COVID-19 Stimulus Payments and Impact on Public Benefits

This training explores the effect of the CARES Act including stimulus payments and expanded unemployment benefits and their impact on the different types of public benefits available to individuals with disabilities including SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP and housing.

This training is appropriate for individuals with disabilities, family members, case managers, employment specialists and other staff that work closely with individuals with disabilities.

After attending this training, participants will be able to:

  • Readily identify the different types of public benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities including SSI, SSDI, Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP and public housing.
  • Evaluate the impact of the Pandemic Stimulus Payments on these public benefit programs.
  • Comprehend how recent changes in unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 and the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program affects these public benefits.
  • Understand the reporting requirements of PUA and expanded unemployment benefits.

The Nuts and Bolts of SSI and SSDI, Public Health Insurance and Other Public Benefits & PASS Basics (16 hours)

This consecutive 2-day training  consists of the same subject matters described in The Nuts and Bolts of SSI and SSDI, Public Health Insurance and Other Public Benefits and The PASS Plan Intensive. This training is typically provided in four segments over two, full consecutive business days. Participants receive a comprehensive set of training materials and a certificate of completion. This combined training is appropriate for employment specialists and other staff that work closely with persons served to achieve employment goals.

This training has been approved for 10.5 hours of Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) hours.

The Nuts and Bolts of SSI and SSDI, Public Health Insurance and Other Public Benefits

(In-person: 11 hours, Virtual: 10.5 hours)

This comprehensive training provides detailed information on both Social Security disability benefit programs (Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)), work incentives and health insurance (Medicare and Medicaid) associated with each program, and other public benefits that are available. This training is typically provided in one of two ways.

1. In-Person: three segments over two consecutive days, one full day and one half day

2. Virtual: three segments over three consecutive half days

The first segment focuses on the SSI program and how its work incentives are available to certain subsets of the beneficiary population and demonstrates how each incentive can reduce, to some degree, the impact that work income normally has on SSI cash benefits. The SSI monthly calculation is reviewed and is the basis of one of the training’s major group activities.

The second segment focuses on the SSDI program and demonstrates how use of its associated work incentives may delay case closure, prolong the continuation of cash benefits, preserve public health insurance, or help reinstate cash and healthcare benefits to former beneficiaries.

The last segment focuses on eligibility requirements and dispute resolution processes of health insurance available to recipients of SSI and SSDI including Medicare, MassHealth Standard, CommonHealth, and One Care, and the benefits of the Medicare-Buy in program for working beneficiaries. We also explore various other public benefits including Food Stamps, Subsidized Housing, Emergency Assistance to Elderly Disabled and Children (EAEDC), Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC).

Participants receive a comprehensive set of training materials, including an SSI calculation spreadsheet that can be used to assist beneficiaries in planning and managing their return to work, and a certificate of completion.

This training is appropriate for employment specialists and other staff that work closely with persons served to achieve employment goals.

EVALUATION COMMENTS

“The presentation was clear and Brian was wonderful to explain things in a way that folks who don’t know everything can understand it and follow him. This training gave me that “aha moment” and everything clicked.” 

“Just a great training to understand some very complex things that can be quite dry. I never lost interest and Brian could really answer any questions asked. His knowledge base is tremendous.” 

“I better understand SSI and SSDI benefits, the reporting process, and feel more comfortable demonstrating to my clients the benefit to working. Also gained some information on where to direct them for more help.”

“Being a small agency I am very glad to know that I can have experts help the job seekers determine how to best maximize their incomes at no cost to them or the agency.”

The Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) Intensive (7 hours)

This 7-hour training provides in-depth information and tools to assist Social Security beneficiaries to write, submit and maintain a Plan PASS plan. PASS plans help qualified individuals pay for key expenses related to achieving vocational goals, including education, transportation and equipment. The ultimate goal of a PASS is to assist beneficiaries to reach self-sufficiency by becoming independent of benefits.

This training is designed to give participants the information required to complete the PASS plan application process through analysis of a successful PASS plan used as an example throughout the training and by learners applying acquired concepts for developing a framework of a PASS plan. This training provides a brief review of SSI and SSDI, but assumes participants have a working knowledge of Social Security disability benefits.

Participants receive a comprehensive set of training materials and a certificate of completion. This training is appropriate for employment specialists and other staff that work closely with persons served to achieve employment goals.

Disability Benefits and Transition Age Youth (2 hours)

This 2-hour training provides information related to the significant benefit changes that young adults with disabilities need to understand as they approach adulthood including the mandatory SSI Age-18 redetermination process, how adult benefits differ from childhood-related benefits under both Social Security programs (SSI and SSDI), and how changes to public health insurance can occur. There is a special emphasis on young-adult- related programs and work incentives such as Section 301 (Continued Payment under a Vocational Rehabilitation Program or Similar Program), the Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE) for individuals 21 and younger on SSI, and how a PASS Plan can help young adults leverage financial resources to fund education that may give them a head start on their career goals. Participants receive a set of training materials and a certificate of completion. This training is appropriate for case managers and other staff that work closely with transition age youth.

After attending this training, participants will be able to:

  • Navigate through the redetermination process and changes to public health insurance
  • Differentiate adult benefits from childhood benefits under both SSI and SSDI
  • Utilize work incentives that support young adults with educational and employment goals

EVALUATION COMMENTS

“It was so clear and easy to understand. I’ve attended several transition webinars presented by others but always left with my head spinning. And that tool to figure out benefits… amazing.”

“Loved the fact that the presenter sent the PowerPoint and other visuals for us to reference.”

“The trainer was absolutely incredibly relatable, kind, professional and intelligent!”

Key Takeaways:

“Families and students can have more confidence that they can work and not lose more than they earn. Families can make financial plans to support their child in the future. Communicate, communicate, communicate!”

“There have been a lot of changes to encourage working without losing benefits.”

“The tool for calculating benefits. There are people and resources I can get in touch with to help navigate the world of SSI. Ahh the myths can officially end today.”

 

The Basics of Social Security Work Incentives for Providers (2 hours)

This 2-hour module addresses common myths around work and Social Security disability benefits (Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)), while providing an overview of work incentives that counter such myths.  Participants will review the major differences between SSI and SSDI, how work earnings affect cash benefits, public health insurance (Medicaid and/or Medicare), and other public benefits, i.e. Food Stamps and Subsidized Housing, and best practices on reporting. Participants receive training materials and a certificate of completion. This training is appropriate for case managers and other staff.

After attending this training, participants will be able to:

  • Debunk the myths that are associated with SSI, SSDI, and work
  • Recognize the differences between SSI and SSDI including how earnings from work affect each one
  • Identify work incentive programs and associate them with SSI, SSDI, or both
  • Apply best practices to report earnings to public agencies

Overview of Social Security Work Incentives for Families and Persons Served (2 hours)

This 2-hour training highlights highlights the main barriers to employment for Social Security disability beneficiaries. Participants are educated on existing work incentives, reporting requirements, beneficiary rights and employment support programs that help them realize work is possible. A variety of community resources are shared so that individuals know where and how to obtain the appropriate supports to assist in making informed decisions about employment and benefits. This training is designed to address concerns of persons served and family members.