Benefits Advisement and Work Incentives Practitioners at The Arc of Chemung-Schuyler
Understanding how benefits are impacted by earnings is an important step in making an informed decision about work.
We recognize employment as a valued outcome for many individuals and want to ensure that we assist them with making the best-informed decisions possible. To accomplish this, we have designated two staff persons - Jeff Adams and Sherry Kelly - to participate in an intensive certification program through the YangTan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University.
This program requires participation in 17 webinars over the course of several months and completion of a provisional certification through an online examination. Next, each completes an intensive file review which was reviewed by Cornell faculty to ensure they could effectively use the information obtained through the training program.
Benefits advisement services can assist an individual with managing existing benefits, seek others, and understand the impact earned income will have on cash benefits and entitlement programs such as: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicaid, and Medicare, Medicaid-Buy-In, Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE), private insurance coverage, food stamps, PASS plans, public assistance benefits (i.e., Family Assistance or Safety Net benefits), student loans, and financial aid (e.g., TAP and PELL grants). These programs have criteria for initial or continued coverage; many are based on financial need and have specific rules governing how work and wages affect eligibility or benefit amounts.
Work Incentives include rules that make it possible for individuals to work while receiving SSI and/or SSDI. With work incentives, essential financial and health care supports can stay in place or resume quickly when needed, even though the individual may have earnings from work.
We are confident that we are building capacity and expertise and that we can provide an individual with a disability with accurate information to make an informed choice about work and financial independence.
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