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DVR's Rehabilitation Resource masthead

March 2014

As of 02/27/14

Successful Closures

1,942=50% of goal
(40.8% elapsed)

Rehab Rate


Indicator 2.1


Social Security Reimbursement



Work Incentives and Medicaid

DVR is on Facebook

Some Promise-ing Happenings

DVR Information Center

Thank You

Staff Updates

Web What's New

the rehabilitation resource

Work Incentives and Medicaid Eligibility

Submitted by Stephanie Drum

image:ERI LogoIf you have ever been in a meeting with a consumer and me, you know that I really like work incentives and benefits. I unfairly have favorite work incentives, which is what I am writing about today. It's one of the more unknown and misunderstood work incentives offered to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. This work incentive is called Continued Medicaid Eligibility Section 1619(b). The name says it all! The purpose is to protect Medicaid eligibility for SSI recipients who work.

Many people simply don't know about 1619(b) because they haven't thought about working yet or don't know anything about work incentives. Even more often, people think it is too good to be true!

Here are some quick eligibility points for 1619(b):

  • Have to have SSI for at least one month
  • Must have assets below $2,000 (for an individual)
  • Have to be eligible for SSI in all non-financial ways - have a disability, citizenship, etc.
  • Would be otherwise eligible for SSI if it weren't for their earned income
  • Have gross annual earnings below the threshold for the year - in 2014 this amount is $33,361 for most people (some individuals can have higher annual thresholds)

*There are more details specifically for married couples.

People can work and earn enough income that they no longer get an SSI payment, and still keep their Medicaid. It happens automatically and requires no applications or requests. This might add to its mystique. It just happens! When someone stops working or reduces their earned income, their SSI payment can restart without a new application. As long as someone reports their income regularly and replies to requests of information from Social Security, 1619(b) can be a refreshingly smooth event for people who get SSI.

Keep in mind, 1619(b) only applies to people who have SSI and not other benefits or types of Medicaid. Also, someone might want to consider MAPP if they want to save more than the $2,000 asset limit tied to 1619(b).

Find out more from your local benefits specialist or Social Security office, or just call me if you have questions!

Stephanie Drum
608-246-3444 ext. 229

*Not all the nitty gritty is included about 1619(b), and the information above is specific to Wisconsin.

DVR is on Facebook!

image:Facebook LogoDVR's Facebook presence continues to grow! Join the conversation and get information about upcoming work incentive webinars, disability research news, success stories, the latest in assistive technology ... and so much more!


Some "Promise"-ing Happenings

Promise grant partners continue to gear up for enrollment, which begins in March!

There are many ways you can keep up to date on everything Promise!

image:Facebook Logo image:Twitter Logo image:Tumbler Logo image:Instagram Logo

You can also register for the Promise contact list to receive email updates!

DVR Information Center / Knowledgebase

In the next few months, we are hoping to implement a change to DVR's Knowledgebase in regards to DVR's policy/procedures/etc. by putting materials into a centralized repository to improve search capabilities to hopefully assist staff members with what they are looking for.

With this project, some hyperlinks to these materials may change. If you are having any problems with locating materials (or notice a broken hyperlink) during this transitional period, please contact Audrey Merten. Thanks much!

Thanks for a Job Well Done

Karen Lambright - VRC, Madison

I write this email with extreme gratitude. Your ability to actually hear me, and understand what help I need, has been so needed and you can't imagine how happy I am to work with someone who gets it.

Andrea Christoff - Cold Case Unit

Email from DVR Counselor Antonette Liddy, Milwaukee; in response to a successful closure after CCU was able to verify employment

As you might have been able to tell from the case number, this case has been with DVR for a long time. She was just shy of being a 10 year case. Glad to capture that status 26. She is also on SSDI. Closed it yesterday!

Joshua Johnson - Business Services Consultant, WDA 2

Letter received from a Milwaukee area business

We have been so pleased with the candidates that you and DVR have passed on to us. Particularly, we would like to recognize two of them, (consumer name) and (consumer name). They have been some of the best caregiver Senior Helpers have had in the past few years.

Read the full letter.

Brock Hansen - VRC, Madison

Email from the parent of a consumer

As happy as I am that (consumer name) has found a perfect position at the UW, I am very sad that we have to disconnect from you. You have gone above and beyond to provide her with whatever services deemed necessary for her job search. Knowing that there was someone in her corner made all the difference.

You really changed her life. Thank you for that.

Emily Nyabwari (VRC) and Connie Riemer (CCC) - Wisconsin Rapids

Email from a DVR Service Provider

An opportunity was developed at Prudential Success Realty in Marshfield and a mutual client was a great candidate. Prudential, as a new potential employer, wanted to do a temporary work experience to make sure he was the right fit for their office. The consumer, Prudential, and ODC were ready to start as early as February 3rd, but with the new system of setting up temporary work, there were more hoops to jump through, and the usual waiting period would have pushed the start date ahead to February 24th. Prudential was very disappointed to learn this, as was the consumer, in part because the main contact there is scheduled to have surgery on February 17th, and it will take her out of the office for at least a week. The remainder of the office is skeptical of the program, and we needed the owner to set this up for success.

Emily, Connie, and I connected and I explained the situation. All three of us worked feverishly to complete everything that needed to be completed and with their strong efforts and flexibility, we were able to start the temporary work YESTERDAY! This kept the momentum and enthusiasm going for Prudential, and also allowed the owner to set the stage for the training and how the program will run. I have no doubt this was an essential piece to the chances of a successful outcome.

I just wanted you to know that Emily and Connie were absolutely fantastic to work with on this project and without their attitude of "How can we make this work?" it wouldn't have happened. Their fast-acting efforts, collaboration, and positive thinking were very much appreciated. I always have good experiences with your staff, but this one went above and beyond, and I just felt like it should be noted.

Staff Updates

New Faces/Transfers

  • Whitney Reiter, VR Counselor, Sheboygan
  • Lissette Ortegon, Intern (PROMISE Grant), Central Office
  • Meghana Joshi, Intern (PROMISE Grant), Central Office
  • Kelvin Hogans, VRC, PROMISE Grant (Transfer from Janesville)
  • Lucy Hilgendorf, CCC, PROMISE Grant (Transfer from Milwaukee)
  • Lyssa Frechette, VRC, Racine (Transfer from Milwaukee)
  • Nathan Writz, VR Assistant (LTE), Wisconsin Rapids
  • Constance Woodall-Thompson, VR Assistant (LTE), La Crosse
  • Mike Guentherman, PROMISE Grant Contractor, Central Office


  • Robin Scott, Scanning/Profiler, Central Office
  • Nicole Degner, Consumer Case Coordinator, Madison
  • Daliana Acevedo-Maldonado, LTE VR Assistant, WDA 3

What's New/Updated on the Web

Advance & Reimbursement ERL Updates

These forms have been updated in IRIS and on the Forms webpage (including the Spanish and Hmong translations).

Employment Network Updates:

The following letters - including the Unprotected Body of the Letters Only, Spanish & Hmong versions of the closure/eligibility letters can be accessed from the DVR Forms webpage on the WorkWeb - http://dwdworkweb/dvr/forms/default.htm). The Partnership Plus Employment Networks (ENs) have been updated on these forms and publications.

  • Closure Letter - Not Rehabilitated - SS Recipient (DVR-17156-E)
  • Closure Letter - Rehabilitation - SS Recipient (DVR-17154-E)
  • OOS Eligibility Referral Letter - SS Recipient (DVR-17179-E)

In addition, the following publications were updated as well with these EN updates: