ABLE Account Decision Guide Series

ABLE Accounts and Working People with Disabilities

Services Available Through a Work Incentives Counselor

This service is often referred to by other names, including Benefits Planner or Benefits Counselor. The person providing this service – we’ll use the term Work Incentives Counselor – will typically provide a range of free services to assist a person with a disability as they pursue a work goal while continuing to be eligible for one or more of the public benefits discussed above.

Here are three of the potential sources of free work incentives counseling in your state:

  • Work Incentives Counseling and Assistance (WIPA) program. WIPA services are available in every state, with two or more SSA-funded WIPA programs in some states.
  • State VR Agency funded services. Many State VR Agencies provide Work Incentives Counseling to the people it serves. This can be a through VR agency staff or through fee-for-service arrangements with private agencies or individual vendors.
  • Employment Networks (ENs). An EN is a private or public organization that provides free employment support services to SSI and SSDI beneficiaries to support their work efforts. ENs are paid through the Ticket to Work program as the beneficiary served moves toward decreased reliance on SSI or SSDI through work and wages. Some ENs offer free Work Incentives Counseling Services.

To locate the WIPA project, State VR Agency or an EN serving your area, visit the Ticket to Work “Find Help” page, www.choosework.net/findhelp. At the Find Help page, we recommend you scroll down and use the Direct Search option to search for one of these three options based on your zip code.

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Note: Our ABLE Decision Guide Series is designed as an aid to decision making as it relates to establishing and using an ABLE account. This document does not cover every possible issue related to the topic and is not a substitute to more in-depth analysis that may be required in some cases.