One of the most significant barriers to employment among working aged individuals and transition aged youth with disabilities that also receive benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) is fear and lack of understanding of how earned income impacts SSA cash benefits as well as related health insurance (i.e., Medicare and Medicaid) and other federal or state benefits.


If you receive benefits through the SSA, e.g., Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) or both, Work Incentives Counseling is for you. The Social Security Administration provides funding for work incentives counseling through its Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program (WIPA). What is WIPA? WIPA is a service designed to help you understand work incentives available under the SSI and SSDI programs. A WIPA coordinator can discuss how returning to work impacts your benefits as well as recommend work incentives that can maximize your income and healthcare options as you return to work and achieve greater financial stability. 

To learn if you are eligible for this service, call the Ticket to Work helpline at 866-968-7842. After selecting your preferred language, choose option 3, to speak with a Work Specialist. Tell them you would like to know how wages will affect your benefits. This is a 10–15-minute call where representatives will ask you questions to determine if you are “eligible” through a WIPA provider. If you are determined to be a WIPA eligible you will be assigned to one of four providers to receive work incentives counseling services.
If you are determined “not” eligible under WIPA, your next step is to email AHEDD at AHEDD has a variety of alternative funding options that may be available for you to receive work incentives counseling. When you email us, please provide the following information: I am interested in receiving work incentives counseling and include the following:
  • Name
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Date of birth
  • County of residence
  • Active with the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation? Yes, or no?
  • Indicate if you are receiving SSI or SSDI or both.

With any questions, please contact our Work Incentives Counseling Program Manager, Joy Smith at