NDI Recognizes Mental Health Month

Did you know nearly one in five Americans will experience a mental illness this year? That is nearly 42.5 million Americans in 2015 – more than likely, someone you know. Unfortunately, stigma and shame still surround mental illness and those experiencing it. During the month of May, join us to fight the stigma, raise awareness, provide support and educate individuals on mental illness and one’s own mental health. To learn more, or for useful resources, please visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness' (NAMI) Mental Health Month webpage.

Resources for Real Economic Impact

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.

Financial Education 

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.

Asset Development 

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.

Public Policy 

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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Issue 16 - May 2015

In This Issue

NDI Recognizes Mental Health Month

Benefits: SSA Benefits and Self-Employment

Employment: Promoting Employment of People with Mental Illness: An Overview

Tax Preparation: Post-Season Tax Awareness & Advocacy for Expansion of EITC/CTC

Financial Education: Money and Stress

Asset Development: Boosting Well-being & Personal Assets

Public Policy: New Hampshire Becomes First State to Ban Subminimum Wage

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