Developed by Steve Shober
This free online resource is an eight-part eConsult series about Benefits Planning from CEBP Consultant and Trainer Steve Shober, BS, LSW, a former vocational rehabilitation specialist and job coach who learned crucial benefits-planning skills while on the job, responding to crises and other episodes of stalled recovery. This eConsult series features a collection of lessons-learned stories, success stories, and take-home tips. It is a more in-depth companion to "The Spirit of Benefits Planning" audio CD.
Steve's expertise, combined with his calming voice of authority, provides a comforting sense of can-do when it comes to the benefits arena. He emphasizes that case managers, employment specialists, and other service providers do not need to be full-time benefits counselors or experts in benefits planning to help people make informed decisions about their financial futures and to prevent crises. According to Steve, benefits-planning services begin with knowing some basic information about benefits programs (e.g., eligibility requirements, income limits, work incentives) and developing trusting relationships (therapeutic alliances) with the people you serve.
- Getting Started, Part 1: Learn the basics of benefits programs, help people make informed decisions about their financial future
- Getting Started, Part 2: Benefits Planning is a relationship job, not just an information job
- The Food-Court Story: Build trust with consumers to dispel myths about benefits, prepare them for potential surprises (The Food-Court Story)
- The Assertive-Outreach Story: Build trust by listening to each person's fears and concerns and by responding with facts that address each directly
- A Cautionary Tale: Over-payments by benefits programs and mandatory paybacks can be avoided with monthly reports of income by consumers
- The Termination Story: Work incentives from Social Security may enable consumers to earn more money and remain eligible for benefits programs
- Take-Home Tips: Nine things you can do today
- The Cheese Wall Story: Zero-exclusion is the ultimate optimism; everyone who wants to work receives supported-employment services