Benefits

 

Dollars and Sense

 

Career Building

Our training is one of the many things that make our program powerful. All Minnesota Opportunity Corps members participate in the nationally recognized, research based Global Career Development Facilitator training which provides them with the tools and resources necessary to help program participants. Opportunity Corps members gain an eye-opening year of experience not only by building relationships, but also by working closely with on-site staff who can offer insight and connections in their field of human services and employment. For members who are interested in a career in the human services field, the hands-on experience is invaluable and boosts any resume. For all others, being part of Opportunity Corps builds other essential career skills such as professional communication, gives entry level individuals real responsibility and provides the impressive AmeriCorps name to their resumes.

 

Deepening your Community Involvement

Serving in an AmeriCorps program is more than volunteering. By committing to a year of service, members build a deeper connection and dedication to their community. The Opportunity Corps encourages members to participate in community service projects and activities throughout the year, becoming more active citizens and furthering their impact beyond their day-to-day service.

 

Biweekly Living Allowance

Members receive a biweekly living allowance (every two weeks). Prior to taxes, the living allowance is $574 for full-time members. Payroll taxes are deducted from your biweekly living allowance. You can estimate the amount of payroll taxes withheld from your living allowance by going to the IRS Tax Witholding Calculator

Applicants must take a careful look at their financial situation to determine if they can afford to commit to a year of service with Minnesota Opportunity Corps.

 

Education Award and Student Loan Forbearance

Members who successfully complete their year of service will receive an education award of $5,815 for full-time members. The education award can be used to pay back federal student loans, the cost of tuition or other educational purposes. The award is a voucher that has a seven-year expiration period and can be used at any accredited post-secondary school. Please note that the Education Award is considered taxable income in the year that it is used.

An additional benefit is available to members who are 55 or older at the time they begin service. They may choose to transfer their education award to a child, grandchild or foster child within seven years. The award must be used within ten years of the member receiving it. 

If a member is making payments to a federally-backed education loan, payments can be put into forbearance during his or her year of service. Upon successful completion of the program, the accrued interest will be paid by the National Service Trust. 

Alternatively, instead of using your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to take a bite out of your student loan debt, consider the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, in which the federal government forgives the balance of your student loans if 1) you have worked full-time for a qualified non-profit for 120 months and 2) have made consistent payments toward your student loan debt. If you are on an income-driven repayment plan, you could potentially save tens of thousands of dollars.  

 

Health Insurance

Full-time members are eligible to enroll in a health insurance plan through the Minnesota Opportunity Corps.

Members are encouraged to review the 2017-18 Health Plan Summary and Dental/Vision Plan Summary to determine if insurance provided by Minnesota Opportunity Corps will meet their health needs during their term of service. 

This insurance does not cover dependents. Using a health care provider "In the network" will save you money. You may search Cigna's website (using the OAP Plan) to find a doctor or a facility in the network. 

Have more questions? Please read through our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

 

Childcare Assistance

Full-time members may qualify to receive child care assistance. The program is administered through GAP Solutions, Inc. There are income requirements that must be met in order to be eligible for the program. The Child Care Assistance Program Information Guide provides more details regarding the application process as well as rules and regulations surrounding the program's administration. 

 

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