Employment Services, Supports, and Resources

“Work is about daily meaning as well as daily bread.”—Studs Terkel

For most of us, work is part of our identity. And for many people, work is an important part of the recovery process. Experience and research have shown that mental health consumers want to work and can work. Some of those individuals will need support in finding and keeping a job; others will not.

Work can have many benefits. It gives structure to our days, can boost self-esteem, and provides income that affords us more choices. It also offers opportunities to be a part of, and give back to, our community.

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Every person. Every talent. Every opportunity.

Planning and Supporting Employment:

  • www.employmentforme.org
    The www.employmentforme.org website, a joint effort of the Maine Dept. of Health and Human Services and the Maine Dept. of Labor, is a comprehensive resource for job seekers/workers with disabilities, employers and service providers.  Click on the above link to get information on wide-ranging topics such as training and apprenticeship opportunities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Post-Secondary Education, Labor Market Information and more...
  • Getting and Keeping a Job
    There are many resources available to Maine residents looking for work.  One of the most comprehensive resources is your local Career Center.  To locate the Career Center near you and/or to search for job openings on line using Maine Job Bank, www.mainecareercenter.com

Maine Can Work: Maine Can Work (MCW) is a seven-part guide to help people with mental illness and/ or co-occurring substance use disorders on the road to or back to employment. This guide is designed to be used by peers  but can be used individually or be a resource for work with your service provider.  The lessons in MCW will give you hope, allow you to think big, and begin to take steps toward your goal of employment. Maine Can Work (PDF)

Services and Resources Available:

  • Working with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) (PDF) – The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services within the Department of Labor offers many resources for individuals seeking employment services and supports. What is Vocational Rehabilitation? (PDF)
  • The Community Employment Services Project: The Community Employment Services Project, funded by the DHHS Office of OBH Mental Health and the DOL Bureau of Rehabilitation Services provides Supported Employment services to individuals eligible for Section 17 and Section 92 MaineCare services (Community Integration and Behavioral Health Homes) throughout the state of Maine. https://www.mmc.org/vocationalservices-mentalhealth
  • Mental Health Psychosocial Clubhouses:  Psychosocial Clubhouses have proven to be a valuable service for some individuals as they move on their pathway to employment. Maine Clubhouses have been recognized internationally for their focus on employment and helping individuals gain transitional employment opportunities and move into supported employment and independent employment. For more information, go to:  http://Clubhousemaine.org
  • 2018: Maine has a MaineCare Option for Workers with Disabilities
    This option (also known as Medicaid Buy-In) allows you to earn more and still keep your MaineCare benefits. This brochure provides eligibility figures for 2018 and contacts for additional information.
  • How Will Work Impact Your Benefits?
    If you are receiving benefits such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), rental subsidies or other benefits it is important to know how income from working would impact those benefits. That information is available statewide at no cost to you through the Work Incentive Planning and Assistance program.  For more information https://mainehealth.org/maine-medical-center/community/vocational-services/benefits-counseling
  • Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) Long Term Vocational Supports
    Some individuals may benefit from long term vocational supports to assist them in maintaining employment.  The type and amount of support needed will vary depending on the individual, and may be provided on or off the job site.  Examples of the type of support provided would include assistance with stress management, time management, and communication skills.
    This service is funded by the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (OBH), and administered by APS Healthcare.  Eligibility for this service is similar to eligibility for Maine Care Section 17 Community Support Services.  For more information see the Policy Manual and link to APS Healthcare below:
    Mental Health Long Term Vocational Support Policy Manual: PDF
  • List of Adult Mental Health Long Term Supported Employment Providers by County

Policies and Information Supporting Employment:

  • Employment First Maine Act - Enacted in 2013 to ensure that Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, and Department of Education offer employment services and supports as the first and preferred service.
  • DHHS Employment Policy: AMHS Practice Guidelines (Word* | PDF*)
    These guidelines explain how the DHHS Employment Policy for Individuals Served, (Policy #DHHS-CS-01-10 approved November 15, 2010) impact the practice of the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) and its contracted agencies.
  • Guidance Memo from OMS, OBH and the Office of the Commissioner
    This guidance memo is issued jointly by the Office of the Commissioner, the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), and the Office of MaineCare Services. The intent of this memo is to provide examples of acceptable activities that a Community Integration worker may provide under Section 17.04-1 Community Integration Services and under Section 17.04-6 Skills Development Services. PDF*

Snapshot 2012: Maine Workers with Disabilities

How many Maine workers have a disability?  How many adults with disabilities are employed?  What services do Maine workers with disabilities use?  Snapshot 2012, a joint project of Maine's DHHS and DOL, is an annual publication that provides the latest employment trends, statistics and information on people with disabilities in Maine.  To download the full report, go to https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/