This study explored the relationship of public support payments, intensive psychiatric community care (IPCC), and fidelity of implementation to 1-year employment outcomes for 520 veterans with severe mental illness (SMI) in a clinical trial of IPCC. At study entry, 455 (87.5%) participants received public support. At 1 year, 46 (8.8%) participants met criteria to be classified as workers. A multivariate analysis indicated that baseline public support was significantly associated with a lower likelihood of employment, and baseline work was positively associated with employment at 1 year. IPCC patients were three times more likely to be working than control subjects, and a significant interaction favored well-implemented IPCC programs over others. This study points out not only the inhibiting effect of public support payment on employment but also the value of IPCC and the special importance of fidelity to program models for employment for people with SMI.