Meet Deanna

At 29, Deanna had never had a long-term job due to her rheumatoid arthritis and bipolar mental health condition. A number of years ago, she began getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and health coverage through Medical Assistance (MA).

A couple of years ago, Deanna started to feel an urge to work. She talked to a benefits expert and learned about SSI’s work incentives and that she would be able to keep her MA coverage if she got a job. She also signed up for the Ticket to Work program, which helped her develop the skills she needed to find and keep a job. Working with her Ticket to Work Employment Network (EN), Deanna eventually found her first real job.

A year later, Deanna realized that she was now making enough money that her savings were approaching SSI’s resource limit. She wanted to save up money so she could eventually get a better job that would someday enable her to buy a home. But she was afraid saving that money would make her lose her benefits. So, Deanna went back to her benefits expert, who introduced her to a way of saving money without losing benefits called the Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS).

Meet Deanna
Living on SSI:
Age: 29
Disabilities: Bipolar mental health condition and rheumatoid arthritis
Occupation: None
Income: $771 per month from SSI and $81 per month from MSA
Resources: None
Health coverage: Medical Assistance (MA)
After starting work:
Age: 29
Disabilities: Bipolar mental health condition and rheumatoid arthritis
Occupation: Assistant at woman’s shelter
Income: $1,200 per month from work, $213.50 per month from SSI, and $81 per month from MSA
Resources: $1,500 in a savings account
Health coverage: Medical Assistance (MA)
A year later:
Age: 30
Disabilities: Bipolar mental health condition and rheumatoid arthritis
Occupation: Assistant at woman’s shelter
Income: $1,200 per month from work, $771 per month from SSI, and $81 per month from MSA
Resources: $1,500 in savings + $3,300 in PASS
Health coverage: Medical Assistance (MA)