Ever since I began working as a trained and certified Community Work Incentive Coordinator (CWIC) providing benefits counseling to individuals with disabilities, the conversation always starts with these questions:
- “Can I work?”
- “How much I can work?”
- “What will happen to my benefits?”
Individuals often feel frustrated because they don’t know where to get accurate and timely answers to their employment questions around how working might impact their public benefits. The Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling and the Work Without Limits Administrative Employment Network (AEN) are FREE consumer programs specifically in place to alleviate that frustration and to provide answers to those questions!
These 2 programs, funded by Social Security, train and certify staff to provide accurate information and strategies to individuals with disabilities that, with proper planning, YES, you can work!
Many individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) do not understand how earnings are counted, how to maintain benefits like health insurance and, in many cases, how to maintain their Social Security benefits while working a waged job.
There is a saying that applies here – Information is Power! “But where can I get the information?” you may ask. Individuals want to have the necessary information to feel comfortable in taking the next step on their career path and towards financial well-being.
Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling and AEN programs employ trained and certified Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs) (also referred to as benefits specialists) who provide up-to-date and clear answers to questions about how benefits are affected by earnings. Our CWICs have developed fact sheets that clarify, in plain and simple terms, what to expect and what to do when working with regard to your benefits. For example, our fact sheets have reminders about the importance of reporting earnings every month by providing copies of paystubs to the local Social Security office. This is critical in order to avoid under- or over-payments. We have three regionalized CWICs that are available to answer your questions and guide you through the process.
Whether you are getting an increase in wages and need clarification about the impact on your benefits, considering a job offer and need to make a decision whether to accept or not, or are being offered employer health insurance and not sure if you should take it; we can help!
Don’t let the myths you have heard regarding your Social Security or health benefits stop you from getting the correct answers. Contact us today!!