The purpose of this initiative is to increase the availability of benefits counseling services for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) receiving public benefits that are currently working, those who have extended a job offer, transitioning youth and their families, and those interested in self-employment.
Why is NCCDD funding this initiative?
- Research on Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects demonstrates that individuals who receive benefits counseling services are more likely to pursue employment, maintain employment, and leverage available incentives that support their goal of greater financial security and independence.
- The North Carolina Benefits Counseling Services (NCBCS) Demonstration Project initiative will attempt to demonstrate the impact of using a tiered model to address the lack of system capacity for providing benefits counseling services to individuals receiving federal and state public assistance.
- This initiative supports NCCDD's Goal 1 of the current Five Year Plan: Increase financial security for individuals with I/DD.
What are the major goals and objectives?
- Expand benefits counseling services throughout the state by increasing capacity through the training of employment service staff as benefits liaisons to collect basic information and provide general benefits information and referrals
- Increase employment participation through provision of Information and Referral, initial benefits counseling advisement, benefits service plans and on-going support.
- Train 50 individuals or families (first year) through partner agencies.
- Development of Referral network
- Development of Benefits Liaison training curriculum
What activities will this initiative set out to do?
Year One will include the following activities:
- Deliver training to agencies.
- Development of a referral network
- Gathering and analyzing outcome data and success stories
What has been achieved to date?
- Trained 5 agencies
- Trained 24 staff members
- Developed 7 MOUs with new referral network partners
- Gathering feedback from agencies about their experience after the training
- Survey development to track services and outcomes
- Benefits Liaison training underway
What long-term changes are expected as a result of this initiative?
- To increase the availability of benefits counseling services for individuals receiving public benefits that are currently working, those who have extended a job offer, transitioning youth and their families, and those interested in self-employment.
How can I get involved?
Contact Pablo Puente, MS, MBA, CWDP, CWIC at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who is the contractor?
Who can I contact for questions?
Grant Administrator: Pablo Puente, MS, MBA, CWDP, CWIC, WIPA Project Manager, SSA - Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program, email@example.com
NCCDD: Travis Williams, Systems Change Manager, Travis.Williams@dhhs.nc.gov
Click here to download a pdf of the initiative: North Carolina Benefits Counseling Services (NCBCS) Demonstration Project