Going Back to Work
Finding a Job
People in mental health recovery can use peer support skills in a wide variety of paid positions. To become employed as a peer specialist in a Medicaid-billable peer support program, you must become a Certified Peer Specialist. However, there are other jobs where you can use peer support skills that don’t require certification. Many people who complete the certification training find other jobs in the mental health system. Certified Peer Specialists work in a variety of settings, including residential programs, hospitals, warmlines, psychiatric rehabilitation programs, consumer and family satisfaction teams, advocacy organizations, and drop-in centers.
The skills taught in the certification training are valuable skills in any mental-health related job.
The Peer Support Coalition’s Job Bank offers information about peer support and other mental health job openings throughout Pennsylvania.
Working and Receiving Disability Benefits
Did you know you can work part time and still receive your disability benefits? Many people mistakenly believe that if they work and receive a regular paycheck they will lose their social security benefits, no matter the amount of money they make. But that is simply not so.
AHEDD is an organization that helps clear up the confusion. AHEDD’s Work Benefits Counselors assist SSDI (social security disability) beneficiaries or SSI (supplemental security income) recipients in a financial assessment of their benefits, and then recommends a course of action that fits a person’s employment and benefits needs. To learn more visit the AHEDD Web site.
In addition to benefits counseling, there are benefits programs that can make the transition back to work easier.
MAWD (Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities) allows people to continue to receive Medical Assistance health insurance benefits while working. Learn more about MAWD.
Ticket to Work allows people to use a “ticket” (issued by the Social Security Administration) to receive services that will help them achieve a vocational (work) goal.