UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits is now assisting individuals with disabilities in several counties in eastern New York to navigate how working impacts the federal and/or state benefits they may be receiving.
Work Without Limits’ cooperative agreement with the U.S. Social Security Administration was recently expanded to provide comprehensive benefits counseling services in the seven New York counties of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie and Washington.
Benefits counseling experts, called Community Work Incentive Coordinators or CWICs, will support people with disabilities to better understand how work earnings or wage increases affect eligibility for cash benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI); health insurance programs including Medicaid and Medicare; and other public assistance that may include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and subsidized housing.
Work Without Limits collaborates with beneficiaries who are employed, seeking work or engaged with a job training or vocational rehabilitation program and provides them with timely and accurate information, including work incentives and benefits analyses, that make them feel confident and knowledgeable about taking the next step in their careers.
Senior CWIC Brian Forsythe, a 30-year veteran in vocational rehabilitation with vast knowledge of public benefits and the effect of work on those benefits, is leading the efforts in New York. He will triage Social Security Administration Help Line referrals, ensuring those in need readily receive quality assistance. Forsythe will work alongside his CWIC colleague Winnie Siano to establish and build relationships with referring organizations such as the New York State Commission for the Blind Albany District Office and meet with beneficiaries who require a face-to-face interaction.
Work Without Limits has been providing benefits counseling services since 2008, and also serves beneficiaries in the Massachusetts counties of Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, Worcester and Middlesex.
For more information on Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling, visit the website, or call toll-free 1-877-937-9675.