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Thad’s past work experience has included working for the City of Watertown watering flowers for six years, working at Dakota Bodies and Watertown Livestock as a janitor and working in the vocational workshop at New Horizons. 


Thad has a mild intellectual disability, depression and epilepsy.  He receives SSI and Medicaid as well as SSDI and Medicare.  Thad applied for services through the Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) and met with a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.  Thad utilized the Ticket to Work program, which assists an individual with increasing their financial independence and self-sufficiency, reducing their reliance on disability benefits.


Through Vocational Rehabilitation Services and the Ticket to Work program, Thad received career counseling, job placement assistance, on-the-job training and benefits specialist services.  Through this process, he identified his employment goal to become a dishwasher. 


Thad also received supports from New Horizons, a division of the Human Service Agency, a community support provider.  New Horizons worked closely with Vocational Rehabilitation Services, employers, businesses and Thad to identify an employment opportunity matching his goal.   


A position was identified at Papa Murphy’s, and Thad started working there part-time as a dishwasher.  Thad has a wonderful natural support system in place.  Two of his supervisors had worked with him before as job coaches, and they were able to provide needed support on the job.  He is approaching his one-year anniversary at Papa Murphy’s, and the manager at Papa Murphy’s shared that “Thad is always on time and he is dedicated to his job.  He fits in perfectly!” 


Thad lives independently on his earnings and SSI/SSDI.  He currently lives with his girlfriend in an apartment and receives assistance with medications.  Thad has a great relationship with his mother, and they meet on a regular basis for lunch. 


Thad is now engaged.  He enjoys bowling, wrestling, hanging out with friends, and singing karaoke every week. 

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Do you have questions about how employment might impact your benefits? If so, send them to wipahelp@tie.net.