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California, in an effort to assist its disabled residents to improve their situation, created the California Health Incentives Improvement Project (CHIIP). Its goal is to improve self-sufficiency and employment of the disabled. In particular, it wants to improve health care and eliminate personal assistance barriers.

In the not too distant past disabled people who wanted to work were caught in a Catch-22. When the returned to work they gained a paycheck, but lost their medical benefits. Frequently the cost of replacing the medical insurance benefits cost them most, if not all, of their paycheck. California’s 250% Medi-Cal Working Disabled program was designed to eliminate that Catch-22. The California Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and CHIIP are the people to thank.

The problem with so many agencies available to help the needs of the disabled it can be difficult to know which agency can help with what problem. CHIIP aims to be something of a central hub so someone with a disability will know where to get the help they need.

An important part of helping someone with a disability is to help them become self sufficient–and that includes employment. To that end CHIIP is also focusing their efforts of how to bring skilled ‘disabled’ workers to the work place and to better understand what the needs of employers are currently and to project their future needs. In a sense it is their effort to find the employers needs and to help fill it.

CHIIP has prepared a frequently asked questions document about the Medi-Cal Working Disabled Program. Approximately 2 dozen questions are answered and if you don’t see your question answered the last part of the document includes a list of County Coordinators. Their site also has an updated County Coordinators list, which is in a Word document file. Because of security issues (read that as viruses), Disability Happens has converted the list into a PDF format.

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