News from LINC
Connecting people to independence
LINC is Idaho’s Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities Office!
Because no other office currently exists LINC has become Idaho’s Medicaid for Workers with Disabilities “go-to” for information and advocacy regarding this exciting and important program.
Medicaid for Workers (MWD) is Idaho’s Medicaid “buy-in” program and can be utilized both by workers with disabilities who receive SSDI as well as those that don’t due to their earnings being too high to qualify. The income and resource limits are far higher than general Medicaid and MWD offers a number of ancillary benefits aside from full health insurance at an affordable price.
Payment of the Medicare premium for SSDI workers, keeping the money in the hands of the consumer, providing 100% coverage for those SSDI recipients in their two year Medicare “window,” and covering the remaining 20% that Medicare doesn’t cover are some perks aside from the health and dental coverage.
For those workers with disabilities who earn above $13,560 and are thus found ineligible for SSDI, Medicaid for Workers is often a great solution, including for many of the 78,000 Idaho citizens who “fall in the gap” and have zero access to health care. Additionally, income limits for the program are quite high, allowing earnings of nearly $56,000 per year while paying less than $200 per month for the benefit!
Because MWD is a statewide program consumers from all over Idaho are welcome to contact LINC Boise for information, questions, application tips, etc. James, IL Director at LINC, Community Work Incentives Coordinator, and former Medicaid for Workers curriculum developer and trainer is happy to share all he knows with service providers as well, from the “nuts and bolts” of the program to advocacy tips for interfacing with local Idaho Department of Health & Welfare offices.
For more information about Medicaid for Workers and other exciting and useful work incentives, information regarding how wages affect benefits, employment tips, and more for workers with disabilities contact James at the Work Incentives & Employment Education program at LINC Boise at (208)336-3335 ext. 13.
LINC is pleased to announce it has now opened up applications for its 2016-17 GenerationADA Youth Internship.
Beginning in the summer of 2016 this new and exciting paid internship opportunity is for a young person with a disability aged 16-26 interested in making a great wage, building valuable job and independent living skills, developing social connections with other young leaders with disabilities both locally and nationally, and becoming an active part of the Independent Living Movement. It also includes a trip to the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Annual Conference in Washington DC in July 2017!
For more information or to apply for the internship contact Brandi or James at LINC
“Employment and Economic Equity: if Not Now, When?”
Draft of 2016 Legislative & Advocacy Priorities
Attention all NCIL members, workers with disabilities, elected officials, community leaders, and those who believe in tangible, purposeful, impactful, and thorough community development and improvement: the push for economic integration and equity for people with disabilities is more important now than ever!
As we know NCIL has long been ardently in favor of changing the antiquated and short-sighted current definition of disability and asked the federal government last year, “What would a fundamental restructuring of the SSI and SSDI system require to align it with the goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year?”
NCIL and the ESS subcommittee will request from Congress via the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees funds to start and continue CareerACCESS pilot projects in up to five states that will serve young adults who meet SSI medical rules for disability.
CareerACCESS is a viable means of allowing many young people between the ages of 18-28 who are SSI eligible to escape the poverty common to many who receive that benefit. Rules would allow for increased earnings and remove asset limits for SSI beneficiaries, even for those without an ABLE Account, and allow for young workers with disabilities to endeavor to achieve the American Dream through employment without fear or repercussion.
NCIL will also strongly urge Congress to amend current law and eliminate the age limit of 65 for Medicaid Buy-in programs nationwide, including in Idaho, stressing that many workers with disabilities work past the age of 65 and must retain their Medicaid for Workers w/ Disabilities to continue to pay for personal assistance and numerous other services.
NCIL is also actively engaged in promoting ABLE Act improvements and bills introduced in March 2016 making it possible for people w/ disabilities to increase their ABLE accounts in various ways and encourage workers to maintain employment without impacting their federal benefits or ABLE accounts.
The TIME Act (Transitioning to Integrated and Meaningful Employment) is another directive that NCIL has championed to ensure economic equity for all. TIME directs the Secretary of Labor to end the practice of issuing special wage certificates, those that allow for workers w/ disabilities to be paid at sub-minimum wage levels including those in agriculture, to any new for-profit, non-profit, or governmental agency. Additionally, the bill would require a three year phase-out of all existing certificates.
The NCIL Employment/Social Security Subcommittee and associated Medicaid Buy-in Task Force states unequivocally: NCIL members and the Americans we work with can move closer to the middle class with these economic policies and laws in place!
Three offices to serve you. www.lincidaho.org
1182 Eastland Drive North
Twin Falls ID 83301
(208) 733-1712 VOICE
(208) 733-7711 TDD
1878 West Overland Road
Boise ID 83705
(208) 336-3335 VOICE
(208) 336-3335 TDD
(208) 384-5037 FAX
4110 Eaton Avenue
Caldwell ID 83605
(208) 454-5511 VOICE
(208) 454-5511 TDD
(208) 454-5515 FAX