Nicholas Love: Welcome to Arizona Disability Benefits 101 Training. In this training, we’ll be going over an overview of DB101. We’ll go through the main sections of the cash and health benefits, as well as programs that support employment and help build assets. We’ll be talking about specific strategies to you utilize DB101 to support an employment decision path. On the homepage, next to the sign in and register functions that you use for my DB101 is the ability to change the full site into Spanish. With a simple click of en Español, AZ DB101 is translated into full Spanish translation. This is true translation and not a Google translation. And go back to English with a simple click.
>> These functions are right above the search bar. You can simply put in any topic that you’re interested in, like housing, do search and be able to find information resources and tools within AZ DB101. Along the top panel, you have quick access to Home, Work & Benefits, Programs, Youth, and My DB101. Let’s take a tour of the homepage. Our first panel is how work and benefits go together. There are three articles that have been pulled out, information on benefits that support work, programs to help you find work and ways to save money. By clicking on all work and benefit, you’ll be able to access to all the information.
>> Within the work and benefits section, pull out another article, helping people who are interested in going to work. Then we have a section on going to work, where it helps people make work part of their plan and another section about helping them earn more money. We’ll be going through these articles in just a little bit. Back to the homepage. The second panel is our benefit planning estimators. We have three estimators within AZ DB101. There’s benefits and works for individuals over the age of 18 receiving SSI or SSDI. School and work for those under the age of 18, who are only receiving SSI, and AHCCCS Freedom Work, which is our Medicaid buy-in. There is a special training video, specifically on how to utilize these estimators. We will go into them briefly during this training.
>> The next panel is information about cash and health programs. Three articles that are pulled out are finding the right health care coverage for you SSI and SSDI. By clicking in all programs, you’ll be able to have another access to the Benefits and Work Estimator. We’ll also have information about cash benefits and health care coverage. We’ll come back to these also. Back to our homepage, we’re going to scroll down past cash and health programs into young people section. This pulls out three articles talking about options to help you enter into adulthood, information that helps support young people going to work and section for parents. By clicking in on all youth, you’ll able to have access to the School and Work Estimator, and then articles specifically to help young people understand education and work goals to make them part of their plan for their future. There’s also five articles specifically for parents. We’ll come back to these.
>> After the young people section, there’s a section specifically about COVID-19, where you have up-to-date accurate information from state and federal resources. Below that is in the news, which is Twitter feeds that allow you to have information about upcoming trainings from Social Security, or any new information that is seen important for individuals who use DB101. Along the bottom of AZ DB101, you have access back to the homepage, about section and a glossary, where you have access to all definitions used within DB101. Anytime you see a blue word, you should be able to click that and get directly to that glossary section. We also have a feedback section where if there’s any information you feel is inaccurate or you need direct feedback, contact through the feedback. We also have all our access to printing and sharing. And again, feedback is this little comment box.
>> Going back to the top of AZ DB101. You notice as I’ve gone through, this blue question circle has been following me. This is access to additional help. If you need help, you can get help through the Arizona Work Incentive Consultants at Ability360. These are individuals who will be able to answer your questions not only on helping you on DB101, if you have a challenge, a question or need clarification, these are the people who are there to help you. They’re also direct access to the Work Incentive Planning and Assistance free benefit counseling. So you do not have to be an expert on any benefits. These are the people who are going to be there to support you along the way.
>> On the homepage of AZ DB101, you can see how work and benefits go together. In the first panel, there are three articles pulled out, see how benefits support work, finding the programs that help you find work, and saving while working. We’re going to go to the first pulled up article, see how benefits support work. This leads us directly to getting past the myths. These are great articles for helping you become comfortable with sharing information and getting rid of those myths. There are seven basic myths. I can’t work. If I work, I lose my SSI or SSDI. By work, I’m going to lose my benefits. I’m going to lose my disability status. People can’t help me find work. I can’t afford to work. Or my benefits will stop, and I’ll never get them back again. These are some basic fears. If we can get past the basic fear with correct information, we’ll be able to help people move to a more financially empowered life, aka, work.
>> So we can go in and learn about the basics, where it talks about Social Security, those seven myths, why do you need to know this information, and very short paragraphs on what is SSI, what is SSDI and helping people decide if they’re ready even to go to work. You can go into any of these articles and get some basic information. Now, we know one of the main fears is people are fearful of losing their health care benefits. So let’s go into that myth. So if I work, I’ll lose my health benefits. What I love about the myths articles is it’s not just information, it’s actually a script. In the blue box, here, we’ll have a conversation that someone might have had with you, talking about their ongoing health care needs, and then never going to be able to pay for them by themselves. And people tell them, they shouldn’t work. We know this is what people are being told.
>> And in response to this very valid concern about health care, you have a script to follow. Right here, the first paragraph is literally a script for you to read. You can read this until you feel confident with the information you’re providing. So when an individual says I can’t go to work because I’m going to lose my health care, you can come back and read this and tell them, losing your health care benefits can be a huge concern if you’re thinking about going to work. However several programs can help you keep your health care benefits when you go to work. Some jobs will offer employer sponsored health care benefits. But for some people, that may not be enough. Some people may want to also keep their Medicare or their AHCCCS benefits.
>> It then goes on and talks about the importance about knowing the difference between different health care coverages and then pulls out small paragraphs to explain Medicare, Medicare at work, AHCCCS, 1619(b), AHCCCS Freedom to Work programs, and private and public health care coverage. It can then take you into more in depth articles so that you can learn more about it within the healthcare section. But what this does is it gives you enough information to feel confident in sharing what you’re being told. And this section is very helpful for getting specific information right to the point stop people right in their tracks when they start talking about these myths and help you feel confident in sharing and talking about the information.
>> Back on the homepage. In our first panel of see how working benefits go together, we’re going to go into all work and benefit tab. It pulls out an article talking about being interested in work and programs that support work, which leads us right into the basic information to talk about to get to work and work incentives and vocational rehab and one-stop centers. So very specific information on where to find that help and those assistance and supports. Within the work and benefits section underneath the first panel is two sections, one on going to work, learning how to make work part of your plan. And the other is about your money, and how to build your asset and save money. And most people think about people who live in poverty, stating they cannot save money, because they don’t have the money to save. When in fact, these are the people who need to save money. We need to be able to support them and give them the resources to help them move forward.
>> So within going to work section, you have the myth, which we’ve just went through. You also have finding the right job for you, knowing your rights and responsibility, job supports and accommodations, managing your benefits while working and a going to work toolbox. In the going to work section, my favorite article is Finding the Right Job for You. This article has so much information to help people actually think about prepare for going to work. Anyone who’s working with any type of employment services should have this marked as their favorite. So let’s click and add that to our favorites. It’ll now be part of My DB101 as we move forward. Finding the right job for you, we have some basic information about apprenticeships, customize employment, and talk about if you’re ready to go work and then give suggestions based on those simple questions.
>> What Kind of Job is Right for You? Again, my favorite, provides interest inventories, self-assessment and personal inventories to help people understand their interests, their likes, their dislikes. There are quizzes and worksheets that you can be linked to, to help people think about what makes them happy. If you give someone a job … Let me try that differently. If you even help someone get a job, you’re going to help them get another job and another job, and another job. But what we really want to do is we want to help people get a career. And that career comes from the passion they have, the dreams they have. So let’s talk about what really interests them, so that they want to get up and go to work. So these interest inventories are very helpful with that aspect.
>> You can learn about job priorities and overcoming obstacles and a personal inventory worksheet. We talk about self-assessment, and we link you to the program called MyPerfectResume, where you can add information about their work history and be able to create the perfect resume for this individual. Maybe the functional resume because they’ve had gaps in employment. We talk about how to connect to the career one-stops in the career exploration pages, how to talk to career counselors, and how to address your personal needs. There’s a personal needs assessment through the Job Accommodation Network or JAN. We talk about what are reasonable accommodations, and how to request them either in writing or verbally. We provide information from the Americans with Disabilities Act, and there’s also some really good resources from the Arizona Center for Disability Law.
>> We then talk about matching those interests and those strengths that they have with job opportunities. So finding those careers. So going to the O*NET network to connect to find out what are those careers that are out there. A lot of different resources to do that. And then you can even look at the future of those jobs. You can go down to if someone’s interest says that they are interested in working with animals, you can then go and see what are the projection and what are types of different types of jobs of working with animals. And then even take that down to what is the growing area regarding working with animals in let’s say, Tempe. It will be that specific. And we can say, what is the earnings potentials? Because we know that’s an important factor when working with people.
>> So this article itself would be able to provide a complete overview of people’s interest and strength, and then what are careers that match it and what is the projection for those. So how much better would it be instead of going to vocational rehab and say, I want to get a job and vocational rehab going through all these assessments and working with them. How much better would it be if somebody walked in and said, I want this kind of job. These are the skills I need. This is the education I need. And this is the projection growth in the area I want to work. How more empowering is that? This is why I love this article, What Kind of Job is Right for You?
>> We can then go and explore the different options. Maybe they need to have some job shadowing, so how to do that. How to connect to job fairs. And talking about the difference between traditional work, part time work, customized work or even self-employment. We then give options about how to build those skills through education and training, entrepreneurship, job shadow winning, et cetera, and strategies for seeking employment. So we talked about the self-advocacy and job seeking skills. Again, linking to additional resources, including the ARIZONA@WORK and our Arizona Job Connection and One-Stop Job Center. Talk about different types of courses and trainings that are offered through these one-stops to increase people’s skill center, as well as vocational rehab services. So how to link to whatever vocational rehab services are closest to the individual.
>> The next steps, pull out those resources that we’ve been talking about, including ARIZONA@WORK, vocational rehab, and at the bottom of the 2-1-1, we have additional resources, including evaluations for assistive technology, and employment preparation and resume preparation assistance. So great article, Finding the Right Job for You, and supporting those employment goals. We’re going to go back into our work and benefits section. We can learn about rights and responsibilities. This will address the Americans with Disability Act, talk about discrimination. How do we address it, how to identify it. So some very basic information about rights and responsibilities.
>> Job Supports and Accommodations go more in depth into the Americans with Disabilities Act. And starts talking about, should someone disclose their disability? When should they disclose it? And how should they disclose it? So in that article, it’ll have information, how to talk to someone, how to write, including a sample letter requesting accommodations. Talks about what is reasonable accommodations, how to request those accommodations, and that interactive process, as well as the different types of accommodations which might be available. Then the frequently asked questions, I think is very useful in finding out some of the basic information about accommodations and some of the pitfalls people have.
>> One of the things I prefer is going into the next steps where all of that is capsulated for you. In the next steps, it encapsulates all the resources that have been in throughout those articles, including the Job Accommodation Network, a very useful website to help you understand wealth of information about accommodation. It will explain more about just closing disabilities, more legal responsibilities, or legal responses. But it also talks about common accommodations. People think about accommodations as large expenses. And in fact, sometimes they’re free, and majority are under $500. So you can go through and you can see based on someone’s disabilities or needs, what is a possible accommodation. That also can help you understand what might be an impairment related work expense to help people go to work and earn more money.
>> So if an accommodation is something someone has to pay out of their pocket due to their disability going to work, it can be an impairment related work expense. You can also help people understand that work is possible by showing them the wealth of accommodations that are available to them. In the next steps, we also have Assistive Technology in Arizona, to be able to learn about how to have access to different technology and assisted equipment that people can use, rent and test to see what works best for them. And how do you pay for these accommodations? Either themselves or someone else, it’s all explained within these articles. So a very useful article. It also then talks about the protection aspect. So if someone is discriminated against, what are their legal rights and how to connect to those groups, like the Arizona Center for Disability Law.
>> The next article is about managing your benefits while going to work. So this is an encapsulated article about the different work incentives. So while there is the full article on SSI and SSDI that we will talk about, it gives you a shortcut about, say, the effect of SSI/SSDI so that you can get right to the point, but then it will lead you intro why deeper conversation. So you can learn about the work incentives, maybe a little bit about an ABLE account. And as you can see, it will lead you to a deeper conversation. So the safety nets in your health care. All these are short, quick paragraphs. So you don’t have to learn everything about SSI, you can read this article, get some basic information to help support your learning skills to be able to know where to go in DB101 to get more information.
>> So it also talks about healthcare and reporting your income and asset building assets. It also talks about maintaining your healthcare, reporting your income and maybe building those assets. So in reporting your income, very simple way, there are reporting articles, both in SSI and SSDI. So you can also go here and learn about how to report your benefits in a lot of different ways. How to report them to Social Security, as well as DES. In the Going to Work Toolbox article, we talk about how to keep organized. So how to report to Social Security and DES, and then how do you organize that so that you know what you reported, when reported and how you reported it. Very important.
>> Benefit planning is not just about understanding what’s going to happen to the benefits, it’s also organizing the paper records. We have not only the organizational tips, but downloadable templates to help you with this. So there is a job search log, there are tracking sheets, there are how did you report your earnings to SSI or SSDI earnings? So these forms can be downloaded, filled out and then organized. So great tools throughout DB101 beyond the basic articles. Now let’s go into your money within the work and benefits section. Here we’ll cover building your asset and wealth, ABLE accounts, achieving a better life experience, individual development accounts, plan to achieve self-support or a PASS plan, earned income tax credits, home ownership for people with disabilities and starting a small business.
>> Within the building your asset and wealth articles, you’ll learn about why assets matter, ABLE accounts, individual development accounts again, other asset building programs which include PASS plans, tax credits and tools and trust funds. So you go into let’s say trust funds. Here you can learn about other types of trust funds. So difference between a special needs trust funds, and how trust funds can work very well with maybe even an ABLE account. So a great way to be understand some of this information about how to help people save money. We also have within this section, of course, your example, frequently asked questions, pitfalls, and next steps.
>> You can go directly into the ABLE account and learn about how achieving A Better Life Experience Account or an ABLE account can be set up. These are highly underutilized and really should be encouraged, so that individuals who have a resource limit of say, when you have SSI of only $2,000, how they can actually save up to $100,000 and not have it affect their resources. That’s the importance of an ABLE account. An ABLE account allows individuals to save money without it impacting resource based benefits, such as SSI, Medicaid, or AHCCCS, HUD or even food stamps.
>> So you can learn about what it is, how to open an account, qualifications, and how to compare. You do not have to only be in Arizona to utilize an ABLE account. You can utilize account in other states. And each state has slightly different rules, so shop around. It talks about how to deposit the money and talk about how to spend the money. One of the things, and again, how an ABLE account and especially a trust can go together. One of the things people worry about is an ABLE account, what can I spend my money for? An ABLE account means achieving a better life experience.
>> So in Arizona, an individual has onset of a disability prior to the age of 26 can use these ABLE accounts for basically anything that helps them feel better about their life. If watching Netflix increases their life, and it’s achieving a better life experience, then they can use their ABLE account money for that. So, it is a great way to save money to avoid the $2,000 resource limit, to allow individuals to save quite a bit of money. And in fact, you can have $15,000 deposited every year by anyone. And if someone goes to work, they can actually increase how much money they can have. They can include an additional, an Arizona, $12,760 of their earned income, which means a job, into an ABLE account without it being considered above the resource limit.
>> The other thing about an ABLE account that is really wonderful is an ABLE account is managed by the individual, which means they have access to the money and become empowered and are not dependent on another. In a trust, they do not have access to their own money. But a trust fund and ABLE account can work really well together. There are some downfalls to an ABLE account, so learning more about it, really helpful. Encouraging people to open up these accounts. No more than $50 to open up an ABLE account in Arizona. You could also learn about individual development accounts to maybe help with buying a home or other asset development. You can also learn about individual development accounts maybe to help with saving up for a business, higher education or a home. And a PASS plan.
>> PASS plan is a plan to achieve self-support, are very helpful for individuals specifically on SSI, to help them work towards a work goal, help them work off of benefits without it impacting their resource limits. So within this article, we learn about the basics, the eligibility and the application itself, how to set money aside in the PASS plan, how to suspend or terminate a PASS plan, how to self-employment PASS plan. This is what’s important. A PASS plan can be used for multiple things. They’re very detailed plans. The money can only be used for that plan to help with either an employment or vocational goal that will help people eventually work themselves off of SSI. People on SSDI with very low SSDI, benefits can also utilize a PASS plan.
>> PASS plans can be created by anyone. So very helpful. We not only talk about the eligibility in the application, but we also give examples of successful PASS plans so people can utilize it for expenses, maybe like college expenses, or a work goal of starting a new job and getting those resources they need for a new job, or even starting their own business. So very helpful, very highly underutilized. We also talk about earned income tax credit. I’m not going to go into that specific one. But people don’t realize that people on benefits should be filing taxes because they might be getting money back. So let’s talk about Earned Income Tax Credits with the individuals.
>> Home ownership is something that most people with disabilities think is not a possibility. This article allows people to understand things they can and cannot control about home ownership. It’s not only Section 8 home ownerships, but it’s also about different ways you could actually earn a home. And in the next steps, it talks about public housing, but it also talks about other programs that are there to support people, maybe in their first home, programs that help specifically people with disabilities, and because of our particular time, perhaps they need for closure prevention. So there’s help to support people to not only get a home, but to maintain the home they’re in including, as we go down further, perhaps dealing with home barriers or removal services, which means home modification. So how do we modify a home so individuals can live with in their home and not move into any type of congregated settings.
>> One of the things I love is that AZ DB101 has a Starting a Small Business article. So it talks about, is it right for you to be self-employed and start your own business, and how to even develop a business plan. Something we are never taught in employment services, how to develop a business plan. So it has breakdowns of all the sections of the business plan and resources to connect you to how to do that appropriately, including how to raise money and save money for your business. Below the articles within work and benefits, we’ve also pulled out a couple additional articles, programs that support work, the Social Security Ticket to Work, and the work incentive articles so that you have them readily available to support going to work and saving money.
>> When most people think about AZ DB101, they think about the estimators. And while the estimators are awesome and incredible tools, they are merely only a piece of AZ DB101. I wanted this training to focus more on the tools around the estimators. So for more in depth training, there is a training specifically on how to use the estimators including the mini estimators. We’re going to quickly just touch on them in this training. The second panel of our homepage shows the benefit planning estimators. AZ DB101 has three estimators. The Benefit and Work Estimator, which is for individuals over the age of 18 using SSI and SSDI. They have the School and Work estimator for people under the age of 18 only on SSI, and the AHCCCS Freedom to Work estimator, which is about Medicaid buy-in. We talk about potential eligibility and potential premium payments.
>> The estimators are very easy to use. You simply answer the questions and it will help you understand the impact of employment on health care and cash benefits. As an example, in the benefit and work section, it explains who was at for. It talks about gathering the information you need. The main focus is knowing the correct information, SSI/SSDI benefits, what are their work goals. There’s no private or identifying information within DB101 and nothing is ever shared with any organization. So like I said, you simply follow the questions. Name it, enter some basic information, the month and year of the individual. This is simply find out how close they are to full retirement or if they can utilize other work incentives for people who are younger. Answering the questions about household information, about their plan, and you get the results.
>> We’re going to go back to our homepage. And I’m going to go into My DB101 to get a previously saved session to show you how they look. So I answered the simple questions and what I got my results, which allows me to explain the complexity of say someone in this case, who’s co-current, which means they receive SSI and SSDI payments. They have HUD housing and nutritional assistance. And I’m able to show what happens if they go to work. I believe this person was going to work at $14 an hour. I can find that out by going to my plan recap and find out what information that I put in. So I had this individual receiving the housing assistance with some work history, some trial work history. And they’re going to be working at $15 an hour full time at targets, name of the job I gave them.
>> They have Impairment-Related Work Expenses even. You have what is their SSI and SSDI benefits, and now their health care. And we’re able, because we answered the questions, to be able to get these results and their monthly income goes up. We’re able to show how their benefits change over time. We’re able to show even though this person will lose their SSI and SSDI cash benefits and their nutritional assistance cash benefits, they still have considerably more money $2,610 compared to their $934 previously. And they get to maintain their health care coverage. And in fact, they have additional health care coverage available because they’re going to have private health care through their employer as well as our Medicare and Medicaid.
>> Then it goes in explains the bottom line to help people understand what they’re talking about, about their benefits, how they will go to zero. How their rent will increase but not at a fast rate. We’re able to suggest ABLE accounts and suggest they go through monthly income expenses, their next steps and talk to an expert. Again, here’s your expert. It goes into explaining information about substantial gainful activity, 1619(b) and perhaps a PASS plan. All this is foreign language to you. But you can easily click on a button anytime and learn about what is substantial gainful activity. So simply reading this information to someone is very helpful.
>> It talks about underneath your chart, the timeline shows every month when there’s a change, anytime there’s a significant change. So going to the timeline is the best way to explain any of these benefits. So you can go through and explain when they’re going to happen, what’s going to happen. Again, if you don’t understand the terminology of a trial work month, click and it gives you the information right there. So very useful. And then you can go into the full articles that we’ve been talking about and going to talk about to be able to support this information. You can also go in the monthly income and go month by month to understand everything that’s going to happen, including taxes. All these include next steps. And you can create a report, a PDF report. You can also save them, give feedback, and you can email the report to say your case manager or family member, whoever is in your circle of support.
>> So, again, more in depth training is available in the estimator training. There’s also a School and Work estimator. Again, these are going to be covered more in depth. But let me show you a result through My DB101. I went through, I answered a couple simple questions. There’s considerably less questions for young people. And I’m able to show that they received $210 in SSI. And then they went to work, minimum wage for 10 hours, and they were able to then increase their earnings from 210 to $738.52. Here’s their income and how they maintain their SSI benefit due to what’s called Student Earned Income Exclusion.
>> You don’t have to remember that because it explains it right here for you about how Student Earned Income Exclusion helps individuals who are under the age of 22 going to school part time receiving SSI. We’re able to show the change in their monthly income. And in the next steps on these results, it provides not only information to help on the next steps, it explains what happens to their health care, their cash benefits. And it starts talking about planning for work and school, taking you into the articles that support this information.
>> The next estimator is the AHCCCS Freedom to Work. And I was able to go in and with some very, I think there’s four questions here, answer and find out that this individual appears to qualify for AHCCCS Freedom to Work, which is a Medicaid buy-in, and they will pay no more than $25 a month. Individuals, either an SSI and SSDI, have the ability to buy-in to Medicaid, if their earnings are above what AHCCCS, Medicaid, is in Arizona. So very useful way. You do not lose health care in Arizona. There are ways to get health care and maintain it. So you can do a quick estimator, learn about AHCCCS Freedom to Work and then how do you sign up. And the application is right here to help you move forward,
>> Those are the three estimators on AZ DB101. Again, I just told you what they were. I didn’t go in depth because there is a specific training completely dedicated to these three estimators as well as the mini estimators within the SSI and work, and SSDI and work. Go into that full training, it’s going to give you all the information you need about the benefit estimators. Let’s look at cash and health programs. There are three articles pulled out, finding right health care coverage for you, learn about SSI, or learn about SSDI. These articles are also within the All Programs button. By clicking there, you have access to every program regarding cash benefits or health coverage. There’s also another access to the Benefit and Work estimator.
>> Underneath cash benefits is an article on What Benefits Do I Get. This helps individuals understand the difference between SSI or SSDI. It also helps you understand how to get access to a Benefits Planning Query. A Benefits Planning Query is a document from Social Security that allows individuals to understand what their earning history is if they get Medicaid or Medicare, if they get SSI or SSDI. You can contact your local social security, right here, and get that information. This information must be obtained by the individual requesting it and not a third-party. They will charge for third party inquiries.
>> My Social Security is a Social Security online tool that helps people have access to the information that Social Security has about them. You can attain all the same information within My Social Security online account. You must set up an account with your own personal identifying information to be able to access an online account through My Social Security. We also have access to mymedicare.gov which allows people to understand what parts of Medicare do they have.
>> Back to the all program section. Cash benefits include information about SSI, SSDI, short term disability, long term disability, housing benefits, and cash assistance, as well as nutritional assistance. We’re going to go back up and we’re going to look at SSI, Supplemental Security Income. In SSI we have how to apply for benefits, understanding SSA decisions, how to report changes, how to talk about disability determination, resource and income limits, how SSI counts your income, SSI and work. There’s always an example where it’s a story that talks about how someone is working through that program, frequently asked questions and pitfalls.
>> Let’s go into apply for benefits. It will provide information on qualifications for citizens and non-citizens, including how to apply with direct links to offices, phone calls, you can apply directly online by clicking here. And what it will do is it will take you to the Social Security website where you can apply. But we also have information about how to get ready for your application. This includes a checklist that allows individuals to understand the complexity and all the documentation that is necessary to be able to apply for SSI. There’s also access to other recommendations of different programs while you’re waiting for your SSI application to be reviewed, including AHCCCS, nutritional assistance or cash assistance.
>> You could also learn more about PASS plans or health care. So on the bottom of each section is more suggestions that support the topic you’re looking at. I’m going back to the top of the page. You can also get information to understand the decisions and report changes. Within the report changes, it’s very important to make sure the beneficiaries are reporting stuff in a timely manner. So it talks about what to report as well as how to report it. There are different options including an app to be able to report your SSI benefits. There’s also opportunities. They have little tools. So there’s a little tool button that lets you know that there are certain articles that have additional tools like, How SSI Counts Your Income.
>> You’ll learn about the difference between earned and unearned income. And then we have countable income calculations, which are very detailed. But then you can also go in anytime there’s a tool that’s going to be within a yellow box, and you can try these tools to determine what is accountable income. And they do all the math for you, so you don’t have to understand the complexity of what is above that tool. Back to the top. One of the main articles you’re going to utilize a lot is the SSI and Work article. SSI and Work article provides all the information to help people understand what’s going to happen to their benefits if they go to work. So it explains some of the information. There is also a quick estimator, which I’ll come back in a moment.
>> There’s information available to help you explain Social Security complexity to individuals without being an expert. So we have encouragement throughout this to talk about how rules of SSI help individuals actually earn more money. How not all your expenses are accountable. Then it explains work incentives. Work incentives are rules created by Social Security to encourage and support individuals to go to work. There is an additional training on SSI and SSDI to help you understand how to utilize AZ DB101 to explain complexity of these work incentives. But for now, let’s continue through these options.
>> We’ll also learn how you could actually save money on SSI, learning about ABLE accounts. AZ DB101 is redundant. You can find your information in different ways in different bites. So here’s a small bite about ABLE accounts. Small bite about planning to achieve self-support. These are programs to help people save money beyond a $2,000 resource limit. We also have individual development accounts to help with maybe a housing. We then start explaining the Ticket to Work program where there’s job training and help people find the work they want. We talk about the eligibility of the Ticket to Work program and how to access it. The Ticket to Work and the Work Incentives are different programs. They’re often intertwined, but they’re totally different. The Work Incentives are rules to help people go to work. The Ticket to Work program is support to help people go to work or maintain work.
>> It talks about what if you need SSI again? That fear that people have that if they go to work and they lose their benefits due to earnings, they won’t get them back. This helps you explain if they need to get their SSI back again. And then we have small bites on health coverage rules. So we’re able to explain 1619(b) which means people are still eligible for their benefits, even if they don’t receive their cash benefits. We talk about AHCCCS Freedom to Work, which is our Medicaid buy-in Arizona, and other health care options. Throughout, you can see, you can learn more about at the bottom of each article to take you into the full more detailed article.
>> Back to our table of contents. And go to that tool that I talked about. So one of the tools with SSI in work is one of the main tools I believe a lot of people will be utilizing. To me, it’s the quickest and fastest way to help people motivate towards employment. There’s a full training on how to utilize this tool within the estimator training video. But I want to quickly show you a try it. You can simply go in and put in the person’s benefits. Answer simple questions. Again, full training is available on this. And then calculate what their earnings would be, knowing what they’re earning wages. So let’s say somebody is making 12.15 an hour, minimum wage, no tips and working let’s say minimum wage. We want people to go as much as they want. But let’s start at the basics for this conversation.
>> We’re able to show that individuals are making $1,057.05. We can use those results, not using any of our work incentives. We can continue. With answering only a few questions, you’re able to get a snapshot to let people know they’ll have more money. We have a visual graph to be able to show them the unearned income they have right now, a 794, their working income of over $1,057, and the reduction of their SSI benefit to $307.98. So you’re able to show visually the impact work has on income. You can go down and show the income change is $571.03. I like to use the minimum wage at part time as a starting point in discussions instead of asking people if they want to go to work and try to argue with them about benefits.
>> I can ask someone, what would you do with an additional $571? Have that conversation. Find out what they would do. Would they live differently? Would they eat differently? Would they have different entertainment? How would their life change with an additional $571? Once you’ve talked about what would change, you then say, let me show you how that’s possible. And do an SSI quick estimator and show them that it’s possible. You can also then show them that the bottom line is that their earnings are more than offset the reduction of the SSI check. I don’t like to say that word reduction when talking to people about their benefits. So I like to tell them, for every $2 you earn, you get to keep $1 of your SSI check, that equals the reduction.
>> You’re also able to show them in this quick snapshot, how they are still eligible for their free AHCCCS, and it talks about the resource limit. It also then suggest them reaching out to a work incentive consultant and going in and doing a full benefit work estimator when they’re done. Remember, work incentive consultants are available through the little circle, and your benefit and work estimator is explained in more detail and additional training. Back at our program section and going down to our SSDI. The SSDI article is set up exactly like your SSI. You start with your basics, how to apply, understanding decision and reporting. We also go into additional information if someone is insured. And if they have a disability, according to Social Security.
>> The SSDI and work have a tool icon. And so clicking into there, you will also have exactly the same type of information explaining the complexity of what would happen to someone’s benefits if they go to work. It starts explaining the work incentives and general formation. We have a quick estimator tool here as well. This full training on how to utilize the quick the estimate for SSDI is available in the estimator training session. We go into the different phases of work, trial work period, extended period, eligibility, et cetera. This additional information will be available in the SSI and SSDI specific training. Let’s go into housing.
>> Housing isn’t just about Section 8, though, we do talk about Section 8, how to apply and how Section 8 works. But there’s also other rental supports, as well as home ownership support. So supports to help people with rental assistance or maybe foreclosure prevention. We also have information about earned income disregard, which helps people understand if they’re in a housing program, how their subsidies for that program will not increase as much as their income goes up. We also have sections on examples, frequently asked questions, pitfalls, and again, next steps. Let’s go into this next steps to show you the complexity that can be in it.
>> We have information directly related to HUD. We have information directly to public housing authorities, including how to get their information directly online, assistance for helping with utility bills, finding affordable apartments, information about foreclosure prevention and making homes affordable. We also have how to apply for housing assistance, several phone numbers and direct links. The bottom underneath the 2-1-1, we have additional information on how to help with rental assistance, maybe some general mental health counseling or benefit counseling screening, residential placement services for people with disabilities including group residential homes, and also how to remove barriers for home modification and mortgage payment assistance. So a lot of information available within this housing section.
>> We’re back to our program section. Underneath housing is information about cash assistance, TANF, as well as nutritional assistance, known as food stamps, that’ll help people apply for these benefits, understand these benefits and the eligibility, and then a frequently asked questions, including how to get directly to the application process themselves. Now, let’s move to the health coverage section. Finding the right healthcare coverage for you is a great mini tool. This tool can be utilized for individuals on benefits or off benefits. People with or without a disability. You can simply go in and put in the annual earnings for the family. And the size of the family.
>> Let’s say this is a family of three, we have a grandmother, a mother and a daughter all living together. Questions are simple. Does anyone in your family have a job that offers them with healthcare? No. Are there any children in the family? Yes. Is anyone in your family on Medicare now? Yes, grandma? Does anyone in your family have a disability determination? Yes, the child. Is anyone your family over 65? Yes, the grandmother. And we go down and see the options. When you click on the show results, you’re able to get a graph showing what kind of health care is available for this family. Anything in green is what’s available. So it’s broken into employment, income, disability income and age disability.
>> We’re able to show that this family is potentially eligible for kids care. By hovering over, we’re able to find that kids care is free public coverage for low income children. We’re able to see the limit for a family of three. We could go up, change the size of our family, let’s say there’s four people in our family, show those options. Hover over kid cares, and the income limit changes to a family of four. So it’s very specific about this family. I can click into kid care and takes me directly to an article about it. I’m going to go back to my tool and show you that underneath the graph is also learning more about the information. And it breaks each section down where you can go directly into it. So you can go into learning about each of these sections. So if I wanted to know more about disability-based AHCCCS, simply click in and I’m taken to that full article. Going back to my program section.
>> Going back to the program section, underneath health coverage, we have information about AHCCCS, which is our Medicaid and Arizona, AHCCCS for people with disabilities. There’s some times there … Going back to our program. We’re able to show under health coverage, we have AHCCCS and AHCCCS for people with disabilities. These are two different programs. People can receive AHCCCS, which is Medicaid due to low income, but they can also receive it because of their disability. We also have an article on AHCCCS Freedom to Work which is our Medicaid buy-in, information on Medicare, employer sponsored health care and buying into health care coverage on healthcare.gov.
>> I’m going to take you into AHCCCS Freedom to Work. This is one of the programs that very few people know about. AHCCCS Freedom to Work, it’s a Medicaid buy-in. It directly takes us into our basics. Information as in all articles. Then we have tools to help you and more information to find out is AHCCCS Freedom right for you, what it covers what you pay and how to sign up. Your example, your frequently asked questions, your pitfalls, and your next steps. Your frequently asked questions on the AHCCCS Freedom to Work, I think are very helpful. AHCCCS Freedom to Work allows individuals to buy into Medicaid and pay no more than $35 a month. They can earn over 65,000 a year and have Medicaid by simply utilizing this tool.
>> It talks about, it’s confusing. How do I get help. So that brings you directly to all the people that can help you to understand AHCCCS Freedom to Work. You don’t have to be the expert. The experts are readily available right there. Where can you sign up? Who is eligible? What does it cover? How much can I make? What is countable income? So this allows you understand that an individual who is earning over 4,000 a month and no other income, that would be considered countable income. Anything above that would allow people to buy-into AHCCCS Freedom to Work as opposed to just having regular AHCCCS. Then talks you through the whole process to help people understand this complexity. We also have a tool to understand what you will pay. That is your AHCCCS Freedom to Work estimator, which we go through in an additional training.
>> Back to our programs. So we also talk about employer sponsored health care, as well as how to hook up with health care through healthcare.gov. This is helpful to anyone to be able to sign up for Affordable Care Act. So it talks about is right for you, how to pay and how to sign up. So I’ll talk you through the whole process about open enrollment, it will change any of the dates of when open enrollment is, any special enrollment issues, and how to set it up. Back to our programs. So you can see a lot of information is available right in this article to help you understand the complexity of benefits without you having to know all the information. You can simply research it through here, search for it at the top and find the information you need to support individuals and provide the information they need to go to work.
>> AZ DB101 was very fortunate to have a full youth section. This section is not only helpful for young people, but also for people who are transitioning into independence, not just transitioning into adulthood. Let’s look at this section. See what makes the biggest difference for young people. I have three articles pulled out. One on options as you enter adulthood, another one how benefits support young people going to work and articles specifically for parents. Let’s click the All Youth button. We now have a quick AHCCCS to the School and Work estimator. Young people in benefit sections include benefits for young, people start planning now, getting a higher education, finding a job, working and an article about Eric Goes to College, which is an example article to show how benefits work together.
>> In the benefits for young people section, we have the basics. Why benefits matter, key programs, eligibility for key programs, SSI eligibility for young people, AHCCCS eligibility for young people, AHCCCS Freedom to Work eligibility for young people, private health care and other programs and next steps. This provides some very good information to help people understand the complexity of benefits and young people. There are some very key programs that are different when someone is under the age of 18 and change drastically when they do turn 18. So this will provide a full overview.
>> We’re back into the young people section and we’re going to start planning now. In the start planning now section, there is a lot of great information for young people to move into independence. There’s also great information for anyone else who is moving into a more independent setting, or trying to find out more about their stuff and their options. articles within this section include how to understand yourself, how to communicate with your family and friends about your wants and your needs, learning about new responsibilities and how to handle your healthcare, how to manage Personal Care Assistance, options on moving out on your own, how to talk to your family, your friends, your communities, learning your new responsibilities.
>> And while these are responsibilities about moving into adulthood, these are also responsibilities to help everybody learned about managing money, tracking your money, paying bills, dealing with credit, avoiding debt, talking about the poverty and dealing with your benefit and financial planning. Some very basic information to get people starting to think more in depth about their financial needs. You can also learn about handling your health care. How do you talk to your doctor? What do you know about your disability? The Living on Your Own article has information about housing options, finding affordable housing, even information about finding a roommate and for individuals who have never rented before, some basic questions to help them understand the relationship between them and their landlord.
>> So very good information including a new responsibility checklist. And while it says after high school, I plan to live X, Y, Z, it also can be used for helping people think about what are they going to do to live independently. Will they need a personal care assistance? Do they need assistance with any of their functional daily activities? Do they drive? How are they going to get to really want to go? Speaking of independent living, in the Understanding Yourself Article, you move down a little bit past the Disability Worksheet, learning about the difference between a medical and social model, help people become empowered and start making their own decision.
>> So self-determination, independent living philosophies, speaking about what are independent living centers, explaining Ed Roberts and Independent Living Movement, which will also allow you to be able to connect with the independent living centers throughout Arizona. There are five independent living centers that can help with a wealth of information to help people live independently. Remember, independent doesn’t mean alone. It means finding the right support resources to live the life you want. One of those independent living centers is Ability360, which as we spoke about, is the Work Incentive Consultants that have been following us. And while this may not be a work incentive question, you can contact the Work Incentive Consultants to connect directly to Independent Living and maybe get some information and resources.
>> Getting a higher education, while it’s directed towards young people, can be very useful for anyone who’s going to school. You can learn about the difference between community colleges and universities, helping you understand where you want to study, help you figure out the application process, how to fill out applications, how to fund your education, including how to fill out Pell Grants, scholarships, and financial funding. It talks about getting a job while at school, and other financial considerations to think about, including debt that might come about when going to school. We also talk about the right accommodations for people in school, like how to use the Disability Resource Center.
>> We’re going back in finding a job section. Finding the job will provide whether you want to work or not. So even talking about that decision about work, deciding what to look for, getting that experience, finding a job and how to apply for a job. So some very basic skills of, again, focus for young people, very helpful for individuals who are moving into their first job. Working article, again, very useful for basic information on your first job. It even explains what FICA is, and how to explain what’s going on with the paycheck. Throughout all of this, there has been next steps to be able to provide additional resources, including how to connect to your one-stop centers, rehabilitation are always offered at the end of the articles.
>> I’m going back into our youth section. Moving into the parents focus, there are five articles to help parents understand the complexity of Social Security and independence for their child who happens to have a disability. So the articles are Four Ways Benefits Support Work, Work is Possible, Making Work Part of the Plan, Turning 18 and Managing Benefits. Four Ways Benefits Support Work provides basic information to understand AHCCCS and how a job plus SSI provides more money, how their child can save money, and how their child can stay connected to SSI. We want to remember we don’t want to tell people they’re going to keep their benefits. If someone is on SSI, they will have a reduction by going to work have their cash benefits. What we want to do is help them stay connected to their SSI, so if they need to increase the benefits they can and they maintain their health care.
>> We talked about how work is possible. So helping parents understand the myths. Don’t Believe the Myths have three of the main myths that a lot of parents worry about. The fact that their child won’t be hired because of their disability. Or they can’t work because of their disability. Or they’re going to stop getting their benefits because of a job. These provide you some basic information and lead you into more in depth articles for parents. Making Work Part of the Plan talks about how to get everyone on the same plan. To be able to talk about an individual education program or IEP, makes sure everyone understands, work is the goal, and how to bring everyone together to focus on that. So very useful and exploring different ways to help with self-confidence, independent living skills, the IEP program itself.
>> In the next steps, it brings you into learn more on DB101 which will take you to deeper articles for parents to look at. So it’s very great to be able to give them a checklist. These are some things to think about to help support that decision to go to work. Back on the youth page. We also have Turning 18. This article explains how rules change when someone turns 18. The SSI rules and the AHCCCS rules do change. Some benefits end and others start. This goes through that complexity and helps people understand the redetermination and what they need to help with that process.
>> The last parent article is Managing Benefits. This is a reduced discussion on benefits specifically towards young people. So it provides some basic information. It talks about reporting to SSI and reporting the AHCCCS, and will lead you into more in depth conversations that lead you back to the SSI and SSDI articles we’ve already talked about. On the youth page, underneath the articles, we pulled out three additional articles that we think will be helpful to be successful at work, including ABLE Accounts, Finding the Right Job for You, Job Supports and Accommodations. All of this is all under the youth tab or on the homepage in the youth panel.
>> And that concludes the AZ DB101 overview. Remember, you have additional trainings on estimators including the mini estimators and also how to use AZ DB101 to understand SSI and SSDI work incentives. AZ DB101 is there to support you in the work that you do. You can access AZ DB101 at az.db101.org.