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GHA: Self-Employment and Benefits

October 25, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify and describe the differences between SSI and Title II – SSDI benefits.
  2. Identify three core components in supporting individuals who receive disability benefits to reduce their reliance on benefits
  3. Recall the success story of an individual who decreased their reliance on disability benefits

Presenter Bios:

Julie McComas, Senior Associate – Julie McComas has been providing individualized and customized support to people with disabilities since the early 1990s. Most recently, her work has included providing innovative direct support for job seekers and workers, as well as training and technical assistance to employers, providers, and government organizations. Julie’s background in public service includes extensive work in Social Security law and policy, along with leadership in vocational rehabilitation projects and programs. She has experience in microenterprise development, organizational change leadership, adult and transition education, person-centered planning, and customized long-term supports for work success.

Dustin Clark, Graphic Designer – My name is Dustin Clark, and I am a 28-year-old graphic designer living in Columbus, Ohio. I have a degree in Digital Design & Graphics from Columbus State Community College, and a degree in Visual Communication Design from OSU. I am currently working from home, helping out the design team at Muscular Dystrophy Association with a variety of projects. It’s a great fit for me, since I myself have Becker Muscular Dystrophy. I’ve always wanted to use my design skills to project messages I believe in, and bringing attention to MDA is a great example of just that!

Suzanne R Paulson, MS, CRC, CPWIC joined the IVRS Resource Team in February 2019 as the Benefits Planning Resource Manager. Prior to this job Suzie worked as a Coach & Compliance Monitor for Goodwill Industries International providing technical assistance in nine states to 17 sub-grantees who provided employment services to older workers through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Until June 2015, she was the Director of Employment Initiatives at the Iowa Department on Aging where she managed the Iowa SCSEP program as well as a collaborative employment initiative with Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Iowa Department on Aging. This initiative placed an employment specialist in each of Iowa’s area agencies on aging serving those over 55 with disabilities. Suzie was a Social Security Benefits planner under the Iowa Work Incentives Planning & Assistance Grant from 2006-2012. Suzie continues to donate some of her time to maintaining the Iowa WINS website at www.iowawins.org. This site is unique and offers SSI calculators that help individuals receiving SSI and working to understand exactly how their work activity will affect their cash benefit. Suzie has her Master’s Degree from Drake University in Rehabilitation/Mental Health Counseling and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and a certified Community Work Incentives Benefits Counselor through VCU/SSA.


October 25, 2022
2:00 pm - 2:45 pm