Florida s Path to Self- Employment

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1 Florida s Path to Self- Employment Beth Keeton The Center for Social Capital GRIFFIN-HAMMIS, LLC

2 Why Customized Self- Employment?

3 Self-Employment: A Mainstream Approach to Business Self-Employment rate growing at more than 20% annually Micro-enterprises generated over 40% of all new jobs in last decade Small business creates more jobs in US than the Fortune 500 (Wehman, 2006)

4 Self-Employment and Persons with Disabilities Historically self-employed at higher rate US Census, % people with disabilities 7.8% general labor force Proven to be a viable employment outcome, regardless of disability type

5 FL VR: CBTAC Program Goal: Screen customers in not out of SE Develop supports for all gap areas Statewide provider certification program Providers trained to support all key areas of business development Works in collaboration with existing resources Ongoing TA available Resource development

6 Florida DVR: CBTAC Provider certification standards & process Comprehensive policy revision Tools, handbooks, Desktop Reference for Counselors Statewide counselor training Networking meetings Ongoing TA & support

7 FL DVR: Progress to Date Over 100 Self-Employment Providers Online certification & recertification program Increase in Self-Employment Referrals Increase in Self-Employment Outcomes Continuation of Capacity Building Efforts: Coordination with other state systems Technical Assistance for VR Counselors Networking meetings throughout the state

8 Trainings and Resources Online Resources /VCU: Online Certification Program Essential Learning: Start-Up USA: CBTAC website (under development) Making Self-Employment Work for People with Disabilities (Griffin & Hammis, 2003)

9 The Myth of the Entrepreneur Has entrepreneurial mindset & personality Performs all tasks, at all times independently Develops industry skills for years prior to launch Takes significant financial risk Works hours/week

10 How would most entrepreneurs with complex disabilities fare against this list?

11 GRIFFIN-HAMMIS ASSOCIATES, LLC Joe KS DDC: $9,000 KS VR: $4,000 PASS: $12,000 Gross Sales over $70,000/Year Net Income over $12,000/Year

12 Benefits of Self-Employment Flexibility in design Businesses grown specifically around individual Planning for support is inherent part of process Potential for greater financial rewards Unique opportunities with SSA benefits Challenges job scarcity and tight labor market assumptions in ways that benefit entire community

13 Customized Self-Employment: Essential Elements Business Team Discovery Feasibility Assessment Resource Planning Business Plan Development

14 Discovery Foundation for all CE outcomes Goal is to get to know person Identify skills, capacities, interests Learn about social networks and connection Not business concept development! If done well, will reveal the path to business concepts

15 Hallmarks of Discovery Structured Process Action-oriented (requires verbs!) Skill-based and skill-driven Leads to identification of: Ideal conditions for employment Contributions, capacities, and skills Support needs

16 Linking Discovery to Business Concept Development Identify vocational themes & cross themes Informational interviewing Utilization of networks and connections Go where the career makes sense Find Fish Bob

17 Assessing Feasibility: Foundation Knowledge of Market/Industry Based on market research Knowledge of individual Interests, skills, strengths Types of support needed Knowledge of Team Supports available All must be considered in relation to each other in order to determine if business concept is viable

18 Terri Perks of Self-Employment

19 The Path to Self-Employment John DJ Smooth

20 Resource Planning Variety of programs that can support selfemployment Individual benefits assessment is critical Significant opportunities exist within SSA benefits programs

21 SSI: PESS Under a rule called Property Essential to Self- Support (PESS): A sole proprietorship or partnership can have unlimited wealth excluded from resource limit Property must be in current use: Had been in use, and reasonably expected use will resume w/in 12 months of last use 12 month extension possible Consider the possibilities

22 GRIFFIN-HAMMIS ASSOCIATES, LLC Glen HI VR: $12,000 PASS: $9,000 Gross Sales over $80,000/Year Net Income over $30,000/Year

23 SSI & Medicaid Section 1619(b): Medicaid eligibility can continue even after reaching the break-even point if cash benefit lost due to earnings (other req. still apply) Individual thresholds may be established that exceed the state figure FL 2011 Threshold: $28,753

24 Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) PASS allows individuals to: Set aside money for a self-employment goal Have resources over the asset limit Maintain Medicaid eligibility Individuals contribute funds NOT SSI check!!! SSI benefits can increase to full FBR

25 Self-Employment & PASS PASS can cash-flow by paying for: Equipment, employment supports Virtually any business expense (and then some!) Lasts a minimum of 18 months Requires business plan Financial projections for life of PASS + 1 year

26 PASS Example: Earned Income Beneficiary: James Business: Web Design Avg. Monthly NESE: $1100 SSI Cash Benefit: $167 (eligible for full FBR)

27 PASS Calculation: Earned Income

28 PASS Example: Unearned Income Beneficiary: Natalia Business: Clothing Design SSDI Cash Benefit: $420 SSI Cash Benefit: $274 (eligible for full FBR)

29 PASS Calculation: Unearned Income

30 SSDI: Self-Employment Work Incentives Unpaid Help Cost of unpaid help deducted from NESE Reduces amount of NESE that counts Unincurred Business Expenses Costs deducted from NESE Depreciated or full value Can significantly reduce countable income

31 Other Programs Supporting Self- Employment Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Family Self-Sufficiency Programs One-Stop Centers Medicaid Waivers

32 Griffin-Hammis Associates, LLC Business By Disability Type Based on Sample of 76

33 Griffin-Hammis Associates, LLC Gross Income 76 Business Sample $4,800 $28,241 $39712 $130,000 Average Gross Revenue: $28,241 Omitting 1 $900,000 Business

34 Griffin-Hammis Associates, LLC Individual Funding Sources $99,395 $737,600 $59,000 $33,200 $394,600 $347,000 $474,925 Sample 76 Businesses: Total Start-up Investment $2,145,000

35 Wrapping It Up Final Thoughts? Questions??

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