Fact sheet

Compensating consumers and considerations for public benefit recipients

Community & consumer engagement Public benefits

One major challenge in compensating consumers is the looming concern of lost public benefits.

Many people living with complex health and social needs receive federal and/or state benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), SNAP, Medicaid, and subsidized housing. For those individuals, receiving or retaining additional income can jeopardize benefit eligibility.

In this memo, Jeremy Spiegel, Esq. and Ashley Maddison, Esq. of the Rutgers Law School/Camden Coalition Medical-Legal Partnership and Evelyne Kane, Program Manager of Community Engagement, outline ways organizations can fairly compensate lived-experience experts without jeopardizing their eligibility for federal or state benefits. These include working creatively within the current legal confines for compensation, as well as advocating for policies that end the “benefits cliff.”