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News notes from the CEO May 2022

It is Spring time when the days get longer, the weather gets warmer, & plants & flowers begin to grow. It’s a nice time of the year in that we recognize new life growing again. Arkay is also developing in establishing a real coffee shop in Trenton, Michigan. Again, this will be operated by our wonderful consumers. The architect design is now finished so we will move to the stage of construction. The goal is to expand our supported employment services to the developmentally disabled & the cognitively impaired. We will keep you informed on this new adventure.


Other News:

1. Michigan’s FY 2022 budget, passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor, includes a permanent $2.35 wage increase for Direct Support Professionals, also known as Direct Care Workers. Nearly a million Michigan residents rely on the value Direct Care Workers provide. The action will ensure Michiganders with behavioral health challenges can be supported by caregivers that are more adequately compensated for their work.


2. A grassroots coalition (Partners Advancing Self Determination) of people with disabilities, family members, advocates, organizations and other allies are working together to build statewide demand for self-determination. Self-determination means that you decide what you want to do in your life—such as where you live, how you spend your time, who you spend your time with, and how you earn money—and you control the support you need to get that life. Your support may help you with things like: getting out in the community, working or getting ready for your day.

3. Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA): WIPA is a step by step process to assist people with disabilities, receiving benefits from Social Security, with understanding how employment will affect their Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and other benefits they may receive. WIPA also helps beneficiaries to understand how they can increase their financial independence. To be eligible to receive WIPA services you must be receiving benefits from Social Security based on a disability (SSDI or SSI), at least 14 years old, not yet eligible to receive full retirement benefits, and employed, seriously considering employment, or working toward employment through school or training. You will work with a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC), who will help you to understand, and plan for, the effect employment may have on your benefits through the development of a Work Incentives Plan. With this, you can make the best use of the many options available to support your employment goals.

How can I learn more? By Phone: To determine if you qualify for WIPA services, you can contact the Ticket to Work Helpline at 1-866-968-7842, or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

Online: WIPA program, and explore additional resources at www.ssa.gov/work/.


Best Regards,


Kevin

CEO


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