It may seem like there is “no way out” of the cycle you are in—you want to better your knowledge and skills, and move to a higher position or wage at work, but the increase in pay doesn’t make up for the public assistance benefits you would lose.

Don’t miss that next career step

Don’t miss the next rung in your ladder to achieving your dreams. Learn how you can get by without public assistance while moving yourself toward your career and financial goals.

Evaluate your situation

“I sit down with employees in this dilemma and we make a list of pros and cons of what their job is now compared to the one they might be getting,” said April Hall, success coach for the Southwest Michigan ERN. “If public assistance is lost, I help them find other resources to supplement their income.”

Create a new budget

Your success coach can help create a new budget by cutting out things you don’t need such as cable, internet, eating out, etc. “If they are losing Medicaid and need prescriptions, I send them resources on how to get those cheaper,” said April. “Places like the health department and community health centers go by a sliding fee scale according to your income. Look at things from a different perspective for solutions.

Related article: “Examining, Understanding, and Mitigating the Benefits Cliff Effect” by Pedro Perez.

Angela Vander Hulst is communications director of Michigan ERN and ERN USA, where their motto is “Empowering employment by improving employee retention and productivity.” You can also check them out on Facebook.

Interested in more sustainability efforts for the business sector? Check out the Addressing the Challenges of Poverty national conference!