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  1. Employment Some things you need to know about Working with a disability

  2. Will it benefit me to work? There are many things to consider before determining if it will benefit you to go to work: • How will my benefits be affected? How much money can I make? • Are there programs available to assist me in finding and keeping a job? • What if I lose my job or get fired? • What skills will I need? • What is expected from me on the job?

  3. How will my benefits be affected? Income will affect your benefits based on the types of benefits you receive: SSI—Social Security Income/assistance for individuals with low or no income SSDI—Social Security Disability Income/assistance for individuals with disabilities, and therefore considered unable to work full time. Special Assistance—benefits for those who need extra assistance via home care (such as in a group home), etc… Medicaid—benefits that assist with medical expenses, such as doctor visits, medication, etc…

  4. How will income affect SSI? For every $2.00 of income you make at work, SSI removes $1.00. SO…. If you make $400.00 in a paycheck, SSI removes $200.00 from your benefit check.

  5. How will income affect my SSDI? SSDI has a program called “Ticket to Work”, in which you can gradually transition from receiving benefits into earning an income. For the first NINE months of work, you will continue to receive full SSDI benefits. For THREE YEARS after the nine month period, you will receive an extended period of eligibility, in which your SSDI benefits will ONLY be affected if you make more than $1040.00 per month If you turn 65, you are free to work while still receiving benefits If your benefits have stopped after the trial and extended periods, and you need to return to SSDI benefits, your benefits will be expedited. You will not have to re-apply.

  6. How will income affect Medicaid? If you make more than $34,039.00 per year, your Medicaid benefits have a possibility of being affected. There are many protection plans in place, however, such as for those who may need Medicaid benefits to continue working, or for those who continue to meet the disability requirements. $34,039.00 per year = $16.36/hr @ 40 hrs a week

  7. What is Special Assistance? If you live in a group home, it is highly likely that you receive special assistance. This is a type of benefit to assist in the expense of your home care. Getting a job may impact your ability to both receive special assistance funding and your eligibility for adult home placement. Before you get a job, you need to plan for these changes in your services!

  8. More Info on Special Assistance… What are the income and assets requirements? Special Assistance Adult Care Home is available to otherwise eligible applicants with a monthly income of $1,227.50 or less and who have savings and assets worth less than $2,000. When you apply for Special Assistance you will be assigned a DSS caseworker who will determine your eligibility. Examples of countable income include wages, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), other retirement income and Veteran’s Administration income. Your DSS caseworker can explain how income Is budgeted for Special Assistance Adult Care Home eligibility. Examples of assets that are counted are property, cash, savings, checking accounts, stocks, bonds, annuities, some IRAs, and the cash value of life insurance policies. Some assets that are not counted are personal belongings, irrevocable burial plans, burial plots and burial insurance. One vehicle is excluded as a resource if it is the Primary mode of transportation, and under certain conditions, a primary residence can be excluded. Your DSS caseworker can also explain how assets are verified and counted in the Special Assistance eligibility process.

  9. Continued Info on Special Assistance… • In order to get a job, you will have to have your doctor sign off on your FL2, stating that you are able to work—this means that your eligibility for living in a group home will be at risk, and you may lose placement. Your Special Assistance benefits will be affected immediately • If you go to work, then later decide that you are unable to work, you will have to re-apply for Special Assistance. The fact that you worked previously will not count against you, and you will likely be re-instated—however, you may have to wait for 30-60 days for placement back into the community.

  10. How do I get a job? You may search for a job independently—online, in the paper, or inquiring at several places of business. You may also qualify for the use of a resource known as Vocational Rehabilitation.

  11. Vocational Rehabilitation Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services are available in 32 cities in North Carolina, including Washington, Greenville, and New Bern. You will gain access to very helpful people who can assist you in finding and keeping a job: Benefits counselor—a counselor who will discuss how your benefits are affected by working, and what will be the best way to maintain services if needed Job coach—a job coach works alongside an individual who needs extra assistance with training Job placement specialist—a specialist who assists in the job search and interview process. *There are also opportunities in which you may be able to gain access to education or certification courses in order to gain necessary skills for higher paying jobs!

  12. Vocational Rehabilitation Some information that is important to know about VR! You MAY receive services from vocational rehabilitation while attending LifeQuest, inc.! You need to be referred for treatment You need to remain in your prescribed treatment (therapy, medication, PSR, etc…) You will be assessed by a Master’s level rehabilitation counselor to determine your eligibility for services Do you have a disability? Do you have substantial impediments to employment? (difficulty getting a job) Will you benefit by being employed?

  13. Vocational Rehabilitation Contact information: Washington, NC: (252)946-0051 Greenville, NC: (252)830-8560 New Bern, NC: (252)514-4727 **Make sure you mention that you were referred by LifeQuest, Inc.!

  14. Employment Security Commission (ESC) You may also try to find jobs with the help of the Employment Security Commission. They provide an updated website alerting you to job openings in your area: http://www.ncesc1.com/individual/jobSearch/jobSearchMain.asp

  15. Don't Forget!!! It’s very important to know exactly what your benefits are and where they come from. For example: SSI & SSDI—Social Security Administration Medicaid & Special Assistance—Department of Social Services This is important to know, because you have to report your income to each place that you receive benefits from! If you do not report your income, you may end up paying THOUSANDS of dollars$ in fines!!!

  16. Income Minimum wage in North Carolina is $7.25/hr “Full time” is considered 40 hours a week If you worked at a minimum wage job for 40 hours a week, you would make $290.00 a week. However, you would not take that amount home, because taxes would be taken out. The amount you make BEFORE taxes are taken out is called “gross income” The amount you make AFTER taxes are taken out is called “net income” Net income is the money you will be taking home in a paycheck.

  17. Income If you make minimum wage and work full time, your gross income will be $290.00 per week, or approximately $1256.67 per month According to a paycheck calculating website that factors in taxes (http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/hourly/), your net pay would be approximately $225.24 per week, or approximately $976.04 per month

  18. How can I increase my income? While it may seem that minimum wage at full time does not seem like enough to cover your monthly expenses, you have several options that will help you increase your income: Work more than full time (such as at a second job) Work at a job in which you may be able to make more than minimum wage (such as waiting tables) Become certified or qualified through education for higher paying jobs

  19. Income and Benefits You should also remember that you will most likely continue receiving Medicaid, as well as some Disability benefits while you work (Disability for a limited period of time). This will be helpful because you will still have access to healthcare at a reduced rate, and you will also be receiving funds along with your income. You should also remember that you may re-apply for each of your benefits if you have become ineligible due to increased income. It’s important to note that there will likely be a period in which you have to wait for your benefits to be reinstated.