“More Money, Fewer Problems” was the title of the recent class targeted to those individuals who are currently on or waiting for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. The usual SSI check is currently $733.00 a month and is meant to cover basic food and shelter needs. For most individuals this monthly check will not come close in covering basic needs. Unfortunately the prevalent myth is that an individual cannot or should not work while waiting for their SSI application to be address and that once you receive SSI you will loose all your benefits if you do work. Diane Hernandez, a Disability Benefits Specialist with Iowa Works was able to address and dispel these myths in the informative class offered at the Anawim Housing Offices.
Diane was able to give examples of how an individual will always be better off working while receiving SSI benefits. The math is undeniable as she was able to show the class of 12 individuals on Anawim’s Shelter Plus Care Program. The 12 attendees had been targeted as individuals who had expressed interest in working and improving their lives, but just had no idea how to go about this without affecting their benefits. The participants were engaged and enthusiastic at the prospect of working with Diane to find employment and return to the work force.
The relationship with Diane Hernandez came as a direct result of Anawim Housing’s Legacy event. Diane has a passion for helping people to move forward to attain self sufficiency.
For many Shelter Plus Care tenants who have been unemployed for significant periods of time the idea of entering the work force is extremely daunting. Working with a job developer or employment specialist not only benefits the individual in their job search, but also prepares people for the daily discipline of showing up for work. For many newly employed, the ongoing support of managing benefits and the predictable and normal stress of reentering the workforce is essential in maintaining their new employment.