I'm typing away while my 12 Orange County students are taking their final exam of the Pacific Clinics Benefits Advocacy Certification Course. It is always so gratifying to see, after several weeks of intensive study, everybody hunkering down to answer the 50 questions of the test.
As I explain to them throughout the course, this is not about rote memory. It is about using all resources at their disposal to assist with navigating the system and helping to solve problems as they arise.
The folks in my classes have not been hired by their employer to be Benefits Planners. They take this class to enhance their case management skill sets so that the consumer and his/her family will be able to make better informed decisions about public healthcare coverage and income benefits and, most importantly, the impact the earned income may have on those benefits.
(They're never "lost" due to employment, by the way; only improved, although the urban mythis about benefits and work frighten most recipients away from the prospect of a job.)
I am proud of the fact that Pacific Clinics recognizes the necessity for this information to be passed onto its service providers. I am also very proud of the fact that I am charged with the effort.
I'll let you know later how everyone did.