(October 30, 2007 – New York, NY) Earlier this month, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) teamed up with disability organizations, social services organizations, and credit unions to provide a disability benefits workshop for service providers, resource coordinators, and advocates in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The workshop, titled “The Changing Face of Benefits: Knowledge for Successful Employment and Volunteering,” was held at the Volunteer Center of North Texas.
“We've been wanting this type of training for some time,” said Teri Portillo, a newly elected director on the Federation’s Board of Directors and CEO of Women's Southwest FCU (Dallas, TX), “This is extremely valuable information for our staff, and definitely increases the level of service we can provide to our members.”
Understanding the many rules governing Social Security Insurance/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI/SSDI), Medicaid, Medicare and other related work incentives for people with disabilities can often be complicated and confusing. This one-day training workshop offered participants with up-to-date information to better understand the various benefit programs offered by local, state, and federal agencies.
The training, conducted by Sharon Brent, Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the National Disability Institute, gave participants information on:
- Asset Development
- Earned Income Tax Credits
- Volunteers with Disabilities
- Federal SSI and SSDI Benefits, including Affects of Earned Income, Medicare
- State Benefits such as Medicaid
- Support Programs (Food Stamps, HUD, and Section 8)
- SSI/SSDI Work Incentives Encouraging Employment, such as:
- Student Earned Income Exclusion
- Property Essential for Self Support
- Plan for Achieving Self Support
- Blind and Impairment-related Work Expense
“The training was great,” said Butch Burgin of Easter Seals. “I plan to invite clients and other staff members to follow-up sessions.”
This one-day workshop was organized as part of the Federation’s disability outreach initiative in collaboration with the National Disability Institute, the Disability Outreach Offering Resources through Service (DOORS) Program, Points of Light & Helping Hands Network, the Volunteer Center of Dallas, and Women's Southwest FCU (Dallas, TX). In addition to credit union participants, the workshop was well attended by non-credit union representatives from throughout the Dallas community, including Easter Seals, the Texas Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Texas Veteran Commission, and Habitat for Humanity.
The next collaborative training will be a Benefits Workshops for Consumers on Friday, February 1, 2008. For more information contact the Volunteer Center at email@example.com or (214) 826-6767, ext. 277.
To learn more about the Federation’s disability initiative, please contact Valerie Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (212) 809-1850, ext. 218.
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.