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Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program. Helping You Today, So You Succeed Tomorrow. Outline. Why you should work and common concerns DRN’s Benefits Counseling Program Disability Benefit Programs Work Incentives for SSI, SSDI, and both Ticket to Work Program

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work incentives planning and assistance program

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program

Helping You Today,

So You Succeed Tomorrow

  • Why you should work and common concerns
  • DRN’s Benefits Counseling Program
  • Disability Benefit Programs
  • Work Incentives for SSI, SSDI, and both
  • Ticket to Work Program
  • Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS), SSA, and Other Resources
why should you work
Why should you work?
  • Earn more income
  • Gain independence
  • Learn new skills
  • Meet new people
common concerns

Will I lose my benefits?

  • What if I have to stop working?
  • How do I get the skills and experience I need?

Common Concerns

common concerns1
Common Concerns
  • Change scares people, such as starting a new vocational program or a new job.
  • Allowing SSI checks to be reduced, or jeopardizing SSDI entitlement by getting a paying job is scary.
  • Creating an overpayment that has to be paid back is really scary.

Sure these things are scary, but a lot less scary when you know some basic program rules!

work incentives planning and assistance program wipa
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program ( WIPA)
  • WIPA promotes Self-Sufficiency
  • WIPA assist beneficiaries in making informed choices about work AND our services are FREE!
  • WIPA staff:
    • Are trained to provide information about SSA Work Incentives and some Other Federal Benefits
    • Can answer questions about how work will affect your benefits
    • Can help you find the resources or services to achieve your work goals
    • Host Benefits Literacy seminars
how benefits counseling program can help
How Benefits Counseling Program can help
  • Benefits Counseling (initial, interim, and long-term)
  • Answering questions
  • Written Summary and Analysis
  • Benefits Literacy seminars
disability benefit programs
Disability Benefit Programs
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program based on needs
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Insurance program through prior work
  • Both SSI and SSDI = Concurrent benefits
supplemental security income ssi
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Needs Based Program
  • Individual Federal Benefit Rate: $ 710.00 State Supplement: + 22.10 Total Benefit: $720.10
  • Couple Federal Benefit Rate: $1066.00 State Supplement: + 33.70 Total Benefit: $1081.70
  • Health Insurance: Medicaid
social security disability insurance ssdi
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Received due to a work history Either from your own work history, or A parents work history, or A spouses work history
  • Amount a person receives can vary from person to person
  • Health Insurance: Medicare 24 month waiting period from date of eligibility
reporting income
Reporting Income

YOU are responsible for reporting your earnings to the Social Security Administration and any other agency from whom you receive benefits such as the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the County Assistance Office.

work incentives
Work Incentives…

Have many advantages and provide you with a safety net so you can:

  • Try different jobs
  • Start a career
  • Gain confidence
  • Receive training for new skills
  • Build upon your existing skills
  • Pursue your education
ssi example mandy goes to work
SSI Example: Mandy Goes to Work
  • Mandy’s only income is her monthly SSI payment of $710.
  • She’s considering a job that will pay her gross wages of $985/month, but she’s worried about what effect her wages will have upon her SSI.
  • What can we tell Mandy?
  • Show her how SSA figures her monthly SSI payment
  • Tell her about Work Incentives for SSI beneficiaries
  • Tell her about the Ticket to Work Program
what s going to happen to mandy s ssi if she goes to work
What’s Going to Happen to Mandy’s SSI If She Goes to Work?

Lets do the math…

Step 1: Figuring the Total Countable Income

Gross Earned Income minus the General Income Exclusion ($20) and minus the Earned Income Exclusion ($65), then divided by 2

$985 - $85 = $900 $900/2 = $450

Step 2: Figuring the Adjusted SSI Payment

Base SSI Rate minus the Total Countable Income

$710 - $450 = $260

Step 3: Figuring the Total Financial Outcome

Gross Earned Income plus Adjusted SSI Payment

$985 + $260 = $1245

what happens if my earnings are so high that my ssi stops
What Happens If My Earnings Are So High That My SSI Stops?

If your earnings are so high that your SSI payments stop:

  • 1619(b) allows Medicaid coverage even after earnings become too high for an SSI payment
  • Medicaid continues until you earn above a state threshold amount (For 2013, $34,917)
    • If your Medicaid expenditures are greater than average, you can ask for an individual threshold amount

Benefits can start again if you stop working or your earnings decrease.

work incentives for supplemental security income ssi beneficiaries
WorkIncentives for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Beneficiaries

Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS)

Earned Income Exclusion (EIE)

Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE)

Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE)

trial work period twp the twp amount for 2013 is 750
Trial Work Period (TWP)The TWP amount for 2013 is $750.

The Trial Work Period allows you to test your ability to work for at least nine non-consecutive months AND continue to receive benefits.

extended period of eligibility
Extended Period of Eligibility
  • Begins the month after your TWP ends (even if you are not working that month) and runs for 36 consecutive months.
  • The value of your work effort is compared to Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).
  • SGA for 2013 is $1040 for non-blind persons and $1,740 for blind persons.

Any month that your countable earnings or work activities are below the SGA level, you will get benefits.

Any month that your countable earnings or work activities are above the SGA level, your benefits will be suspended.

Other work incentives can be applied to reduce countable earnings during the EPE.

work incentives for social security disability insurance ssdi beneficiaries1
WorkIncentives for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Beneficiaries

Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE)

Subsidy and Special Conditions

Unsuccessful Work Attempt (UWA)

Unincurred Business Expenses

cessation and grace months
Cessation and Grace Months
  • The Cessation and Grace period starts the first month that your work is above SGA and continues for a total of three months.
  • This may occur during or after the EPE.
  • You will still be entitled to your benefit check during this 3-month period.
expedited reinstatement
Expedited Reinstatement

After the benefits end, you have an additional five years to be reinstated if work stops and there is no medical improvement.

continuation of medicare coverage ssdi eligible
Continuation of Medicare Coverage (SSDI eligible)

Most persons with disabilities who work will have the assurance of Medicare coverage for at least 93 consecutive months after the 9-month Trial Work Period.

  • 93 months = 7 years and 9 months
  • Hospital Insurance (Part A); Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B), if enrolled; and Prescription Drug coverage (Part D), if enrolled.
medical assistance for workers with disabilities mawd
Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD)


Be of working age (16-64), Be employed and receiving compensation, Have an SSA-defined disability, Have countable income below 250% of the federal poverty level, and Have $10,000 or less in countable resources.


  • Premiums are 5% of your countable monthly income.

Where to apply

  • Online at
  • Call your local County Assistance Office (CAO)
if you get both ssi ssdi
If you get both SSI & SSDI
  • All of the work incentives apply to you
  • Talk to a Benefits Counselor from DRN’s WIPA Program!
what is a ticket to work
What is a Ticket to Work?

A ticket you can use to get free employment services.

Contact the Ticket Call Center at 866-968-7842 regarding any questions about your Ticket.

the ticket to work program1
The Ticket to Work program
  • Participation is FREE and VOLUNTARY—there are no penalties if you choose not to participate
  • The goal is for beneficiaries to show timely progress toward coming off benefits
  • Employment Network agencies are available to assist you.
  • You and the agency develop a work plan with steps to follow.
examples of services
Examples of Services
  • Skills testing
  • Interest testing
  • Resume preparation
  • Interviewing skills training
  • Job search & placement services
  • Work Incentives counseling
  • Job Coaching or other ongoing services
other resources
Other Resources

Your Social Security employment & support team can help you get the skills and experience you need.

  • WIPA Benefits Counseling
  • Employment Network (EN)
    • Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Agency
  • State Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS)
  • Area Work Incentives Coordinator (AWIC)
  • Work Incentives Liaison (WIL)
protection and advocacy for beneficiaries of social security
Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security

PABSS assists beneficiaries by:

  • Advocating for workplace accommodations
  • Advocating for vocational services from Employment Networks or state Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Providing information, referral and advocacy around benefits
  • Assisting beneficiaries to remove barriers to work
area work incentives coordinator awic
Area Work Incentives Coordinator (AWIC)

AWICs are experienced employment support experts who:

  • Coordinate and/or conduct public outreach on work incentives in their local areas;
  • Provide and/or coordinate and oversee training on SSA’s employment support programs for all personnel at local Social Security offices;
  • Handle sensitive or high profile disability work-issue cases, if necessary; and
  • Monitor the disability work-issue workloads in their areas.

Information on how to contact your local AWIC is available at


Social Security’s Red BookA Summary Guide To Employment Supports For Persons With Disabilities Under The Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Programs

Phone: 410-965-2039

Fax at (410) 965-2037



where to get more information
Where to Get More Information
  • DRN’s WIPA: 1-800-692-7443 X 309
  • Find Employment Networks:
  • Ticket Call Center: 866-968-7842 (voice) or 866-833-2967 (TDD)
  • Social Security Administration: 1-800-772-1213
  • AWIC: or 877-701-2140 (x22807)
  • PABSS through Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania: 1-800-692-7443 X 400
suggestions for us
Suggestions for Us

Thank you for attending this presentation.

Our program highly values your support.

Please take time to answer our questions and let us know how our services could be more effective.