Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Project Program (WIPA)

Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Project Program (WIPA)

The Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Project Program (WIPA) designed to help beneficiaries with disabilities to receive accurate information to a successful transition back to work. All WIPA project have Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWIC) who provide counseling about benefits and how work affect your Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

The Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Project Program (WIPA) that work to allow beneficiaries with disabilities to educate in making choices about work and to support working beneficiaries.  In order to make a successful transition to financial independence.  So that each WIPA project has a Community Work Incentives Coordinator who work with you one on one to give a comprehensive counseling about benefits and working.  As a result, the community work incentives coordinator will do the following:

  • The Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Project Program (WIPA) Coordinator will discuss how returning to work can impact your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI).
  • Including discussing how returning to work can impact your SSI or SSDI Benefits.
  • Specifically, recommend work incentives that can help beneficiaries get the most out of your income and health care options.
  • The WIPA Coordinator will help to find an Employment Networks and other employment support services who can help you find employment.
  • Help you in finding resources for assertive technology, training, and other support services you may need to work.
  • Beneficiary Access and Support Services (BASS) – Social Security’s Help Center, Phone: 1-866-968-7842/1-866-833-2967 (TTY/TDD)
  • Website:
  • Facebook: • Twitter:!/chooseworkssa • Email:

Ticket to Work Program/Employment Networks

How It Works

Usually, the Ticket to Work link you with free employment services to help make a decision is working right for you, preparing to return back to work, find and maintain job success while you are working.  It is your choice to participate in the Ticket to Work Program.  After deciding you will receive services; vocational rehabilitation, career counseling, job placement, and job training from authorized Ticket to Work service providers by Employment Network (EN) in your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agency.  When you choose a service provider it is an important part of your “employment team” that will help you through your journey to financial independence.

Who Qualifies?

If you are age 18 through 64 and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits then you are eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work Program.  However, participating in the Ticket to Work program is free and voluntary.

Therefore, Social Security no longer mail Ticket to Work papers, because you do not need a paper to participate in the program.  Eligibility will get verified by an Employment Network service provider if you choose to work.  Further information about your eligibility status by calling in the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842/1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

How to Get Started

However, if you decided to participate in the program, then it is very easy to get started.  The first thing is to call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842/1-866-833-2967 (TTY) to verify your eligibility.  The Customer Service Representative will explain how the program works and answer any questions or concerns you may have. In addition, they will offer to mail you a list of service providers or refer you to someone.  For example, go to find help to get a customized list of providers that available to help you in your area.

The next step is choosing the right service provider for you.  Your options are working with your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency or Employment Network (EN) it depends on your needs.  Click on to get EN’s you’re interested in and provides important questions for you to ask.  As a result, you can receive services from your VR agency and then receive ongoing services with an Employment Network.

Many Employment Network Services are part of a state’s public workforce system.  The workforce ENs provide access to additional employment support services such as training programs, special programs, youth in transition and veterans.  You will get assigned a Ticket to a Workforce EN directly or via other providers in the workforce system including America Job Centers at

Once you’re assigned to a service provider can work together to develop a plan and help you reach your goals.  Eventually becoming more financially independent in the future.

How would working affect my Social Security Disability Benefits?

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) recipients can have a trial work period during which you’re allowed to make than the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount without losing your benefits.  However, you can test your ability to work and continue to receive full benefits.  Even if you make more than Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount for a nine-month trial period.  For 2017, the Social Security Administration review any month where a person has a monthly income of more than $840.00 before taxes is a trial work month.  If you are self-employed, any month of working more than 80 hours or earn more than $840 before taxes is a trial work month.

After you completed the nine-month trial work period, you can still receive SSDI for any month where your earnings fall below the SGA level for a period of 36 months.  It’s named extended period of eligibility.  Especially earning more than $1,170 before taxes per month, you will not receive your disability check for that month.

However, if you SSDI payments have stopped due your income is substantial, then SSA gives five years during which your benefits can get reinstated if you stop working due to your disability.  As a result, during the five-year period, SSA will not require you to file a new disability claim application to receive benefits.  It’s called expedited reinstatement.

Unfortunately, if you lose your job during the trial work period, then your benefits will not get affected.  If you lose your job in 36 months following the trial work period, and still disabled, you will need to contact the SSA to have your disability benefits restarted.

For SSDI recipients only!  If you make over $1,170 before taxes, your SSDI check will get reduce.  If you make $840 before taxes, your SSDI check will not change.

Working and receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

You can be able to work and still receive SSI benefits as long as your wages do not exceed SSA’s income limit for SSI.  As a result, your monthly can get reduced in the amount of your income.

For example, SSA reduces your income, if your only income is from your job.  However, SSA does not include the first $85 you earn towards your countable income.  After that the $85 adjustment, the SSA will deduct 50 cents for every dollar you earn from you monthly checks.  For instance, a person who earns $1,170 a month from working equals; $1,170 – $85 = $1,085 ÷ 2 = $542.50.  Then your SSI benefit amount reduced by $542.50.  As a result, your monthly benefit amount affects your Food Stamps, Medicaid, if any.  For additional information go to and read the article on “How much SSI Pays.”

Your SSI payments can stop due to earning too much money, if you are force to quit work due to your disability.  Then SSA will reinstate your benefits without a new application for a period of five years.

Reporting Income

For both SSI and SSDI recipients must report all earning to the SSA.

  • Inform SSA your start and stop date for any job
  • Your job duties change, pay scale, or work hours and
  • If you have work-related expenses due to your disability.

It’s required to report your monthly wages to the SSA.  You can report your wages by telephone on the 6th of the next month; otherwise, mail or bring your pay stub to your local SSA by the 10th of the next month.

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