Kenny is a 22-year-old young man who has been working at Wal-Mart for a little over two years now. Before he started working, Kenny was on Social Security and Medicaid and he and his family were concerned about him starting a job and losing his benefits. They did not believe that it would be possible for him to live without his Social Security income. Kenny and his family met the Community Crossroads benefits coordinator and she explained to them that Social Security had several work incentive programs in place that would allow an individual to go to work and see what they could do, and even allow them to try different work experiences without affecting Social Security benefits. Kenny went to Vocational Rehabilitation and then chose Work Opportunities as a vendor to help him find employment. He started out working part time, and as he got more comfortable and learned more skills, more hours were added on. During this time he was able to use the 9 month trial work period which is one of many work incentives through Social Security. During a trial work period, a beneficiary receiving Social Security Disability benefits may test his or her ability to work and still be considered disabled. Community Crossroads also contacted Medicaid and asked for Kenny to be put on the MEAD program. MEAD is a Medicaid eligibility group that allows qualified adults with disabilities who work to continue their Medicaid coverage.
It's been two years and Kenny is now working full time. He no longer collects Social Security and is actually making more money working than he was just receiving his Social Security benefits. He continues to have Medicaid by being on the MEAD program, and his employer is very pleased with the work he does. The best part of all is that Kenny feels like a valued part of the Wal Mart team and member of his community.