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Janice is is a 30-year-old woman with an intellectual disability. She was working with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) on her vocational goals when her MRC counselor realized that Janice was having difficulty spending within her means. After warning her about needing to save money, the counselor referred Janice to CORD for skills training on budgeting through the Vocational Rehabilitation Independent Living (VRIL) program.
Jessica Simmons, CORD’s Independent Living Advocate (pictured above) who works on the VRIL program, began skills training sessions with Janice using CORD’s Stretching your Dollar presentation. She taught Janice the difference between needs and wants, basic budgeting and tips on saving money. When the skills training sessions turned into more detailed budgeting lessons, Jessica realized that Janice had taken her MRC counselor’s warning to save money to heart but had saved so much money that she was in danger of losing her MassHealth. Jessica told Janice about ABLE Accounts which are specialized accounts that allow people with disabilities to save money that won’t affect their benefits. Janice is opening her own ABLE account and can continue to save money without endangering her access to healthcare.
If you are working with MRC and need assistance in non-vocational areas, ask your MRC counselor to refer you to CORD. If you’re not working with MRC but need help with budgeting or ABLE accounts, contact CORD at 508-775-8300.