FUES (Familia Unida Employment Services) Program
The FUES program falls under the umbrella of the Employment Network, which is comprised of national partners collectively working to find employment for the disabled. The FUES has a cooperative agreement with the Social Security Administration. The primary goal is to assist qualified disabled individuals who receive SSI or SSDI benefits, to find appropriate jobs, vocational trainings, advanced education, and services that propel career advancement. We believe that people with disabilities have many abilities and skills, which merit successful and gainful employment opportunities. The delivery of services ranges from conducting an individual work plan, intake of skills, evaluation of skills/disabilities, providing assistance with reaching realistic goals, finding the best employer-employee match, job research, resume building, job coaching, interview tips, and linkage to other supportive services in the community that will assist in the transition from not working to becoming gainfully employed.
If you are interested in working, the Ticket to Work Program is the key to unlocking vocational rehabilitation, training, job referrals, and other ongoing support and services to help you reach your employment goals. The program is available for people who are between the ages of 18 and 65 and receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because they are disabled or blind.
Ticket to Work is an employment support program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work or increasing their work. Its goal is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain vocational rehabilitation, employment and other support services from public and private providers, employers and other organizations.
Participation in the Ticket to Work program begins when a person gives his or her Ticket to an employment network such as Familia Unida.
How does work affect my check benefits?
First, you should know that if you go back to work, you will NOT automatically lose your disability benefits. The Ticket to Work and special rules called "work incentives" allow you to keep your cash benefits and Medicare or Medicaid while you test your ability to work. For the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, there is a trial work period during which you can receive full benefits regardless of how much you earn, as long as you report your work activity and continue to have a disabling impairment.
The trial work period continues until you accumulate nine months (not necessarily consecutive) in which you perform what we call “services” within a rolling 60-month period. We consider your work to be “services” if you earn more than $720 a month in 2011. This amount is unchanged from 2010. After the trial work period ends, your benefits will stop for the months your earnings are at a level we consider "substantial" -- currently $1,000 in 2011. This amount is unchanged from 2010. Different amounts apply to people who are disabled because of blindness. The monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals for 2011 is $1,640. This amount is unchanged from 2010.
For an additional 36 months after completing the trial work period, we can start your benefits again if your earnings fall below the "substantial" level and you continue to have a disabling impairment. For more information about work incentives, we recommend that you read the pamphlet, Working While Disabled-How We Can Help (SSA Publication Number 05-10095).
If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) your work may affect the amount of your check. However, we do not count the first $65.00 of earnings in a month plus one-half of the remainder. This means we count less than one-half of your earnings when we figure your SSI payment amount. You may still qualify for other work incentives, such as Ticket to Work, and continue to receive Medicaid.
While participating in the Ticket to Work Program, you may be able to use a combination of other work incentives to maximize your income until you begin to earn enough to support yourself. Some of these work incentives include:
•A Trial Work Period (TWP)
•Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits (EXR)
•Deferral of continuing disability reviews (CDR)
•A plan for achieving self support (PASS)
How does work affect my Medicare and/or Medicaid?
Effective October 1, 2000, the law extended Medicare Part A (Hospital) premium-free coverage for 4.5 years beyond the current limit for disability beneficiaries who work. This means that you could work and still potentially retain your Medicare, for FREE, for up to four and a half years
What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?
Medicare is an insurance program. Medical bills are paid from trust funds which those covered have paid into. It serves people over 65 primarily, whatever their income; and serves younger disabled people and dialysis patients. Patients pay part of costs through deductibles for hospital and other costs. Small monthly premiums are required for non-hospital coverage. Medicare is a federal program. It is basically the same everywhere in the United States and is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency of the federal government.
Medicaid is an assistance program. Medical bills are paid from federal, state and local tax funds. It serves low-income people of every age. Patients usually pay no part of costs for covered medical expenses. A small co-payment is sometimes required. Medicaid is a federal-state program. It varies from state to state. It is run by state and local governments within federal guidelines.
For more information regarding Medicare and its components, please go to www.medicare.gov.
For more information on Medicaid, please go to www.cms.hhs.gov/home/medicaid.asp.