October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and we are celebrating those who are working in West Virginia. Meet Dale. Dale has a love for being outdoors, and spends three seasons each year working part-time with WV Forestry Department helping tend to grounds at parks and recreation areas.
As a person with a disability, Dale qualifies for Social Security income and multiple state services including a medical card and Medicaid Waiver services. It was important to Dale and those who help him make decisions that he not lose his eligibility for these programs by earning money through paid employment. The West Virginia University Center for Excellence in Disabilities Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program worked closely with Dale and his treatment team to learn what options Dale had available. They were able to determine how Dale could work and continue receiving assistance from both federal and state programs.
Dale has been doing working for over 10 years and enjoys being active in his community and while earning extra income at a job that he loves. During his off season, he is volunteering at a local thrift shop.
The Work Incentives, Planning, and Assistance (WIPA) program is a Social Security funded program that helps to explain how working will affect a person’s Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Staff work with clients through all stages of employment to understand their options and share resources. For more info, visit wipa.cedwvu.org or call 304-293-4692.