What are Work Incentives?
Special rules make it possible for people with disabilities receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to work and still receive monthly payments and Medicare or Medicaid. Social Security calls these rules “work incentives.” In addition to the Social Security programs there are also work incentives or special rules for other entitlement programs; such as Housing Programs, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Telephonic Assistance, Student Loan Discharge Programs, etc. Please see the following examples of rules that can apply under each program.
Work Incentives Planning (aka benefits counseling) is a critical element of IPS Supported Employment service delivery and is one of the eight principles of IPS. It is recommended that people receive benefits counseling from a certified work incentives counselor prior to starting work, and again after beginning a job, in order to understand how work will impact their benefits and assist with decisions around increasing hours or pursuing promotional/career advancement opportunities. The intention of work incentives planning is to assist people in achieving financial goals and independence.
Everyone receiving IPS services should be offered assistance with work incentives planning for good fidelity to this item. However, not everyone receives disability or needs-based benefits. IPS specialists routinely meet with mental health practitioners and their clients who have not applied for disability benefits. The purpose of the meeting is to help people consider employment rather than benefits. Depending on their level of training, IPS Employment Specialists may also assist people themselves by providing basic benefits planning assistance, and assistance with accessing work incentives, while a person waits to receive services from a certified work incentives counselor. We hope that the following information will be helpful to IPS programs in assisting people with identifying resources available to help people achieve their financial goals.
Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE)
HUD Work Incentives (Earned Income Disregard and Family Self-Sufficiency)
Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)
Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS)
SSDI & SSI Work Incentives
Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP)
In addition to benefits counseling, there are a few agencies who also provide free financial wellness counseling (this should augment, rather than replace, benefits counseling). The National Disability Institute is one such agency with AFCPE®Accredited Financial Counselors® and Financial Fitness Coaches.
Technical Assistance Webinars & Conference Call Recordings
TOPIC: HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program
Presenters: Paula Garcia, Colleen Spencer, Fawn Reed of Salem Housing Authority
Resources: Presentation, Program Brochure, Program Fact Sheet- Eng, Program Fact Sheet- Span, Housing Authorities in Oregon with Family Self Sufficiency Programs
Ticket to Work
TOPIC: Employed Persons with Disabilities Program
Presenter: Janell White, Aging & People with Disabilities
Materials: EPD PPT
TOPIC: ABLE Accounts in Oregon
Presenter: Kaellen Hessel, Oregon Savings Network
General Assistance Program
Justice System Involvement & Federal Bonding Program
TOPIC: HUD’s Family Self Sufficiency Program
Presenter: Tammy Guest from OSECE with Angela Parada, Colleen Spencer, and Kellie Battaglia from the City of Salem Housing Authority
FSS Brochure App Combo 2018 English
FSS Brochure App Combo 2018 Spanish
FSS Brochure App Combo 2018 Russian
NEW FSS Handbook & Fair Housing Add 6-2018