DSP Spotlight: Hannah Pannell

I have been at Advance for over a year and a half, and it has been amazing! I started out as residential services at Hillcrest and while I was incredibly nervous at first, I soon fell in love with the job and people there became my second family. As everyone knows, there nothing quite like a hug from Brandi N or spending a day with Amy H! My year there was awesome, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. When HC closed down, I thought I would never have those same connections, but 905 proved me to be very wrong. The new individuals I work with are just as amazing, and they too hold a special place in my heart. Advance is so different from any job I’ve ever had and I’m so thankful for the day that Paige came to my class and told us about how great it would be to work here, because she was right! I am a student as SDSU and am pursuing a degree in Psychology and Pre-OT and for a while I thought I wanted to work with kids, but this job has definitely changed that for me. I hope to someday work with people as wonderful as everyone I’m met throughout my years here. No matter where you are in Advance, there always amazing staff and people ready to brighten up your day! 

Today (only 6 months late), we celebrated Liz Bell on her 10 Year Anniversary with ADVANCE!!! ❤🙌Liz has held many positions over those years, and in all of them she has worked hard, provided the best cares & supports, and been a true advocate for the people at ADVANCE! She has a passion for people and is following that by pursuing her nursing degree at SDSU. We are so grateful for you!!! Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication over the last 10 years! You are very much appreciated!!!

By: Amanda Hemmestad

Since September we have had a large group of folks who had interest in voting attend a variety of classes to help prepare them to make the most informed decision based on their own morals, beliefs, and political stances.The classes ranged from the History of the United States, Voting Rights, learning about all of the candidates, Initiated Measures, and Amendments, as well as everything on how to vote. 

Michelle, Matthew, and Frances fulfilled their civic responsibility and voted for what they believed in.

By: Amanda Hemmestad


Can You Tell Me How To Get To Sesame Street?

The folks at 717 can! Everyone had a great time dressing up as different characters from Sesame Street - Oscar the Happy Grouch, Cookie Monster (and a giant cookie, of course), Big Bird, Elmo, The Count of Sesame Street, Bert, Ernie, and Rubber Duckie! Sydney, Logan and Colton all joined in the fun by dressing up as Yip Yips, which according to Tom are some sort of aliens who hang out on Sesame Street.

By: Jacki Turner

Big Shout Out to Lorali, Sherry, and Frances for helping put on a presentation at the Boys & Girls Club yesterday.  We helped explain what ADVANCE does, what it means to have a disability and how that won't stop people from living life to the fullest, and got a lot more colorful signatures on the Spread the Word to End the Word pledge banner.  We talked to probably 70 kids who were in 1st through 5th grade and quite a few seemed pretty excited to chat with us.

By: Justin Anderson


How People with Disabilities Can Start Planning for Future Financial Security

Guest post by Ed Carter with AbleFutures.org

People that have a disability — especially one that prevents them from working or causes major mobility issues — are much more likely to need medical and/or custodial care as they age. While there are programs (both public and private) available to financially assist those with disabilities, you can’t just rely on having the financial cover when the time comes. Here’s what you should do right now to begin planning for better security later in life.

Start by getting a handle on what you need

It seems like a given, but many people don’t have a solid grasp on their income versus their expenditures. Before you can even start to think about the future, you need to know your baseline budget. How much do you need to bring in through various income sources in order to cover the cost of living with your disability? Use a basic budget worksheet to get started. After you’re done, begin looking at places where you can trim the fat.

Figure out your Medicare enrollment

Medicare parts A and B will be able to help you with the medical (and potential hospital) side of your disability expenses. If you decide to sign up for parts C and/or D, you may also get coverage for your prescription medications, vision, dental, and more auxiliary services. It’s worth taking some time to learn more about the different plans.

If you’re unsure about what Medicare coverage you can receive in your state, take a look at a state-by-state guide. You can find your state, and you’ll be presented with websites and contact information for the in-state organizations that can put you on the right track.

Know the difference between your governmental disability benefits

If you qualify for government disability benefits, it’s important you know your various options. It’s not all the same thing. First, your Social Security Disability insurance pays out if you worked long enough and paid enough Social Security taxes to be “insured.” Next, you have Supplemental Security Income, which helps lower-income people with disabilities; it has nothing to do with how much you’ve paid into Social Security.

There are also dozens of smaller programs that can help. Eligibility often depends on your state of residence and veteran status.

Consider your need for long-term care

Even if you plan to be independent as you age, you may need some level of long-term care at some point. This could mean at-home nursing or medical help or even assistance modifying your home to allow for better mobility. Paying for it can be a struggle. It’s important you know Medicare will not help with these specific costs. You should consider long-term care insurance—look into whether you qualify for Medicaid (Medicare’s low-income cousin that helps with this sort of thing) and whether your current insurance allows you to open a Health Savings Account.

Start making home modifications gradually

Home modifications can help you stay in your home longer — even with major disabilities. These modifications can range from wheelchair ramps, widened doors and hallways, stair lifts, grab bars and handles, gripped flooring, and much more. These can be costly, but you can help yourself out by getting an early start. Put together your modified home piece by piece.

As you age, the costs associated with your disability will likely rise. That’s why it’s vital you take the time now to begin planning for how you’ll cover those costs when they begin to increase. Remember: Your base health insurance may not cover everything you need — especially if what you need involves home modifications or long-term care. You must take an inventory of what you think your expenses will be, and find alternative ways to make up the difference.

Over the years, Ed Carter has worked with clients of all ages, backgrounds, and incomes. About 10 years into his career, he saw a need for financial planners who specialize in helping individuals and families living with disabilities. Regardless of their nature or how long they’ve affected someone, physical and mental disabilities often cause stress and confusion when it comes to financial planning.  

Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash