A Quarterly Newsletter for Our Community Members with Disabilities

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Summer 2012 CommunicAbility Vol. 12, Ed. 3

New Horizons Un-Limited Inc. (NHU) is a non-profit organization based in Milwaukee with a mission to make information and life experiences accessible to people with life-long disabilities, their families and caregivers. To learn more about our mission and activities, please visit the New Horizons Un-Limited website at www.new-horizons.org or e-mail horizons@new-horizons.org.

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Employment Possibilities

If you are serious about finding gainful employment, there are many paths you can take and numerous FREE programs that will support you on your journey.

One of the most common fears among SSI and SSDI beneficiaries who are seeking employment is the loss of essential medical and financial benefits. In many cases however, these benefits can be maintained while you are exploring the possibility of work and gaining work experience.

This article will discuss the Ticket to Work Program and Work Incentives, and how together, these programs can give you the confidence to pursue your dream of employment, without fear of losing your benefits.

What is Ticket to Work and how can it help me gain financial independence?

The Ticket to Work Program is a FREE Social Security Administration program that provides SSI and SSDI beneficiaries access to FREE career development services. The “ticket” pays for services and supports that will assist you in preparing for work and entering and maintaining employment. Services are provided by authorized Employment Networks.

What can I expect once I redeem my ticket?

You will choose an Employment Network (EN) to support you in your employment goals. Together with your EN counselor, you will develop a unique employment plan that will describe your employment goals and identify the services needed to reach those goals.

Will I lose my benefits if I redeem my ticket?

No. There are many work incentives in place that make the possibility of exploring work virtually risk free.

Will I lose my benefits if I start working?

Not necessarily. You will continue to receive your benefits until you begin earning wages above the applicable earnings limit for the SSI or SSDI programs. Also, so long as you continue to receive your SSI and/or SSDI you will remain eligible for Medicaid and/or Medicare.

How can I learn more about Work Incentives?

Contact your local Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Project. To find a WIPA Project near you, call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD).

How can I receive my ticket?

If you are aged 18 – 64 and receive SSI or SSDI, it is likely that you already have a ticket waiting for you. You need simply redeem it. Contact MAXIMUS, at 1-866-968-7842, to verify your eligibility for the program and to request the activation of your ticket.

For more information, visit the Choose Work website: chooseworkttw.net.

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A Closer Look at Work at Home Jobs: Is This Option Right For You?

As more and more companies embrace the flexibility of working from home, the possibility of work is becoming very real for millions of Americans with disabilities. As a matter of fact, many companies ONLY hire at-home workers to fill such roles as customer service representatives, administrative assistants, and sales professionals, among others.

The question is, do you know and have what it takes to successfully work from home? If you think working from home might be a good option for you, here is a checklist to help you prepare for this next exciting step in your career. Following are the minimum requirements to successfully work from home.

Personal Traits

  • Self discipline
  • Time management skills
  • Good follow through
  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Confidence

    Work Skills

  • Administrative (accuracy, organization)
  • Customer service (professionalism, problem solving, communication)
  • Computer related (data entry, word processing, general PC usage)

    Work Space

  • Dedicated workspace (desk, filing cabinets)
  • Quiet, distraction-free room
  • Dependable, updated PC
  • Secure high speed Internet connection
  • Dedicated phone line (not a cell phone)

    Contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Office to learn if you qualify for employment services. Be sure to identify your desire to work from home to ensure your work plan accounts for the necessary training and supports you need to successfully work from home.

    To find your local VR office, visit google.com and search for [your state] vocational rehabilitation.

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    You Have the Skills to Work at Home? Now What?

    Check out the following companies who specialize in work at home job placements.

    Alpine Access

    A leading outsourcer of call center services using home-based, virtual customer service agents.

    My Employment Options

    A Certified Social Security Administration (SSA) Employment Network for the Ticket-To-Work program that links ticket holders to viable work at home jobs.


    A non-profit organization that connects Americans with physical disabilities to work-at-home jobs.

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    10th Annual Fundraising with Flowers Drive

    Beautify Your Yard! Provide Opportunity! It’s a Win-Win!

    Beautify your yard and neighborhood while supporting computer access and employment skills training programs for youth and adults with disabilities! Choose from a variety of Tulips, Daffodils, Lilies, and more! Your beautiful spring blooms will be a lovely reminder that you made a difference in the lives of others!

    Bulbs are 100% guaranteed gorgeous and orders are shipped directly to your door for fall planting.

    Our online sale will run through October 5, 2012.

    Order online by visiting our Flower Power Campaign

    Or, call to request a catalog and order form, 414-299-0124.

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    Thank You Sponsors & Golfers for Making Our 9th Annual Golf Outing a Success

    70s and sunshine, an immaculate golf course and more than 100 smiling faces! We could not have imagined a more perfect day for our 9th Annual Benefit Golf Outing at Hawk's View Golf Club!

    It is only because of the continued support and generosity of our dedicated corporate supporters that this success is possible. Thanks to this support we can continue to provide much needed informational and training services to youth and adults with disabilities, so that they may have a chance to experience life as it is meant to be experienced - without boundaries!

    To see a complete list of sponsors, please visit new-horizons.org/golf12.html.

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    Let Freedom Ring Word Search

    In honor of Independence Day and the 22nd Anniversary
    of the Americans with Disabilities Act, let us reflect
    on what it means to be truly free!

    “Self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative
    imagination - these give us the ultimate human freedom
    - the power to choose, to respond, to change.”


    Let Freedom Ring Word Search
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    NHU encourages redistribution of this newsletter. Please share this information with all that may benefit.

    If you have questions or ideas, information and solutions that you would like to share with us, we can be reached by e-mail at: horizons@new-horizons.org or to use our NHU E-Mail Form or NHU Community Discussion Board, click on the links below.
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