Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project – WIPA

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Project – WIPA

This page will serve as a REFERRAL SOURCE only for qualified beneficiaries. WIPA will assist and provides work incentives planning, assistance, and outreach services to Social Security beneficiaries who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), based on disability and/or blindness including transition-to-work aged youth, who want to pursue gainful employment.

We will recommend and refer beneficiaries to speak with a certified work incentive counselor (CWIC) to help answer all of your questions about Social Security’s work incentives and help you to make an informed decision about working. Plus, a CWIC will equip Social disability beneficiaries with the timely and accurate information they require in order to support their goals for employment and greater economic self-sufficiency. Included with the assistance are as follows:

  • Work Incentives Evaluation
  • Benefits Analysis
  • Benefits Planning
  • Benefits Assistance
  • And more.

Beneficiaries, the WIPA program is a free service which is offered nationwide.

Please note that work incentives promote employment and greater independence for people with disabilities who are initially entering, or re-entering, the workforce. Below are the different work incentives:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Work Incentives:
    • 1619(a) special SSI cash benefits
    • 1619(b) Continued Medicaid Eligibility
    • Student Earned Income Exclusion
    • Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)
    • Impairment Related Work Expense
    • Blind Work Expense
    • Expedited Reinstatement
    • Ticket to Work
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Work Incentives:
    • Trial Work Period
    • Extended Period of Eligibility
    • Extended Medicare Coverage
    • Impairment Related Work Expenses
    • Subsidies and Special Conditions
    • Expedited Reinstatement
    • Ticket to Work
WIPA disseminates accurate information to beneficiaries receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), based on disability and/or blindness, about work incentives programs, and issues related to such programs, to enable them to make informed choices about working, including:

  • Whether or when to assign their Ticket to Work;
  • How available work incentives can facilitate their transition into the workforce; and
  • Information on the impact of earnings on other support programs, such as:
    • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    • Food Stamps
    • Federal Housing
    • Unemployment Insurance
    • Worker’s Compensation
    • Earned Income Tax Credit
    • Health Insurance

Healthways Services EN staff representatives who do not provide WIPA services will refer you and work closely with your local Certified Work Incentives Counselor (CWICs). They will focus on you, your choices, your future, and especially your work goals. They:

  • Provide work incentives planning and assistance directly to beneficiaries with disabilities to assist them in their employment efforts;
  • Conduct outreach efforts in collaboration with SSA’s Program Manager for Recruitment and Outreach (PMRO) contractor to beneficiaries with disabilities (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in Federal or State work incentives programs,
  • Screen and refer beneficiaries with disabilities to the appropriate Employment Networks (ENs) based on the beneficiary’s expressed needs and types of impairments if a EN haven’t been already chosen.
  • Work in cooperation with SSA’s Area Work Incentives Coordinators (AWICs), Federal, State, local and private agencies and other nonprofit organizations that serve beneficiaries with disabilities seeking employment.
  • Provide general information on the adequacy of health benefits coverage that may be offered by an employer of a beneficiary with a disability; the extent to which other health benefits coverage may be available to that beneficiary in coordination with Medicare and/or Medicaid.
  • Advise beneficiaries of the availability of protection and advocacy services and how to access such services.
WIPA is authorized in:

  • 42 USC §1320b-21, P.L. 106-170
    Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999
  • Pub. L. 108-203
    Social Security Protection Act of 2004, reauthorized funding through FY 2009
WIPA is administered and regulated by:

  • Social Security Administration
    Office of Acquisition and Grants
    7111 Security Blvd., 1st Floor Rear Entrance
    Baltimore, MD 21244
    Telephone: 410-965-9469 / Fax: 410-966-9310
** Please note that our office is not a local WIPA office we will utilize this service as a referral source for beneficiaries only because we are not approved to work as a work incentive counselor. Our Agency will refer beneficiaries to their local WIPA office to discuss and learn SSA work incentives, reporting wages, overpayments and the appeal process. EN will encourage and follow-up with beneficiaries to make sure a WIPA appointment was made with a local WIPA office, the referral would be to enable the beneficiary to make informed choices about work, available work incentives and to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency.