The goal of Benefits Counseling or Advocacy is to assist individuals with disabilities in resolving issues related to the acquisition of services or benefits. In most cases, the Benefits Advocate may actually represent the consumer in their appeals or hearings with the Social Security Office or other government entities in assisting them in finding resolution to issues; however, consumers may also be referred to an attorney when professional assistance is needed.
The services rendered by the Benefits Advocate are, but not limited to:
- Assistance with Disability Benefits under the Social Security Administration
- Representation for people who have difficulties with government agencies servicing the disabled community
- In Home Supportive Services application process and representing with appeals
- Work Inclusion Programs
- Medical and Medicare Insurance Health Coverage
- General Relief and Food stamps information.
Among the Benefits that is eligible for people with disabilities are the employment programs below:
Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentive Act (TWWIA)
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999, also referred to as Public Law 106-170, or by its acronym TWWIIA, was designed to increase beneficiary choice, remove barriers, and provide greater opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in the workforce and lessen their dependence on public benefits. For more information, please click here:
Plan to Achieve Self Support, also known as a “PASS”, is a program offered to the US citizens by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for disabled or blind individuals who receive or could qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). A PASS can help an individual achieve an employment goal or start a business. For more information about a PASS and other ways SSA helps beneficiaries with disabilities return to work, see the following links:
- socialsecurity.gov Plan to Achieve
- Self Support site Working While Disabled — A Guide To Plans For Achieving Self-Support
- socialsecurity.gov The Redbook, General description of SSA disability-related policies
- socialsecurity.gov work Beneficiaries Page
250% Working Disabled
The Working Disabled Program allows certain individuals to become eligible for Medi-Cal by paying low monthly premiums based on countable income. To qualify, individuals must meet the following criteria: 1. Continuously meet the federal definition of disability, without regard to ability to perform substantial gainful activity; 2. Have net family income of less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level; and 3. Would be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary program benefits if it weren’t for their earnings. Click here for more information.