What is benefits planning?
Benefits planning helps you understand the impact of work on your benefits such as cash, medical, housing, personal care services, and food benefits. A benefit specialist can help you explore and utilize work incentives and develop a plan to transition to work.
Why is benefits planning important?
Benefits planning helps:
- Reduce uncertainty about how your benefits will be impacted when you work.
- Enhance your understanding of the impact of work on benefits and allow you to work to your potential instead of limiting earnings to keep benefits.
- Discover how Social Security work incentives and other programs can help pay for items and services you need to maintain employment.
- Explore healthcare options
How do I find a benefit specialist in my area to help me understand how working will affect my benefits?
There are two options.
- DVR has benefits planning services as part of receiving services from DVR. Use the benefit calculators to estimate how wages from a job would impact your Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
- Work Incentive Planning & Assistance (WIPA) Projects are approved by SSA to help you learn about Social Security work incentives, other employment support programs, provide benefits planning services and evaluate what would be helpful for you. There are two WIPAs serving people receiving SSI and/or Social Security Disability residing in Washington State:
- Plan to Work
Statewide: toll-free at 1-866-497-9443 or TTY 1-877-846-0775
Serves every Washington state county except those served by “Plan for Work” below
- Plan For Work
Statewide toll free at 1-800-452-1694 x227 or 503-243-2081 x 227
Serves ten Southern Washington counties: Pacific, Lewis, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Clark, Skamania, Klickitat, Benton, Franklin, and Walla Walla
- Plan to Work
Some County Developmental Disabilities programs also offer benefits planning. Check with your Case Manager at the Division of Developmental Disabilities to find out if these services are available in your area.
Other useful websites
- Social Security Online: The official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).
- Social Security Administration (SSA) office locator.
- Social Security Administration (SSA) Work Site: Information for beneficiaries and service providers about Ticket to Work and work incentives.
- Learn about the Social Security work incentive Plan to Achieve Self Support from The University of Montana Rural Institute.
- Medicare: The official government site for people who have Medicare.
- Basic Health: A state-sponsored program providing low-cost health care coverage through private health plans.
- Washington Law Help: (NW Justice Project) fact sheets with self-help information and legal aid providers.
- Disability Rights Washington: (formerly Washington Protection and Advocacy) a private non-profit organization that protects the rights of people with disabilities statewide.