In October 2006, the Social Security Administration (SSA) replaced the Benefits Planning, Assistance and Outreach Program with the Works Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program. The Program was renamed because of an increased emphasis on work incentives, return to work supports and jobs for beneficiaries. Walton Options was a provider for the BPAO services since the inception of the program.
SSA, as authorized by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1990 awarded Walton Options a cooperative agreement to serve as WIPA project contractor in South Carolina. Walton Options Provides SSA beneficiaries with disabilities (including transition-to-work aged youth) access to work incentives, planning and assistance programs.
Walton Options’ Certifies Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWIC’s) that are able to provide assistance to eligible beneficiaries who are interested in seeking employment. Project 20/20 staff are also available to present information about the project to agencies, groups and organizations that provide services to people with disabilities. Please contact Walton Options to schedule a presentation or arrange for a CWIC speaker for your organization (depending on the availability of staff).
How a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) can assist persons with disabilities in gaining meaningful employment…
Work incentives allow people with disabilities the ability to manage and maximize their benefits when they go back to work. In addition, the 1619b work incentives, the Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS), Impairment related Work Expense (IRWE) are incentives that enable people with disabilities to recover expenses they incur while working towards greater economic self-sufficiency. A CWIC can:
- Provide work incentives planning and assistance directly to SSA’s beneficiaries with disabilities to assist them in their efforts;
- Conduct outreach efforts in collaboration with SSA’s Program Manager for Recruitment and Outreach contractor to beneficiaries with disabilities (and their families), who are potentially eligible to participate in Federal or State work incentives programs;
- Work in cooperation with Federal, State and private agencies and non profit organizations that serve beneficiaries with disabilities;
- Refer beneficiaries with disabilities to appropriate Employment Networks based on the beneficiary’s expressed needs and types of impairments;
- Provide general information on the adequacy of health benefits coverage that may be offered by an employer of a beneficiary with a disability and the extent to which other health benefits coverage my be available to that beneficiary in coordination with Medicare and/or Medicaid; and
- Provide information on the availability of protection and advocacy services for beneficiaries with disabilities and how to access such services.
Working with a WIPA project is often a first step for beneficiaries who want to go to work.
The WIPA Project funded by a grant from the Social Security Administration for South Carolina is Walton Options (SC) WIPA Project 20/20 and is located at 514 West Ave North Augusta, SC 29841. 803-279-9611 V/TTY; 1-866-793-3407. The Lead CWIC for WIPA Project 20/20 is Robbie Breshears.
Social Security provides the Ticket to Work National Helpline for beneficiaries of social security benefits based on disability who are thinking about going to work. The helpline can provide basic information about the Ticket to Work program and will refer to WIPA program for services if needed and desired.
The TTW helpline can be reached at 1-866-968-7842/1-866-833-2967 (TTY) from M-F 8am-8pm.
Looking for more information? Click on the links below to find out more about more about our WIPA programs.
Our WIPA services are available to consumers in our South Carolina service area. If you are a consumer in Georgia who is interested in WIPA services, you can contact the Ticket to Work Helpline at 1-866-968-7842. Additionally, Walton Options is a Ticket to Work Provider working with Georgia WIPA Programs. To find out more about the program, go to our Ticket to Work page.