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Public Benefits Overview Participants
Rosemary French
May 2017
Modules 1 and 2


Public Benefits Overview (In person Module 2), June 22-23 will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church,1757 N. Lake, Pasadena, California 91104, 626-794-7141.
Directions     Lodging information .

Both days of the training begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. and end at 5:30 p.m. We expect you to attend the entire training.

Please arrive between 8:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m
. to receive your materials. Continental breakfast and lunch are provided for both days.

Everyone's participation is integral to everyone else's learning.  Please arrange your travel so that you arrive on time and stay throught the end of the training.  We end promptly at 5:30 p.m.  Let us know if we can help you in any way.



Module 1 Begins Today
Welcome to PBO Module 1. Module 1 begins today and contains key information that serves as context for Module 2 – the in-person Overview of Public Benefits on June 22-23.

The information and skills included in PBO’s modules are based on achieving the competencies that public benefits experts have identified as critical for people doing benefits work. Completing Module 1 gives you the means to accelerate your learning in Module 2.

Interactive and immersive, PBO involves you through simulations and working through practical problems with expert feedback. We use short lecture to explain concepts that are best explained orally and in person. We do not barrage you with details that you will forget the next day. As to the details, we provide one large book of material that will refresh your memory and help you fill in with details while on the job.

Benchmark’s years of experience, learning science and past participant feedback all tell us that our methods result in deep, meaningful learning. It provides principles and experiences that you can build on in your practice. Armed with reference materials and people you can call on for help, you’ll leave PBO ready to help your clients and their communities.

Let’s get going!
Here are the Module 1 exercises. We ask that you complete them before attending Module 2. We will be discussing information in Exercises 1-3 on Thursday morning; Exercises 4-6 on Friday morning.

Please bring the materials that you downloaded to the training. You need not download History and Administration of Public Benefit Programs and The People's Guide.

Exercises (Discussed Thursday, June 22)

Exercise 1
To get a quick overview of benefits, review
The People's Guide to Welfare, Health & Other Services. Then take a
Walk Through The People's Guide, The Sally Cordova Story and answer the questions. 

Practicing benefits law is a complex endeavor. The People's Guide describes the major public benefit programs from a client perspective—a good first learning layer for advocates. Learning about the fundamental institutions and laws in this way gives a glimpse into low-income people's lives and their struggles for the "help" that is available to them.

Exercise 2
Please read:
A. History and Administration of Public Benefit Programs

B. It Is Expensive to Be Poor
C. Policy Basics: Introduction to Supplemental Security Income
D. How to Expand Our Nation’s Most Effective Anti-Poverty Program

E. 20 Years Later, Welfare Overhaul Resonates for Families and Candidates
F. Who is Dependent on Welfare (video)

These articles present public benefit issues at 30,000 feet – a useful perspective that you don’t often get in your day-to-day work.

Exercise 3

Please answer the questions set out in Public Benefits Overview Introduction --Day One and bring it with you to the training.

Exercises (Discussed Friday, June 23)

Exercise 4
Please reread History and Administration of Public Benefits Programs. At what step of the welfare cycle illustrated on page 3 would you place American society today?

Here’s a chance to think about the bigger context in which you do your work.

Exercise 5
Please read our summary of Welfare Myths: Fact or Fiction? Exploring the Truth About Welfare (May 1996) and The Welfare Advocate's Challenge: Fighting Historic Racism in the New Welfare System.

These articles discuss discrimination and bias as they arise in a public benefits practice and how to approach these issues in your community.

Exercise 6
Please answer the questions set out in Public Benefits Overview Introduction -- Day Two and bring it with you to the training.

We know you will enjoy Module 1. We look forward to meeting you at our in-person training beginning June 22.

 Please call us at 415-695-9296 if you have any questions. 

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