Benefits and Work Incentives Counseling

Benefits and work incentives counseling connects the paths between benefits and work for those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).

Many people with a disability want to work, earn more or start a career. But one of the biggest obstacles is the fear that doing so will lead to a loss of needed medical benefits or even a loss in total income. Many incentives are available that make it possible to earn more while keeping needed benefits. Benefits and Work Incentive Counseling services help people with disabilities make informed decisions about work, benefits and the use of work incentives to achieve their employment goals, as well as helping them navigate the benefits system when they begin working. Many people with disabilities believe that if they go to work, they will lose all of their federal and state benefits or their medical insurance, but this is seldom true.

Benefit counseling services are designed to provide individualized work incentive counseling services to individuals seeking to work while educating them on necessary healthcare and other benefits. If you receive Social Security benefits and you have a job or are looking for one, there are specially trained professionals known as Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWIC) to help you make sense of complex employment and benefit-related issues.

What is a CWIC?

A highly skilled and rigorously trained Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) provides individual counseling to beneficiaries seeking employment and intensive follow-up services to ensure that they are using the work incentives appropriately. CWICS provide confidential services to people with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). CWICs educate beneficiaries on how employment will affect their public benefits such as SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidized housing and food stamps.

What a CWIC can do for you?

  • Help you understand how working and earning wages will affect your public benefits
  • Provide ongoing assistance to help you manage your benefits as you transition into employment or increase your earnings
  • Provide information on available education, training, and employment services
  • Help develop and implement PASS Plans and other Work Incentives that assist you to achieve your employment goal
  • Understand the rules of specific Work Incentives and how they apply to you
  • Decide whether the Ticket to Work program is right for you
  • Understand the potential benefits of employment as a person who receives disability benefits from Social Security while dispelling the myths about working
  • Analyze how work and earnings may impact your Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), health care, and other public benefits
  • Understand the services provided by a State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency or an Employment Network (EN), and how they might fit best with your needs
  • Enhance self-sufficiency
  • Ensure informed choices,
  • Get rid of fear in pursuing employment
  • Problem solving and advocacy,
  • Benefits analysis and advisement/benefits support and planning/benefits management
  • Information and referral about other resources available to you in the community.

Services include but are not limited to:

  • BPQY – Benefit Planning Query to confirm SSA benefits & related medical benefits an individual is receiving and the status of those benefits
  • Benefit analysis & summary
  • Work Incentives planning
  • Reporting requirements & tracking

The Community Work Incentive Coordinator will explore with you and your stakeholders how to best utilize the work incentives available to you. Work incentives like Trial Work Periods, Extended Period of Eligibility, Impairment Related Work Expense, Blind Work Expense, Student Earned Income Exclusion, Plan for Achieving Self Support, extended Medicaid 1619 (b), Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits and much more.

Contact Us

Use the form below to contact us directly!