Getting Started

The WIPA Project can provide you with assistance if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Who is eligible for WIPA Services?

WIPA Services are FREE and you must be…

  • Between 14 years old and full retirement age;
  • Currently eligible for SSI and/or SSDI benefits; and
  • Working or about ready to begin working or increasing employment.

You may want to contact a CWIC if you receive Social Security disability benefits and you are:

  • Considering employment;
  • Concerned about how working might affect your healthcare benefits;
  • Starting a new job or changing your hours;
  • Want to know what would happen if you are no longer able to work;
  • Interested in returning to school; or
  • Seeking a job but need help with your search.

Counseling support is provided by a CWIC who has received approved training from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and certification through Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Our CWICs:

  • Provide work incentives planning and assistance;
  • Help you and your family determine if you are eligible for Federal or State work incentive programs;
  • Refer you to local Employment Networks or State Vocational Rehabilitation agencies such as DARS or DBVI;
  • Provide general information about potential employer-based or federally subsidized health benefits coverage available to you once you enter the workforce; and
  • Inform you of the available protection and advocacy services.

For general information about your SSI/SSDI, and how working will affect your benefits, contact the Social Security Ticket to Work Help Line:

Monday through Friday ~ 8 am to 8 pm (EST)

1-866-968-7842 (V)

1-866-833-2967 (TTY)

Project WISE-East provides assistance to Social Security beneficiaries in some areas of Virginia and Washington DC. Contact your local CWIC for more information.

Linda Johnson, Senior CWIC

Endependence Center Inc. (ECI)

ljohnson@endependence.org

Phone: (757) 351-1577

Toll free: (866) 323-1088

TTY: (757) 461-7527

Or

Frances Durham, CWIC

Endependence Center Inc. (ECI)

fedurham@endependence.org

Phone: (757) 351-1594

Toll free: (866) 323-1088

TTY: (757) 461-7527

Or

Margie Ferguson, CWIC

Endependence Center Inc. (ECI)

mferguson@endependence.org

Phone: (757) 351-1565

Toll free: (866) 323-1088

TTY: (757) 461-7527

 Service Areas: Cities of Chesapeake; Emporia; Franklin; Hampton; Newport News; Norfolk; Poquoson; Portsmouth; Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg. Counties of Accomack; Essex; Gloucester; Greensville; Isle of Wight; James City; King and Queen; King William; Lancaster; Mathews; Middlesex; Northampton; Northumberland; Richmond; Southampton; Surry; Sussex; Westmoreland, and York.

Nicole Fear – Infinity Support Services

Nicole.fear@infinityss.net

Phone: (240) 385-9484

Toll Free: 888-466-2942 x7

Service area: Washington, DC

WIPA services require verification of all benefits you are receiving, which enables us to give you accurate individualized information. CWICs need to know what benefits you receive, if you have used work incentives in the past, and if there are additional factors that can impact the decisions you make about work as they relate to your benefits. Verification of Social Security benefits requires the CWIC to use a Benefits Planning Query (BPQY). The CWIC will ask you to complete several release forms that are sent to Social Security to obtain a copy of your BPQY. Once the CWIC receives your BPQY, which could take several weeks, the CWIC will contact you.

For further information, visit www.ssa.gov or call the Ticket to Work Help Line at their toll-free numbers, 1-866-968-7842 (v) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) or visit their website at http://www.chooseworkttw.net/

This document is funded through a Social Security cooperative agreement. Although Social Security reviewed this website for accuracy, it does not constitute an official Social Security communication.