January 14, 2005
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Jennifer Chavez
Public Information Officer
(505) 476-0393

PED’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and the New Mexico Human Service Department’s Medical Assistance Division Collaborate on Grant for Medicaid Work Incentive Program

(Santa Fe, NM)— Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services awarded the Medical Assistance Division of the New Mexico Human Services Department with new funding through a Medicaid Infrastructure Grant. Over $3.4 million was awarded over four years beginning in 2005. The new grant award is the result of a collaborative effort between the New Mexico Human Service Department’s Medical Assistance Division and Public Education Department’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. The grant will enable people with disabilities to maintain medical benefits while working.

The grant will be used to improve employment opportunities for New Mexico residents with disabilities through the Medicaid buy-in program, Working Disabled Individuals (WDI) Medicaid.

WDI Medicaid, a Medicaid category that began in 2001, serves as a valuable employment incentive for people with disabilities that might otherwise be unable to work. The program provides Medical benefits to eligible recipients with disabilities who are employed. Most participants contribute co-pays for medical services under the plan. Continued eligibility is linked to maintaining employment. It is designed as a step toward on-going employment and increased independence of people with disabilities from state and federal benefit programs.

The grant will aid these agencies in strengthening partnerships with consumers, employers and other state agencies toward making best use of WDI Medicaid as an integral part of New Mexico’s overall service and support for employment of people with disabilities.

For more information contact John Fullinwider at (505) 954-8573 or jfullinwider@state.nm.us