About the Program
ServiceSource in North Carolina has several options for benefits counseling services available through the following programs:
- Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA)
- NC Benefits Counseling Expansion
- VR Benefits Counseling Services for SSI/SSDI beneficiaries
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA)
What is the WIPA Program?
The Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program is a cooperative agreement between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the North Carolina ServiceSource (NCSS) Regional Office to support individuals with disabilities who receive benefits from Social Security in their efforts to acquire, retain and increase meaningful employment to improve financial independence.
How can the WIPA program help?
The ServiceSource in North Carolina WIPA program can assist you with the following FREE services:
- Analysis and verification of your benefits
- Explanation of the Social Security’s Ticket to Work program
- Description of the impact of earnings from employment activities on your public benefits
- Advisement on how your health insurance coverage may be affected by paid employment
- Explanation of Work Incentives available to you during your return to work
- Support in resolving problems related to securing or maintaining your employment activity
- The description on how to report earnings from employment to Social Security and other agencies
- Assistance in anticipating changes in your benefits once you begin your employment activity
- Referral to support services as needed
What makes me eligible for WIPA services?
You may be eligible for WIPA services if you:
- Are you actively looking for employment, or you are already employed
- Live in our Service Area [Hyperlink#4]
- Are between the ages of 14 and full retirement age
- Have a disability per Social Security’s definition and you are receiving (or approved to receive) Social Security benefits based on disability: Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and/or other Title II disability benefit
The North Carolina ServiceSource WIPA program provides services throughout the state. Contact us at 910-401-5495 for a full list of counties served.
North Carolina Benefits Counseling Expansion (BCE)
What is the BCE program?
Funded through the NC Council on Developmental Disabilities, the BCE program is a demonstration project designed to increase access to benefits counseling services by I/DD clients and their families.
Through this project, ServiceSource CWIC’s will train employment staff at partner agencies to enhance their employment services and increase benefits counseling capacity throughout the state of North Carolina.
The program’s long-term goal is to increase the participation of I/DD clients in the workforce and improve their financial well-being.
How does it work?
If your organization provides employment-related services to I/DD clients and seeks to enhance its services with benefits information, ServiceSource can provide training at no cost to your agency.
One of our experienced and certified CWICs will contact your organization to understand your employment services needs and deliver training. CWICs will also provide technical assistance and ongoing support in case services must be escalated to a higher level or need additional explanation.
How can my agency get involved in this project?
If your organization is interested, please call us at 919-785-6631. We will answer any questions that you may have about the project. Then we will send you an MOU to define the new partnership.
Where is the service offered?
Since our training is virtual or in-person, the BCE program is available throughout the state. We are making this program available to all cities and any eligible agency located in North Carolina.
Do you have services in Spanish?
Yes, our training is offered in English and Spanish.
VR Benefits Counseling Services for SSI/SSDI beneficiaries
Vocational Rehabilitation clients who are also receiving Social Security benefits can request benefits counseling services available through Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Please discuss with your VR counselor if these services are a good match for your employment goal and ask your VR counselor to send us a referral before contacting us.