Individuals with disabilities encounter numerous barriers to employment. Those frustrating walls hinder gainful employment and reduce self-sufficiency. But Social Security provides many effective work incentives that can be combined with other state resources.
Plan to Work, a community-based nonprofit, will host a special two hour presentation about benefits and benefit planning for individuals and families with disabilities on Thursday, May 5 at 5:30 p.m. at the offices of Pierce County Coalition (PC2) for Developmental Disabilities, 3716 Pacific Ave. Suite A, in Tacoma.
Staff from Plan to Work will explain work incentives in both general terms and individual-specific terms and discuss how earned income affects SSI/SSDI, as well as other federal, state, and local programs (HUD, Basic Food, and more.). The presentation will also describe how Plan to Work helps beneficiaries plan ahead by creating an individualized Benefit Summary and Analysis and Work Incentive Plan.
“Our personal sense of self-worth is often tied in with meaningful employment,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources manager. “But the challenges to employment for individuals with disabilities can be enormous. Social Security has effective tools that make meaningful employment possible.”
In Washington State approximately 12.8 percent of adults reported a disability. The employment rate for people with disabilities averaged 49 percent compared to 75 percent for those without disabilities. The result is that the poverty rate for people with disabilities is almost double that of persons without disabilities (19 vs. 9 percent).
“Without good employment,” continued Van Valkenburg, “feelings of social and emotional support disappear and a feeling of participation in the community and a sense of well-being vanish.”
“Plan to Work While on Social Security Disability Benefits” is sponsored by Plan to Work, Pierce County Coalition for Developmental Disabilities (PC2) and Pierce County Community Connections Aging & Disability Resources. For information about the workshop call Plan to Work at 1-866-497-9443, PC2 at 253-564-0707 or the ADRC at 253-798-4600.
Bob Riler, Community Connections