3 weeks ago

Look Inside Young Adult Road Map

Guiding Star Close-up:

Guiding Star Close-up: The Bridge to Everywhere Ways to use the five points of the Guiding Star: Set Goals: List your top three concerns about switching to a new insurance plan or getting insurance from a different insurance provider. Learn System Basics: If you have Medicaid, go to your member website address on the back of insurance ID card and look for information about what happens when you turn 18. You can also call the number on your card. Build Relationships: Talk to your case manager. Ask “What are my options?” Manage Information: Find out what records you will need to apply for insurance. Create a binder to keep your records in a single place. Find Support: Look for community resources, such as faith-based organizations and advocacy groups, that help people fill out insurance application forms. Look for resources for getting eyeglasses and dental services. New stages of life can be exciting, but the details can sometimes feel overwhelming too. Luckily, all five points of the Guiding Star can help you cross those bridges. 66 Income (Paying for Housing, Food, Transportation, etc.) Families with limited income, who have children under age 18 with disabilities, can receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a monthly government payment. At age 18, a young adult must apply for his or her own payment. (In most cases, the young adult must apply after age 18 and wait for a few months for SSI payments to start. That person eventually gets an extra payment to make up for the gap.) If you did not receive SSI as a child, you can still apply as a young adult. Your records must show that you had a disability before age 18. You will usually need to get another assessment or letter from a physician to show you still have the disability. Even if you and your family don’t need the money, qualifying for SSI can sometimes be a “gateway” to being accepted into other state government programs, such as Medicaid, vocational rehabilitation (a program to assist you in finding work or training to work), or transportation supports. Sometimes it means you go to the head of the line for programs with long waiting lists. A young adult over age 18 with a disability may still qualify for SSI, even if he or she still lives at home. (This is called being a “Household of One,” even though you don’t physically live in your own household.) When you live on your own (paying your own rent and at least half of your own expenses), your SSI payment is increased. Questions to consider/discuss with others: 1. Am I still eligible for SSI based on my disability? What do I need to do? What documents do I need? When should I start the process of qualifying for SSI? 2. How soon after I apply will I know if I am accepted? If I am accepted, when will payments start? 3. How does my SSI payment change if I move to my own place? Will the payment provide enough money to meet my bills every month? If not, does qualifying for SSI make it easier to become eligible for other assistance, such as a voucher to reduce the cost of housing or insurance?

Ways to Use the five points of the Guiding Star: Set Goals: Identify a priority, such as making sure you meet deadlines for getting assessments and doing paperwork, so you can start receiving payments a few months after your 18th birthday. Learn Systems Basics: Go to to set up an appointment with a Social Security case manager to find out what you need to do. Build Relationships: Come to your appointment with the Social Security case manager on time, with a written list of questions. Try to bring a family member or trusted friend with you. Manage Information: Begin collecting the records you will need to submit. Create a binder. Find Support: If there will be a gap in your income or your family’s income while you wait for the new SSI paperwork to be processed, look for other resources that can help with your bills. Five Resources for Employment and Vocational Services 1. Your state’s office of vocational rehabilitation services connects people with job training and work opportunities. Disabilities/workers-with-disabilities.aspx 2. If you receive SSI, you can still get a job and earn income under the “Ticket to Work” program. ( 3. Work with an employment development coach. 4. Go to the nearest office of a state employment center. LocalHelp/service-locator.aspx 5. If possible, you may want to start with volunteer work: Leaving Foster Care Young adults who “age out” of the child welfare system go through a transition to independent living between ages 18-22, depending on the programs in their state. Aging out of the child welfare system is an important and complex topic covered outside of Young Adult Road Map. One place to look for resources is the federal government website “Child Welfare Information Gateway,” outofhome/independent/resources/. This website offers resources for transition planning, applying for educational financial aid, and working on many other concerns. I want to get a job when school’s over. Yeah right. Who’s going to hire you? You could get some volunteer experience first-- maybe an internship before school ends. Maybe I could do that! 67