Social Security Benefits Counseling
Benefit counseling services are designed to provide individualized work incentive counseling services to individuals seeking to work while educating them on necessary healthcare and other benefits. Services include but are not limited to:
- BPQY – Benefit Planning Query to confirm SSA benefits & related medical benefits an individual is receiving and the status of those benefits
- Benefit analysis & summary
- Work Incentives planning
- Reporting requirements & tracking
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA)
The purpose of the WIPA program is to provide timely and accurate information to Social Security Administration (SSA) beneficiaries on SSA’s work incentives and other Federal efforts to remove regulatory and programmatic barriers to employment for persons with disabilities.
The purpose of these work incentives are to:
- Help you achieve gainful employment
- Increase your independence
- Provide you with options to choose from
- Help you acquire self-support
- Facilitate informed choice
How can we help?
The Community Work Incentive Coordinator will explore with you and your stakeholders how to best utilize the work incentives available to you. Work incentives like Trial Work Periods, Extended Period of Eligibility, Impairment Related Work Expense, Blind Work Expense, Student Earned Income Exclusion, Plan for Achieving Self Support, extended Medicaid 1619 (b), Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits and much more.
- Advisement and Counseling
- Information and Referral
- Benefits Management and Follow-up
- Short-term and Long-term Support
- Consumer Education and Training
If you are a resident of Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, or Sarasota county, call (727) 538-7370; or toll free 800-259-5709; or email WIPA.Referrals@servicesource.org for assistance with the WIPA program.
Our Benefit Counselors in Virginia work 1:1 with Social Security recipients to review benefits, discuss financial goals and develop personalized plans to achieving financial health. Counselors also can help you:
- Make informed decisions about work and benefits
- Maximize work incentives
- Learn more about Social Security benefits
- Take a financial health assessment to set goals and improve financial well-being
- Gain tools to develop and follow a budget, save for emergencies, bills and long-term goals
*ServiceSource advises individuals work with Social Security Benefit specialists for any SSA applications.
How to start working with a Benefits Counselor in Virginia
- Please contact your DARS (Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services) counselor about your interest.
- If you are a DARS counselor, please send referrals to our team by calling 703-461-6000 or emailing Virginia.Benefits@servicesource.org.
If you are a Virginia resident and Social Security recipient not yet connected with DARS/VR, we still may be able to help! Please contact us at Virginia.Benefits@servicesource.org.
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
For questions about our Benefits Counseling programs, call 910-401-5495.
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.