Spotlight Aleyda Toruno

Spotlight Aleyda Toruno

 

DRC Staff Spotlight

Working at DRC is more than just a job - it is a rare opportunity to do what you are good at while making a difference!

Learn more about our staff & working at DRC.

 
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Aleyda Toruno

Work Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) Project Director

 

“I love being able to help clients so they can make the best possible decision about their future, based on facts and not myths.” - Aleyda.

How many years have you worked for DRC?

20

What drew you to work for DRC?

I wanted to help people!

What do you do in your current role?

I provide government benefits counseling to individuals transitioning from Social Security benefits. Individuals are assisted to navigate the Social Security rules, Medi-Cal, Medicare, Calfresh, low-income housing and other government programs. The counseling then helps clients make an informed choice about work.

How has your career grown since starting at DRC?

DRC has provided me with many opportunities throughout my career. I started as an assistant CRA and then a CRA, PABSS advocate, CAP advocate and now WIPA. I’ve represented clients at Regional Center hearings, Special Education Mediation, IHSS hearings, Medi-Cal hearings, CAP OAH hearings and Social Security hearings.

What is something unique about DRC that you haven’t experienced at a previous job?

DRC values diversity and seeks input from its staff.

What is an accomplishment that shaped or impacted your career?

One of the most important cases I worked on was a about a woman who clearly had an employer-based subsidy that Social Security failed to develop. The client had filed an appeal and I was able to persuade the judge to allow us to develop the subsidy. I was able to establish that many of my client’s job duties were modified leading to an employer-based subsidy that in effect changed her countable income eliminating her overpayment.

Fun Fact
I’m an avid reader. My favorite fiction writers are John Irving and Wally Lamb. I’m currently into non-fiction biographies/memoirs. I can’t finish a good book because it makes me sad that its ending, so it ends up sitting on my night stand until I can find the next great read.