Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find an affordable place to live?
› What is the Regional Center and what services do they provide?
› How do I find other agencies that provide similar services to East Bay Innovations in the East Bay?
› Does getting a job and making more money effect my SSI (Supplemental Security Income)?
› What is the Department of Rehabilitation?
› How do I receive services from East Bay Innovations?

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How can I find an affordable place to live?

It is important to contact your local housing authority as soon as possible to try to get on the waiting list to receive a Section 8 subsidy. Section 8 is a program through Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that provides rental subsidies to people who are low-income. With a Section 8 subsidy it is possible to pay as low as 30% of your income towards rent and the Section 8 program will pay the rest. It is not easy to get a Section 8 subsidy however. Usually it is necessary to be on a waiting list for 2 to 4 years before you receive the subsidy. So contact your local housing authority now! The following is a list of local housing authorities:

» Berkeley Housing Authority
» Oakland Housing Authority
» City of Alameda Housing Authority
» Livermore Housing Authority
» Alameda County Housing Authority


If you have specific questions regarding housing call Tom Heinz at 510-618-1580 ext. 11.

What is the Regional Center and what services do they provide?

The Regional Centers are private non-profit organizations contracted with the State to provide case management services and to fund an array of services to people with developmental disabilities. There are 21 Regional Centers around the State. Regional Center of the East Bay serves approximately 8,000 people with developmental disabilities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Regional Centers provide the following services:

» Diagnosis and evaluation to determine eligibility for Regional Center services and to develop appropriate individual service plans.
» Case management services for all clients including individual program planning, referrals to appropriate services, advocacy, and counseling.
» Monitor the provision and quality of services.
» Fund services if they are not available any other way.

To receive Supported Living or Independent Living Services or Supported Employment Services from East Bay Innovations, you must be a client of the Regional Center.

For more information, contact Regional Center of the East Bay at 510-383-1200.  Or visit their website at www.rceb.org.

How do I find other agencies that provide similar services to East Bay Innovations in the East Bay?

Ask your regional center case manager for a list of service providers in your area. If you wish, you can request that your regional center case manager help you to contact potential service provider agencies and set up a time to meet with them so you can ask questions and make an informed choice.

Does getting a job and making more money effect my SSI (Supplemental Security Income)?

Yes it can effect your SSI amount but except in rare circumstances a job will not result in your SSI or MediCal benefits being terminated. If you receive SSI only, the following example explains the impact wages will have on your benefits. In the vast majority of situations, even after SSI reduces benefits your total income per month (wages + SSI) will be more with a job than without one.

Example:
You make $500 in gross wages per month in your job.
Before your job began you received $860 per month from SSI.
When you start your job you should immediately report your estimated gross wages per month to your local SSI office and send in your paycheck stubs to the SSI office every month. SSI will adjust your SSI check in the following way:

How SSI calculates your new benefit amount:
$ 500 gross wages
- $65 (SSI considers the first $65 dollars allowable)
$ 435
- $20 (SSI allows an additional $20 for gifts or wages)
$ 415

divided by 2
$ 207 (amount to be deducted from SSI)

Deduction of SSI benefits:
$ 860
- $207
$653/mo. (SSI remaining)

Total income per month after SSI reduction:
$653 (SSI) + $500 wages = $1153 per month

Previous to getting the job income the person’s monthly income was just SSI or $860 per month.

If you are a SSI recipient, getting a job and making money does not impact eligibility for MediCal Benefits.

What is the Department of Rehabilitation?

Department of Rehabilitation is a State agency that assists people with disabilities to become employed. DOR serves people of all disabilities not just developmental disabilities. However, DOR does provide the initial funding for Employment Services. Employment Services assist people with developmental disabilities to find employment and then, agencies like EBI provide a job coach to help the person to learn the job and be successful. To receive employment services from EBI you must become a client of the Department of Rehabilitation. EBI can help you connect with DOR.

How do I receive services from East Bay Innovations?

For more information about receiving services from EBI, please call 510-618-1580:

» Employment Services: Lori Kotsonas, Director, extension 15
» Independent Living Services: Sam Covey, Director, extension 25
» Supported Living Services: Christine Grabowski, Director, extension 18

Please be aware that some of EBI’s services may be unable to serve new people at this time. If this is the case you may ask the Program Director if you can be placed on a waiting list. If the program is taking new referrals, than you should call you regional center case manager to ask them to make a formal referral for you to East Bay Innovations. The Program Director will review the information your case manager sends and call you to set up a time to meet with you. Each EBI program has a specific entrance criterion for new clients. The Program Director can explain the entrance criteria to you.