In this section
- Community Work Incentive Coordinators
- Work Incentives Planning and Assistance
- Ticket To Work
- For more information
Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWIC)
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 cadre of Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWICs) provide 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.
CWICs are funded through the Social Security Administration grant called Work Incentive Planning and Assistance. CWICS are not SSA employees. However, they do serve SSI and SSDI beneficiaries, including young adults who are transitioning from school to work.
- 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
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA)
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) is a service funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as part of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 (see below). WIPAs are authorized to serve all SSA beneficiaries with disabilities, including transition-to-work aged youth, providing benefits planning and assistance services on request or as resources permit. There are more than 100 WIPA grantees in the United States.
Two of the WIPA grantees, BenePLAN and Project IMPACT, are in Massachusetts. The programs employ certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators and each serves a specific region of the state:
BenePLAN is a work incentives benefits counseling, training and technical assistance program housed at the Disability, Health and Employment Policy Unit at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Services are available throughout Massachusetts, and are offered in both English and Spanish.
BenePLAN increases awareness and understanding of how earning wages impacts public benefits so that beneficiaries have the information they need to make informed decisions about going to work. Public benefits that may be affected include Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), MassHealth, Medicare, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), subsidized housing as well as others. Call toll free at 1 (877) 937-9675. For more information, visit http://www.beneplan.org
Ticket to Work
If you are between the ages of 18 and 63 and have a disability, and you receive Social Security disability benefits, the Ticket to Work Program can help you get a job without losing your benefits.
Ticket to Work is a program of the U.S. Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. The program is voluntary; you do not have to participate in it if you don’t want to.
What does the Ticket to Work program do?
The Ticket to Work program helps people who are receiving Social Security disability benefits find employment from a service provider, or Employment Network (EN), of their choice.
State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies (also known as State VRs) such as the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind are ENs under the Ticket program.
Other service providers including public and private agencies must submit an application to the Social Security Administration to become an EN. For a list of approved ENs in Massachusetts, click here.
Related resources include Work Incentives Planning and Assistance and Protection (see above) and advocacy services.
For more information
To learn if you are eligible for services under the Ticket to Work program, call toll free 1 (866) 968-7842 (Voice) or 1 (866) 2967 (TTY).
For more detailed information on the Ticket to Work program, visit: