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Making Informed Financial Choices with the Louisville LADDER Disability and Employment Workbook

June 30, 2016

The Louisville Alliance for Development through Diversity, Empowerment, and Resources (LADDER) is the new name of the Louisville Workforce Development and Financial Empowerment Integration workgroup, led by Louisville Metro community services and Bank On Louisville, with funding from the LEAD Center. LADDER remains a collaborative of community based organizations, workforce services, and financial institutions, designed to identify opportunities for universally designed services and supports that advance financial capability related to employment goals and to improve positive financial behavior for individuals with disabilities, particularly those who use the public workforce system. With a mission to "create a community-wide culture of financial inclusiveness and accessibility that serves the diverse Louisville metro population, LADDER offers a range of financial capability resources for both service providers and the individuals they serve."

Recently, LADDER worked with state and local Community Work Incentive Coordinators, with support from LEAD Center staff, to finalize the Disability and Employment Workbook. The workbook is a new tool to equip individuals with disabilities who receive Social Security disability benefits with the information necessary to make informed decisions about the impact of earnings and savings on their benefits. Many individuals with disabilities who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) believe that earnings and savings will cause a loss of cash benefits and critically needed Medicare and/or Medicaid. Social Security provides both work incentives and asset exclusions that allow individuals to earn and save money at levels that vary based on multiple factors such as the type of disability one receives and the state of residence. The Disability and Employment Workbook provides the critical information Louisville residents with disabilities need to set employment and savings goals based on accurate information and to make informed choices to improve their economic advancement.