Refer To A Certified Benefits Counselor
The IPS model recommends that people receive help in understanding what will happen with their financial needs based benefits (SSI, SSDI, SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.) The employment specialist does not need to be an expert in these benefits but supports the person in seeking additional information from someone certified in providing benefits planning. Some IPS agencies have their own in-house certified work incentive counselors. However, for agencies where this is not the case, there are two programs in Oregon that offer free work incentives counseling from certified work incentives counselors; the Work Incentives Network (WIN) and the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program of Disability Rights Oregon (DRO). If the individual does not receive social security benefits, they should be referred to WIN rather than WIPA.
Focus On Financial Wellness
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 where AFCPE®Accredited Financial Counselors® and Financial Fitness Coaches can help with:
• Managing immediate expenses and preparing for future emergencies
• Determining which bills to pay first, and which payments can be deferred without getting penalized
• Building a plan to help you pay off your debt and creating strategies to avoid debt in the future
• Navigating unemployment benefits and other financial assistance programs
• Allocating government funding to make the most of your stimulus dollars
• And, more!
Click HERE for more information about this resource.
Oregon ABLE Financial Literacy Events
Invaluable: Learning how to get the most out of your money!
Managing your money is hard. There are so many strange phrases like “interest rate,” “credit score,” and “mutual funds.” Everyone gets confused by it at some point. But, together we can figure it out. Join us in 2021 for Oregon ABLE’s new Invaluable webinar series, where we’ll sort through all of this as we learn how to the get most out of our money. Each month, we’ll have an expert join us to talk about a different financial topic. We’ll cover everything from budgeting, to building credit, to how you can start working without losing your benefits.
Best yet, this series is specifically designed for people with disabilities. We want to make sure our conversations fit in with the reality of your life. We’ll let you know if those on benefits need to consider certain things, or if there’s a related resource you might not know about. Webinars will take place the 4th Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. You can learn about all of our webinars at www.oregonABLEsavings.com/events.