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"Our Path to Common Sense": An interview on health, benefits, work and disability with Alana Theriault
"Our Path to Common Sense" is an interview on health, benefits, work and disability with businesswoman Alana Theriault
Report on April Employment Summit in the Great Recession
On April 7 and 8, 2011, the World Institute on Disability, Mathematica Policy Research, and the National Council on Independent Living convened an invitational summit at the Mathematica offices in Washington, D.C. Participants known to hold a wide range of policy perspectives were invited, including policy analysts, advocates, government and private sector researchers, insurance representatives, along with Congressional and Administration staff. Former and current senior Social Security Administration staff from the 1980s to the present joined the dialogue, as well as officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
A DIALOGUE ON REFORMING DISABILITY INSURANCE: Supporting Economic Freedom for People with Disabilities
SYNOPSIS In 2006, the World Institute on Disability (WID) put forward a variety of policy proposals to improve the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) system, aimed at ensuring that people with disabilities have the opportunity to fully participate in the workforce and be economically self-sufficient. A central proposal that came out of this project is the creation of a work support and supplemental income insurance program that would help to decrease attachment to the SSDI system and increase attachments to the workforce. In 2010, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and The Hamilton Project (THP) jointly released a paper outlining a similar policy proposal, with key differences in approach. What follows is WID’s response to the CAP/THP paper, written with the intention of furthering the public discussion on this important issue.
Veterans’ Benefits Online Tools Project Phase II Boundaries Report
The recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought with them a marked increase in the number of troops returning from combat with physical and mental disabilities. Those who apply for various veterans’ benefits report their encounters with a complicated system with a maze of interactions, bureaucratic barriers, and limited outreach. Given these circumstances, it is not surprising that veterans are experiencing high rates of unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. Our troops deserve better. In fact, they deserve nothing less than the same opportunities to pursue the American dream that they’ve fought so hard to protect for their fellow citizens. To address this unacceptable and near chronic situation, the World Institute on Disability met six times in the fall of 2008 with veterans and disability organizations. Their goal was to identify specific barriers that veterans face when trying to access the benefits systems and transition to civilian employment. They found daunting sets of rules, intricate interactions between programs, a lack of a single place to turn to for information and resources, and service providers struggling to navigate complex programs with handheld calculators and self-designed worksheets.
Download Veterans’ Benefits Online Tools Findings Project Final Report (PDF)
WID Launches The Veterans' Benefits Online Tools Project
The California Work Incentives Initiative at WID spent last fall working with six national veterans and disability organizations to produce a Veterans' Benefits Online Tools Findings Report. WID is very proud to share that we are using this report to start the planning to build a national online benefits tools and information services web site, so veterans can better navigate benefit programs and secure available employment as they transition to civilian life.
Download Work Incentives Information Services: Developing a State-Focused Training and Technical Assistance Center PDF
Benefits Planning Sessions
Disability Benefits tools provide service providers and consumers with accurate planning and explanation of programs through public trainings and online benefits calculators. Learning power is provided in both Spanish and English to increase cultural competency of all materials on the DB 101 website.
Disability Benefits Circle Syndrome
Disability Benefits 101 Information Services has met some of the needs for consumers, benefits planners, and county services staff. We provide a single place to navigate the complex nature of the interaction between public and private disability benefits, health care choices, employment situations and asset planning using plain language explanations and innovative benefits planning calculators.
California’s Comprehensive Workforce Development System: A Disability Access Policy Framework Coming of Age
Whether one grows up with a disability, becomes newly diagnosed while employed, experiences a sudden onset of disability from an accident or is entering the workforce with a disability, the level of support must be based upon assessment of the person to the program(s), not the reverse. By expanding collaboration between the human resource departments of employers, providers of public and private health care services, and generic employment programs such as One-Stop Career Centers, the policies and grants described in this brief will have a greater likelihood for success.
The California Working Disabled Program: Lessons Learned, Looking Ahead
The California Working Disabled Medi-Cal Buy-In Program (CWD) was implemented in April 2000 to enable disabled individuals to participate in the workforce without the threat of losing their Medi-Cal coverage. Although a relatively new program, policymakers and advocates have already begun considering programmatic and policy changes that would build on the existing program, expand eligibility, and broaden access to certain services.
AB 925 Signed into Law!
Many people with disabilities who want to work are dissuaded from doing so by the risk of losing eligibility for Medicare and Medi-Cal, which pays for essentials such as wheelchairs, ventilators and personal care services. AB 925 joins the 1999 Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act and the 250% California Working Disabled Program as part of a continuing effort to address these and other work disincentives.
AB 925 Content Summary
This law, referred to as the Workforce Inclusion Act, requires the California Health and Human Services Agency and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, using existing resources, to create a sustainable, comprehensive strategy to accomplish various goals aimed at bringing persons with disabilities into gainful employment at a rate that is as close as possible to that of the general adult population.
The AB 925 Questionnaire: Summary Responses from 140 Returned Questionnaires
Summary Responses from 140 Returned Questionnaires, an analysis by Devva Kasnitz, Ph.D. for The California Work Group on Work Incentives and Health Care. Staffed by The California Work Incentives Initiative, A Collaborative of The Center for Independent Living and World Institute on Disability.
NCIL Statement and Recommendations on The SSA Ticket to Work Program
NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDEPENDENT LIVING STATEMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS to NCIL Members for Public Comment on The SSA Ticket to Work program Notice of Public Rule Making - NPRM Public Comment Period ending February 26, 2001 of The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act TWWIIA
The Ticket to Work Question and Answer Sheet
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act (TWWIIA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 17, 1999. The Ticket to Work portion of the Act creates a choice for SSI and/or SSDI beneficiaries of where to receive employment training services. The Ticket to Work is an entitlement for SSI and/or SSDI beneficiaries and is not mandatory. In the past, persons on SSI and/or SSDI benefits went through the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) for employment training. And though persons can still use VR services for vocational training, the Ticket to Work allows SSI/SSDI beneficiaries to choose from many more sources, known as Employment Networks, to get these employment services.
Ticket Eligibility and Use Employment Networks Work Group Report
The Workgroup met numerous times from September 2000 through January 2001 to address key issues in the Ticket program and in the provisions in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Ticket to Work and Self Sufficiency Program. Their review and discussion/deliberation of issues related directly to beneficiary use and operation of the Ticket program and to the work and qualifications of employment networks as service providers under the new law. What follows is a discussion of eight (8) key issues identified by the Workgroup, along with a brief discussion, summary of public comments, and their recommendations to the full Panel consideration.
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999: Federal Fact Sheet on Public Law 106-170
The Work Incentives Act is an expansion of services and choices available to Americans with disabilities who work, or are planning to work. The Act begins the redesign of public long-term disability programs to keep pace with medical advances, assistive technologies, and the changing dynamics of the new workplace. The Act’s provisions are voluntary and grounded in the consumer’s control of when and what decisions will be made about work.
Ticket to Work Scorecard Star Legislation on the Rise Nationwide
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA), signed into law in December 1999, may well be a star piece of federal legislation that continues to rise under the administration of George W. Bush. Employment and empowerment are cornerstones of Republican ideology. Programs that encourage jobs and self-sufficiency can be expected to receive far more favorable consideration than those that stress entitlements based on civil rights alone.

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