The supported employment approach seems to be an effective way to help individuals with serious mental illness get a job and earn money. Yet, concerns about losing one’s financial benefits are often expressed by individuals seeking employment assistance. How can those concerns be effectively addressed to help individuals engage with supported employment?

The first step for you or your relative who is seeking employment is to make an appointment with a supported employment specialist. During the meeting, you or your relative needs to describe the current financial benefits package in detail, prior employment history, and current financial situation. Laws regarding changes in financial benefits that result after your or your relative is employed depend on the type of employment obtained (e.g., part-time vs full-time work) and length of time employed, which can vary state by state. The employment specialist will advise you or your relative about possible loss of financial benefits before starting the supported employment process.

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