Innovation Profile: Flexible IDAs for Persons with Disabilities
JOYCE ARMSTRONG & NORA BISHOP
Innovative Idea Champions
Selected in 2010
Email Joyce | Visit Joyce & Nora's Web site
UPDATE: February 2011
Co-opportunity and the Connect to Work Center have continued to work on the IDA pilot that was presented at the 2010 Assets Learning Conference’s Innovation Marketplace. In a major step forward, Co-opportunity was named an Employment Network (EN) under Social Security’s Ticket to Work Program. Now they can move forward to recruit people who are receiving Social Security benefits due to a disability who are interested in going off of their Social Security benefits, saving in a traditional IDA and participating in Financial Literacy Training. To learn more about this exciting progress, read the Blog.
About the Innovation
Joyce & Nora's innovation is a creative alternative to cash benefits through Social Security’s Ticket to Work, a program to help put disability benefit recipients to work. It will link Ticket to Work with Individual Development Account matched savings. Personal savings multiplied through incentive matches can go toward expenses such as childcare, automobiles and assistive technology, making it so persons with disabilities can continue to work and increase their financial security. Initial efforts in Connecticut will fund match dollars from unrestricted funds received by state employment networks through Social Security. This innovative approach will leverage matched savings accounts to extend the reach and impact of the Ticket to Work program for persons with disabilities to get and keep meaningful employment and build assets.
About the Innovator
Joyce works for the State of Connecticut’s Bureau of Rehabilitation Services. Joyce is the Project Director for the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project. She has 17 years of experience in work incentives and benefits counseling and previously worked as a Bureau vocational rehabilitation counselor and as a disability examiner for Connecticut’s Disability Determination Services.