What Assistance Is Available For Work Incentives and Employment Supports
You can get information about Social Security’s employment support provisions by calling us toll free at 1-800-772-1213, from 7 a. m. to 7 p. m., Monday through Friday. You may also obtain information at any of our Social Security field offices around the country. If you have internet access, you can find your local office by going to the Social Security Office Locator on our website, Social Security Online, at www.socialsecurity.gov/locator. Enter your postal ZIP code to get the address, telephone number, and directions to your local office.
AWICs are experienced employment support experts who provide all of the following services:
- Coordinating and/or conducting public outreach on work incentives in their local areas.
- Providing and/or coordinating and overseeing training on Social Security’s employment support programs for all personnel at local Social Security offices.
- Handling sensitive or high-profile disability work-issue cases, if necessary.
- Monitoring the disability work-issue workloads in their areas.
Information on how to contact your local AWIC is available at www.ssa.gov/regions/. Choose your region’s website for local AWIC information.
The Benefits Planning Query (BPQY) is a tool we use to obtain detailed information about the status of your disability benefits, scheduled medical reviews, health insurance, and work history. We believe the first step in planning a successful return to work or working for the first time, begins with requesting a BPQY. We will provide BPQYs free of charge if you need the information to plan a return to work or when you want to start working.
You and your representative payee can request the BPQY by calling 1-800-772-1213 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free TTY/TDD number, 1-800-325-0778, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. With a signed (wet signature) consent form (SSA-3288), we can share your BPQY with: benefit counselors;, Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects;, Employment Networks (ENs) under the Ticket to Work program;, Protection and Advocacy for Beneficiaries of Social Security (PABSS);, Vocational Rehabilitation agencies;, disability advocates;, or other disability- related organizations. These projects and /organizations can assist you in reviewing the BPQY or you can also view the BPQY handbook located at https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityresearch/documents/BPQY_Handbook.pdf, for an explanation of the fields on the BPQY.
Employment Networks and State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies provide a wide variety of services to help people with disabilities return to work, enter a new line of work, or work for the first time. You can find a list of state Employment Networks and Vocational Rehabilitation agencies in our service provider directory at choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp.
In every state, the District of Columbia, five U.S. Territories and the Hopi, Navajo, and Ute - Tribal Nations (Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah), there are Protection and Advocay agencies that protect the rights of people with disabilities. The PABSS provides services for people experiencing barriers to employment. Each PABSS agency provides the following services:
- Working to identify and remove barriers to employment.
- Investigating any complaint you have against an employment network or other service provider that is helping you to return to work.
- Giving you information and advice about vocational rehabilitation and employment services;
- Telling you about Social Security’s work incentives that will help you to return to work.
- Offering consultation and legal representation to protect your rights in the effort to secure, maintain, or regain employment.
- Helping you understand and protect your employment rights, responsibilities, and reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
An employee in each of our Social Security offices serves as a WIL to provide advice and information about our work incentive provisions and employee support programs to individuals with disabilities and outside organizations that serve those with disabilities.
WIPA projects are community-based organizations that receive grants from Social Security to provide SSDI beneficiaries and SSI disability recipients, including youth in transition, with free access to work incentives planning and assistance. If you are working, or interested in working, our WIPA projects can give you information about Social Security work incentives and other programs. Each WIPA project has counselors called Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWIC) who provide the following services:
- Working with you to help you understand your benefits.
- Teaching you when, how, and what to report to Social Security and other providers.
- Providing in-depth, individualized counseling about your benefits and the effect of work on those benefits.
- Providing ongoing support and information as you transition to work.
A WIPA project can help you understand the employment supports that are available to you and enable you to make informed choices about work.WIPA services are available in every state, the District of Columbia, and the US Territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. If you want to locate the WIPA organization nearest you, please call 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY). You can also find more information about WIPA projects on our website at choosework.ssa.gov/findhelp.
WISE feature information to help Social Security disability beneficiaries make the decision to re-enter the workforce or to work for the first time. All WISE take place via free internet-based webinars. The webinar format allows beneficiaries and other interested parties to learn about vital employment resources from Social Security without having to travel.
Some of the webinars are designed to address a broad range of disabilities, while others provide information to people in specific disability categories or age ranges. They may feature various employment service providers, including Social Security approved Employment Networks, State Vocational Rehabilitation Agencies, Protection and Advocacy Services, and WIPA organizations. WISE topics may include Choosing a Ticket to Work Service Provider, Understanding Work Incentives, and more.
Beneficiaries and other interested parties may register for scheduled WISE webinars on our website at choosework.ssa.gov or by calling the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Archived versions of past events are also available.