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Imposing Work Requirements on Medicaid Recipients: Clubhouses Have a Better Solution

Posted on 02/26/18

From Executive Director, Lori D'Angelo, Ph.D.

There is currently a movement afoot for states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients (although Ohio is not yet among the 10 states that have applied for a waiver to do so). Unfortunately, work requirements for Medicaid don’t advance the goal of employment for many people with mental illness. Studies show that such requirements do not lead to long-term, stable employment—but they do result in substantial costs and red-tape to enforce them.

Employment statistics for those with mental illness are discouraging: only 1 in 5 is employed and the number is lower yet for those with the diagnosis of schizophrenia. To address this critical problem, Magnolia Clubhouse (and Clubhouses around the world) help men and women with mental illness find jobs through a program designed for success.

Most people who live with mental illness want to work and could work with the proper supports. The Clubhouse has a proven method to help people enter (or re-enter) the workforce. By working closely with our members at every stage of the employment process—from interviewing to job training—we set them up for success by providing the support that they require. At Magnolia Clubhouse, we see this success achieved by so many of our members every single day.

If the resources used for the enforcement of a mandate could be redirected to create employment programs that are proven to be effective, so many more adults who live with mental illness could join the workforce. This vulnerable population deserves to be given opportunities, not penalized.

Living with mental illness?

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