People who are unable to work may receive disability benefits paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The two primary programs are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). At some point, an individual receiving SSDI may want to check out work incentives and the Ticket to Work program.
The Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999
Under this Act, the SSA manages the program but does not provide services. Instead, the SSA works through grants, contracts, and agreements with other organizations that provide work-related services to capable SSDI claimants.
The Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program offers some or all of the following services:
- Benefits counseling;
- Communicating with SSDI and SSI recipients that may qualify for work incentives programs; and
- Coordinating services with other groups that provide assistance to SSI and SSDI claimants.
In addition to counselors, state vocational rehabilitation agencies and employment networks may serve as WIPA service providers.
Work incentives program and the Ticket to Work program are both free and voluntary.
Some Essential Services
Services may vary from provider to provider. Options offered by many providers include:
- Career counseling, to help you choose the right path;
- Free employment services, to get you on your way to full employment;
- Vocational rehabilitation, to make sure you have the skills you need; and
- Job placement and training, to help you reach your goals.
Not everyone who receives SSDI is eligible. If you are able to work with WIPA counselors, it’s important to understand how it might impact your benefits.
The good news is that participants in a WIPA typically do not lose their benefits unless they start earning more than the substantial gainful activity limit allows. Once that important goal is hit, workers may not need benefits. However, if they do, the SSA may restart their benefits if they have to stop working because of a disability.
A Disability Attorney Can Help Every Step of the Way
For a free consultation with an experienced Social Security attorney, consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of Martin Taller. Call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients through Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.