What is the Inclusion Initiative?
Inclusion is the ongoing process of creating an environment that respects the value and dignity of all individuals. The North Dakota State Commission on National and Community Service (the State Commission) is committed to the inclusion of qualified individuals in the state's AmeriCorps projects, and other national and community service programs, regardless of an individual's gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, marital status, or disability. The State Commission believes that all individuals who are qualified and want to serve their communities should have the opportunity to do so and that they are provided reasonable accommodation to apply, interview or serve in an AmeriCorps member position.
Could involvement in AmeriCorps impact my governmental benefits?
That depends on what type of governmental benefits you're receiving. If you're receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, the HEART Act directs the Social Security Administration to exclude an individual's receipt of AmeriCorps benefits for purposes of SSI eligibility. This includes ""any benefit (whether cash or in-kind)" and so covers the living allowance, education award (and related interest payments) along with health insurance and, childcare (Provided to full-time AmeriCorps members only). The SSI program rules exclude specific amounts of earned income, unearned income such as tuition scholarship and disaster relief payments, and resources such as a residence or household automobile.
Other governmental benefits like such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Housing and Energy Assistance (LIHEAP), or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps), etc. may be impacted by your involvement in AmeriCorps.
What should I do to determine if my governmental benefits will be impacted?
If you are receiving any type of government benefit or assistance, it's important that you discuss your potential involvement in AmeriCorps with the appropriate program benefits counselor prior to enrolling in the one of the state's AmeriCorps programs.
North Dakota residents with disabilities who have questions about how AmeriCorps service might affect their Social Security Administration benefits (SSDI or SSI) should contact staff at:
Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA)
Rehab Services, Inc.
112 2nd Ave SW
Minot, ND 58701
800-258-8130 Toll Free
800-366-6889 (ND Relay Service)
For questions on how involvement in AmeriCorps might impact an individual's TANF, LIHEAP, Medicaid, or SNAP (Food Stamps) benefits, etc., please contact your local county social service office to discuss your plans prior to applying or enrolling as a member.
What work support and incentives are available?
For individuals who are disabled and receiving SSA or Medicaid benefits there are several work supports and incentives available to help make the transition to work easier. To find additional information on these programs and incentives simply click on the links shown below.
The Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program
Ticket to Work is an employment program for people with disabilities who are interested in going to work. The Ticket Program is designed to help remove many of the barriers that previously influenced people's decisions about going to work because of the concerns over losing health care coverage. The goal of the Ticket Program is to increase opportunities and choices for Social Security disability beneficiaries to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation (VR), and other support services from public and private providers, employers, and other organizations.
Plan to Achieve Self-Support or PASS
PASS is a Supplemental Security Income provision that is designed to help individuals with disabilities return to work. PASS lets individuals with disabilities set aside money and/or things that they own to pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific work goal.
The North Dakota Medicaid Program's Workers with Disabilities Coverage Program
The Workers with Disabilities Coverage program allows some individuals with disabilities who want to work, or who are already working and who want to increase their earnings, to do so without fear of losing their Medicaid coverage. Many would not be able to work without needed medical care, and could not afford that care without Medicaid assistance. This coverage enables workers with disabilities to obtain or maintain their Medicaid coverage if they pay a one-time enrollment fee and monthly premiums.
North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation's primary mission is to assist North Dakotans with disabilities to improve their employment opportunities and to assist North Dakota businesses in finding solutions to their disability-related issues. Through this "dual client" approach, the division assists individuals with permanent injuries, illness, or impairments to achieve competitive employment and increased independence. They also assist business owners and employers through full service business consultation on a variety of business and disability-related issues.
Other inclusion and support resources
• National Service Inclusion Project
• Americans with Disabilities ACT (ADA)
• ADA Questions and Answers
• DBTAC Rocky Mountain
• Disability Info.gov
• Job Accommodation Network-JAN
• Interagency Program for Assistive Technology (IPAT)
• ND Center for Persons with Disabilities
• ND Centers for Independent Living Directory
• Plan to Achieve Self-Support or PASS
• North Dakota Protection and Advocacy
• Ticket to Work
• Social Security Administration (SSI & SSDI)
• State Public Assistance Programs (TANF, LIHEAP, Medicaid, SNAP or Food Stamps, etc.)
• Work Incentives and Planning Assistance