Public Benefits and Work Supports
SSA Benefits and Self-Employment
Individuals who experience mental health conditions often struggle with the consistency required to work. Often small business opportunities represent a more flexible approach to accommodating a mental health condition. Small business earnings are looked at very differently by the Social Security Administration (SSA) compared to wages from traditional employment. Learn more about how SSA evaluates wages for self-employment.
Promoting Employment of People with Mental Illness
In September 2014, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health released Getting to Work: Promoting Employment of People with Mental Illness, a guide that details the benefits of getting people with serious mental illness into competitive employment through the use of supported employment services. Only about one in 10 people with a serious mental illness holds a full-time job, despite the fact that employment is a fundamental part of recovery and community integration, and that at least two-thirds of individuals with mental illness expressed the desire to work. This guide includes information on the successful outcomes people with serious mental illness can secure, the cost savings such outcomes produce for states and how they enable states to fulfill their legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Taxes and Tax Preparation
Post-Season Tax Awareness & Advocacy for Expansion of EITC/CTC
NDI's Real Economic Impact Network promotes financial stability and opportunity for individuals with disabilities through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program and MyFreeTaxes.com. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a key component in helping working families meet household needs and save for the future. Unless action is taken, certain parts of the EITC and Child Tax Credit could expire and millions of families will be impacted. Greater awareness is needed by policymakers, advocates and taxpayers with disabilities on the link between credits like the EITC and financial capability. Learn more by reading our report, Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities.
Money and Stress
The American Psychological Association (APA) released a report earlier this year titled, Stress in America - Paying with Our Health, that showed stress about money and finances is prevalent nationwide, even as aspects of the U.S. economy have vastly improved. In fact, regardless of the economic climate, money has consistently topped Americans' list of stressors since the first Stress in America Survey in 2007.
Boosting Well-being & Personal Assets
Engaging in continuing education can offer a sense of freedom, and the opportunity to build personal assets of knowledge and skills. College can be a safe place to explore new interests, career options and contribute to developing healthy relationships within the community. Students with disabilities are encouraged to request available supports and accommodations to help maximize their success and earning potential. For more information visit www.activeminds.org.
New Hampshire Becomes First State to Ban Subminimum Wage
On May 7, New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan signed Senate Bill 47 into law, a bill making it illegal to pay a worker with a disability less than the federal minimum wage. As a result, New Hampshire is now the first state in the country to repeal subminimum wage laws. In addition, New Hampshire will begin to phase out segregated work environments, more commonly known as “sheltered workshops.” Read a recent New Hampshire Public Radio article on the legislation to learn more.
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