Monday, November 21, 2011

New Jersey offers work support for disabled individuals

From The Daily Journal in NJ:

TRENTON, N.J. – New Jersey is advancing a philosophy that promotes competitive employment for individuals with disabilities through an intrastate agency partnership that allows individuals to pursue and maintain employment while receiving in-home or community support, as needed.

With the Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, the Department of Human Services provides Supported Employment Services for people with developmental disabilities. Eligible individuals who receive these services, or who work part-time, also can receive a day service to supplement a part-time schedule.

“As we assist people with developmental disabilities in living as independently as possible, we strive to provide the individual supports necessary for them to achieve competitive employment,” Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “Employment expands opportunities for individual development, personal accomplishment and financial stability.”

To maximize competitive employment choices for consumers, the state provides funding for the initial phases of employment including pre-placement and training. Once an individual is employed and the initial support have ended, the state is able to provide continued funding for follow-along services that assist the person in maintaining employment.

The services occur through contracts with private vendors and qualified agencies.

Additionally, through NJ Workability, consumers are able to work and still retain important safety net benefits such as Medicaid, Social Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance.