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Youth in Transition Toolkit:

3

Educate families

Benefits planning

Help families see how benefits support work.

It's important for youth and families to understand current benefits, additional benefits that might be available, and how work could impact those benefits. After all, families want to ensure their youth has the benefits and supports they need to succeed as an adult. Help families understand that benefits are designed so people who work end up better off.

With a job, youth can:

  • Keep needed health care coverage
  • Increase total income 
  • Save money
  • Get their benefit back quickly if it stops and is needed later
Lightbulb LEARN

LEARN: Develop your knowledge

Learn how public benefits support and encourage people to work.

Public benefits can provide steady income. However, families might not realize that relying on public benefits alone often means living in poverty. Help families understand how benefits support work, and how people are better off financially when they work.

To learn more:

  • Misinformation about benefits and work is everywhere. To combat fears, it's important to get the facts.
  • People are responsible for their own futures. It's important to know what they want and make a plan to get it.
  • Benefits are helpful, but benefits alone provide barely enough money to get by — let alone to live someone's best life.
  • Benefits paired with work leads to more money and more choices.
  • Benefits are great tools to help people reach goals, but they also come with responsibilities. People must know how to manage their benefits.
  • Benefits alone should never be the reason someone doesn't work.
  • Benefit programs have rules and incentives to help people work and prepare for future careers.
  • People can work and keep health care benefits, if needed.
  • People on SSI are always better off financially when working.
Resources DO

DO: Work with families

Share benefits planning information and resources.

If the youth is currently getting benefits, may need benefits in the future, or the family has questions about benefits and work, introduce Disability Hub MN and Disability Benefits 101 (DB101).

Highlight Disability Hub MN as an ongoing resource about benefits, including Social Security, Minnesota cash benefits and health coverage. Make sure people understand the Hub isn't just a website. The Hub provides trained staff statewide who can answer questions about benefits. Point out the Hub's chat feature for direct contact with benefits experts, as well as phone and email options.

The Disability Hub MN website's Social Security webpage

Disability Benefits 101, or DB101, offers tools and resources that can help parents understand work and benefits.

Share parent focus articles to help parents understand benefits, how benefits support work and what happens to a youth's benefits at age 18. 

Help the family complete a DB101 school and work estimator session to demonstrate how the tool can help.  It's sometimes easier to first use this school and work estimator session scenario (PDF) rather than the family member's actual benefits.

The video SSI and youth who work (04:50) explains what happens to Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, when young people go to work.

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