feel I was taken advantage of while employed with this company. I was hired as a per diem employee (work when work was available) with no guarantee of how much work I would receive. I was tasked with contacting current NTI employee’s via telephone conducting annual reviews in order to determine if each individual NTI employee still met the criteria to enable them to qualify to work from home, or if they had recovered enough to work outside the home.
All employees I interviewed genuinely continued to meet the criteria. I footed the cost of all phone calls I placed to employees all over the country to conduct said interviews. At that time I did not have an android cellphone because I was on a fixed income, and the inexpensive flip cellphone I did have had terrible reception – therefore I had to use my landline if I wanted to actually hear what was said to me during the interviews. I was paid per form: $7.00 each.
This amount was controlled by the person whom hired me – I believe she was in charge at the time (I won’t give a name of this person). Each form consisted of several pages, requiring in depth and careful consideration for each person that I conducted a telephone interview of. The calls ranged from 15-30 minutes each, depending upon the disability as well as the interviewed person’s propensity to talk.
Each form took me about an hour to complete (about 1.3 – 1.5 hr’s total time) so in reality I was making far below minimum wage, let alone far below what my educational background and training wages were (the same education and training that barred me from vocational rehab, or job placement assistance). I was certainly making much less per hour than the other disabled employees I interviewed.
In order to be paid I had to send in a list of names and dates for each evaluation I conducted. As no taxes were taken out of checks I had to do that too. I had difficulty obtaining payment for my work, as each time I sent in my invoice they claimed they never received it, and I had to send it in again. And again. Eventually I was hired locally (also working from home) at a low but still reasonable RN wage, and I called to quit.
The head of NTI attempted to make me feel guilty about that, saying I hadn’t been working for them long. I tried to be polite, but I did mention that the very low pay I received was certainly a factor regarding my decision to find employment elsewhere. She didn’t have much to say to that comment, because true is true. I have eventually returned to full time employment although I retain disabilities.
It was a long hard road, not helped by receiving zero assistance by the Ticket To Work program’s vocational rehabilitation or job placement assistance. I guess if you have a college degree you don’t need help (that is sarcasm). I’m not sure how good NTI treats non-nurse employees, but if you are an RN please think long and hard about what I have stated here about this company. They took advantage of me at a time when I was very vulnerable.