Photo of RogerRoger Shelley

Roger Shelley is an Organizational Consultant with the Rural Institute at the University of Montana. During his tenure with the university, Roger has provided technical assistance and training programs for organizations engaged in supplying supported employment services to people with severe disabilities. In his most recent projects, Roger has assisted people to become self-employed through a Department of Labor project operated by the Montana Job Training Partnership and the universities in Montana and Wyoming. During the past 6 years, Roger has written and taught the writing of PASS plans in 12 states including Utah, and has co-written a training manual outlining Social Security Work Incentives and their application to facilitate employment for people with disabilities. For the past 15 months, he has been a trainer and facilitator on the RISES project which focuses on the use of PASS plans for school aged children in order to supply them more comprehensive employment services.

Rogerís background includes Fortune 500 sales, marketing, and personnel training, career planning for American Native populations, small business ownership and operations, and rural SE program management. He has worked on joint training projects with Montana State University, the University of Montana, the University of Wyoming, Minot State University, the University of Maine, Partners in Policy Making in Oklahoma and Nevada, and all of the states in Region 8, in the areas of employment development, transition from school to work, career planning, and community development. Roger has trained regional SE personnel in the development and mobilization of statewide peer training systems and in partnership with Dakota Works, Pierre, South Dakota and the South Dakota Division of Rehabilitation Services established a private provision system for SE services. As a consultant, Roger has been active in workshop conversion projects in the capacity of administrative team building, organizational goal development, customer service, and community resource development.

As a resident, and former city councilman of Red Lodge, Montana, Roger has a unique perspective of rural supported employment implementation and the capacity of communities to support citizens with disabilities. His areas of professional interest and expertise include:

Contact Information
PO Box 1651
Red Lodge, Montana 59068
Phone: 406-446-2065
Fax: 406-446-2065

Social Security Work Incentives
(written by Roger for a presentation in Utah)

The Social Security Administration has been involved in the employment of people with disabilities through work incentives since the emergence of the Medicaid legislation in the early 1970's. Work Incentives apply to both Title II (Social Security Disability Insurance and Social Security for Disabled Adult Children) and Title XVI (Supplemental Security Insurance or SSI).

Perhaps the best known incentive is the Plan to Achieve Self Support or PASS. The PASS plan sets aside money to pay for goods and services which allow a person to become more self supporting (or work). Items which may be purchased include, but are not limited to: education and training, machinery and tools, work clothing, transportation, including the purchase of vehicles, computers and related equipment, personal services related to seeking, securing, and maintaining work, investing in businesses or self employment, and relocating in order to procure employment. The plans must be in writing, have an occupational or job search goal, conform to time constraints or milestones, and list purchases and purchasing time lines. PASS plans are approved through Social Security at the regional level. All plans may be submitted to a local office and forwarded to Denver or be sent directly to the Denver office. In all instances, involvement of local Vocational Rehabilitation counselors and/or school personnel is recommended in the process. PASS plans may be written for anyone receiving Title II or Title XVI SSA benefits. Recently, the first PASS plan for a 14 year old child was written and approved.

Another Work Incentive for children is the Student Earned Income Exclusion or SEIE. This work incentive allows children with disabilities who are attending school to earn a limited income without losing any money from their SSI checks with no fear of loss of Medicaid benefits. Impairment Related Work Expense (IRWE) is another form of work incentive which allows expenses relating to employment of people with disabilites to be subtracted directly from their monthly earnings to increase their benefit check amounts.

During the program, all of these work incentives will be discussed at length with the emphasis being placed upon the writing of PASS plans, strategies, and approval requirements.