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Opportunities in Financial Empowerment

July 29, 2019 4:00 PM | Deleted user

by David Leon, NENA Director

Deputy Direct Workforce Programs,
Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services

Working with beneficiaries to transition their way off cash benefits requires a solid understanding of money principles and financial literacy.

By understanding and coaching financial health and literacy, ENs can add another tool to their toolbox and build a stronger foundation to support beneficiaries.

Financial stress may contribute to depression, insomnia and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, which in turn contribute to depression, insomnia and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Which in turn contribute to depression, insomnia…

In 2013, SHRM reported that 47% of job applications included a credit check. The US Financial Diaries reported that more than 65% of families would prefer stability to increased wages. Inconsistent schedules on hourly wages and decreased access to employer-sponsored health insurance make it more difficult to predict both income and expense for poorer households. This leads people to prefer to keep things the same and hold on to the SSA cash benefit because it is predictable. Financial Fragility is the ability to cope with emergency expenses in a short timeframe. Assisting Ticket to Work clients in these areas may increase job stability and earnings over time.

Our agency is currently sending several staff through an online program in Financial Social Work through the Center for Financial Social Work. Financial Social Work is an interactive and introspective, multidisciplinary approach that helps guide individuals facing financial distress. This holistic process enables participants to examine and improve their relationship with their money. Identifying the origins of a participant’s attitudes toward money encourages developing healthier monetary habits thereby leading to improved financial circumstances. There are five modules and certification upon completion.

The Center for Financial Social Work also offers monthly webinars on various topics related to Financial Social Work. Whether or not your agency chooses to pursue this type of certification, there are many great and free web-based trainings on this topic. Last month’s webinar from the Financial Social Work program focused on money and mental health. Click here to access the replay. Ultimately, supporting beneficiaries to achieve their goal of financial independence and stability requires more than helping them achieve SGA. They need to be excited and prepared for a future of self-support without Social Security cash benefits.


The National Employment Network Association (NENA) serves Employment Networks (ENs), American Job Centers (AJCs), State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies (SVRAs) and other Stakeholders involved in the Social Security Administration's Ticket to Work and Self-Sufficiency Program.

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