CCDD Employment Benefits Education FY22

Grants and Contracts Details


Commonwealth Council on Developmental Disabilities – Funder Employment Benefits Education – FY 22 Through the Human Development Institute, an array of projects, initiatives, and partnerships are aligned to improve employment outcomes for Kentuckians with disabilities. HDI is a committed partner in helping Kentucky fulfill the promise of Employment First in partnership with Governor Beshear’s Executive Order dated June 29, 2020. Employment First believes everyone, including people with significant disabilities who want to work, can work in competitive, integrated employment with the right supports. Many adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities receive either a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cash payment through the Social Security Administration. These two benefit programs also bring health insurance either through Medicaid or Medicare. A great deal of confusion, mythology and ignorance surround what happens to person’s benefits when she or he go to work. Thus, many people, out of fear and ignorance, limit their employment opportunities and unnecessarily remain in poverty and isolation. The truth is employment and these programs can work together so the person will have more income and still maintain eligibility for Medicaid or Medicare. However, despite MANY FREE resources, many Social Security Disability beneficiaries and their family members remain skeptical, afraid and unengaged in learning what Social Security actually states is the case when a person goes to work. The Employment Benefits Education initiative will recruit and support a statewide network of at least fifteen (15) Employment Ambassadors who are people with disabilities and family members to educate 150 self -advocates and family members on the benefits of competitive, integrated employment. Employment Ambassadors will have the ability to earn up to $1500 by completing trainings, collaborating in presentations and providing direct coaching or mentoring to a self-advocate and/or family member. The Employment Benefits Education initiative will be coordinated by Carolyn Wheeler who is a Certified Community Partner Work Incentives Counselor (CPWIC) through Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She has been certified since 2010. Social Security requires a CPWIC complete 18 hours per year of Continuing Education through VCU. Carolyn has also been a legal guardian/Power of Attorney and Representative Payee for three adults with intellectual disabilities who all received a Social Security disability benefit and worked.
Effective start/end date7/1/216/30/22


  • KY Council on Developmental Disabilities


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.