What are the benefits of employment in the community?
There are many benefits for people who work in their communities, including:
Feeling more connected to the greater community. People who work report having a higher number of friendships and connections to people without disabilities through work.
Believing more in their abilities. Working allows people to challenge themselves and reach their maximum potential. They have higher expectations of what they can accomplish, and this feeling spreads to other areas of life outside of work.
Having better health and sense of well-being. Working allows for people to be active, and people report feeling better about themselves because of it.
Having meaning in their lives. Having a job allows for people to be engaged with their communities. People feel engaged in meaningful activities that help those around them.
Making money. People with developmental disabilities make significantly less money than workers without developmental disabilities. They often live in or near poverty, but having a paying job helps supplement resources and improve their quality of life.
How are my benefits effected when I work such as SSI, SSDI, Medical Assistance, etc…?
Many people with disabilities worry that if they go to work, they’ll lose their health care coverage and disability benefits. This is a myth – it’s not true. You may be afraid that you will lose your benefits if you work. You may be concerned about how to get your benefits back if you stop working or need to work fewer hours because of your disability. We want to give you the facts about those myths so you will feel comfortable and safe beginning or returning to work, and so you won’t worry about losing your benefits before you are ready.
The Social Security Administration has built many safeguards into their benefit programs that will let you begin working without losing your benefits. These safeguards are ways to keep your cash benefits and health insurance benefits.
There are also several programs that help people with disabilities prepare for and find jobs. For example:
- The Ticket to Work Program helps people on SSI or SSDI access employment related services. People can take their Ticket to any Employment Network (EN) or Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Services site and ask for help to reach their work goals
- Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitation Services provides people with disabilities a variety of counseling, training, job skills, and job placement services, as well as long-term supports to help people keep their jobs once they’ve been hired
- Minnesota CareerForce locations offer services to help all Minnesotans in their job search and provide access to job banks, workshops, job fairs, and resource centers
If you’re a person with a disability who wants to work, there are many resources and programs to help you.
Disability Hub MN is a free statewide resource network that helps you solve problems, navigate the system and plan for your future. They can be reached at (866)333-2466 or at www.mn.db101.org