Before the State of Massachusetts closed it's workshops, my daughter worked in one five days a week for subminimum pay. She also had a job cleaning the tables in the cafeteria for one half hour a day at minimum wage. She made enough money that every month after reporting her wages her SSI check would be lowered-not by a lot but it would be lowered. You are allowed to make 85 dollars a month free and clear and after that the government takes fifty cents of every dollar you earn out of your SSI check. I'm not complaining about it I'm just illustrating a point. You CAN earn enough in a sheltered workshop to affect your SSI. After the workshops closed, her facility moved my daughter and a lot of others to the factory from which the sheltered workshop work came from. There were other jobs there too that payed minimum wage but my daughter did the subminimum wage work five days a week. The state DDS said it still looked like a sheltered workshop to them so they had to shut it down. The minimum wage jobs moved to a place in NH. Her facility next tried job sharing. They could have five people a day go to the factory and get paid minimum wage for the work they use to get paid subminimum wage. The only problem was that a lot more than five people use to do this work. So in order to keep as many people working as possible, they came up with job sharing the five positions. My daughter now went two days a week and got paid minimum wage. The other three days were spent in a CBDS program. This was ok for about ten months then for some reason the factory said it was moving it's production facility to Mexico. There was another job sharing opportunity that came up so she got to try it. Right away there was a production schedule to meet that she couldn't handle. There really wasn't time to learn the job before you were expected to perform. Some people could do it. My daughter could not. So now she is in CBDS five days a week. Her facility, knowing how much her check means to her, gave her back the job of washing the cafeteria tables for one half hour. The only problem is that other people need jobs too so now she job shares and washes the tables three days a week for one half hour instead of five days. We still submit her pay to the Government but she no longer makes enough to have it taken out of her SSI. Her facility is looking for other job opportunities but they are few and far between. So this is our transition story away from subminimum wage. If I was in charge I would bring back the sheltered workshops to Massachusetts. Unfortunately I'm not so I can only ask you to look at our situation and let other states keep theirs.
Idea No. 2083