What is a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) or benefits planner?
By: Lesly Lopez
If you receive Social Security benefits and you have a job or are looking for one, there are specially trained professionals known as Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWIC) to help you make sense of complex employment and benefit-related issues.
What is a CWIC?
A highly skilled and rigorously trained cadre of Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWICs) provide individual counseling to beneficiaries seeking employment and intensive follow-up services to ensure that they are using the work incentives appropriately. CWICS provide confidential services to people with disabilities who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). CWICs educate beneficiaries on how employment will affect their public benefits such as SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid, subsidized housing and food stamps.
CWICs are funded through the Social Security Administration grant called WIPA, Work Incentives Planning and Assistance. CWICs are not SSA employees. However, they do serve SSI and SSDI beneficiaries, including young adults who are transitioning from school to work.
What a CWIC can do for you?
• Help you understand how working and earning wages will affect your public benefits
• Provide ongoing assistance to help you manage your benefits as you transition into employment or increase your earnings
• Provide information on available education, training, and employment services
• Help develop and implement PASS Plans and other Work Incentives that assist you to achieve your employment goal
• Understand the rules of specific Work Incentives and how they apply to you
• Decide whether the Ticket to Work program is right for you
• Understand the potential benefits of employment as a person who receives disability benefits from Social Security while dispelling the myths about working
• Analyze how work and earnings may impact your Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), health care, and other public benefits
• Understand the services provided by a State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency or an Employment Network (EN), and how they might fit best with your needs
• Teach about the work incentives from SSA to beneficiaries and community partners.
• enhance self-sufficiency
• ensure informed choices,
• get rid of fear in pursuing employment
• problem solving and advocacy,
• benefits analysis and advisement/benefits support, planning/benefits management and
• Information and referral about other resources available to you in the community.
For additional questions please call the TTW help line at 1-866-968-7842 / 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8:00AM – 8:00PM EST. For general inquiries, you may e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.