Disability Benefits Support
From Goodwill MN

Let our experts help you navigate work and government benefits.

work incentives connection

2019 Social Security Changes

Click here and see how Social Security Changes in 2019 will affect you.


Need to know how work affects government benefits? Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota Work Incentives Connection provides specialized answers about the impact of work on government benefits. Armed with clear, accurate information about their options, people with disabilities can make informed and confident decisions about employment.

Minnesota’s only Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program.
The Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program is a cooperative agreement between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Work Incentives Connection of Goodwill Easter Seals to help individuals with disabilities understand how their Social Security and other public benefits are affected by working.


Services
Services start with a phone call. Anyone can call.

Ask our certified work incentives counselors about your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medical Assistance (MA), Medicare, SNAP, subsidized housing or other benefit program rules when working. Work Incentives Connection staff can:

  • Research benefits issues and assist by advocating directly with government representatives
  • Explain the work incentives available to you and provide a Benefit’s Analysis
  • Coach you on how to report earnings from employment to Social Security and other agencies
  • Identify the timing of changes in your benefits once you begin working
  • Follow up with you regarding any benefits changes
  • Answer critical health insurance questions related to work.
  • Explain Social Security’s Ticket to Work program and provide information and referral to other resources, as needed.

Services are provided in partnership with Minnesota Vocational Rehabilitative Services, as well as, the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance project of the Social Security Administration.

No person served will be charged a fee for services from the Work Incentives Connection.


Benefits Analysis

In-depth Benefits Analysis reports are developed for individuals who want thorough, written information about their benefits; description of how each of their benefits is affected by working; and instructions about tracking and reporting their earnings. A Benefits Analysis has three parts.

  • A detailed report explains how your work and earnings affect each specific benefit. Special work incentives and health care options that apply to your situation are identified.
  • An Available Income Summary shows how your earnings affect your financial bottom line at varying levels of work and earnings.
  • A Benefits Information and Action Plan provides reporting, contact, and follow-up information.

The Benefits Analysis gives people clear and useful information to make their own choices about working.


Outreach and Education

The Work Incentives Connection conducts community education presentations and meetings throughout Minnesota. These meetings inform people with disabilities, family members, social service staff and employment support professionals about basic Social Security work rules, and how specialized benefits planning services can help individuals increase their financial independence. The Work Incentives Connection publishes a bi-annual newsletter and provides information on its website about government benefit program rules and incentives for people with disabilities who want to work.


Eligibility

Anyone can call the Work Incentives Connection with questions about work and benefits. Assistance is provided to people with all types of disabilities throughout MN, as well as family members, vocational or other service providers, advocates and others assisting people with disabilities.

  • To receive in-depth services, participants must be between ages 16-64 and receiving either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Staff

The staff at the Work Incentives Connection are called Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWICs).A CWIC will offer you individualized services based on your interests and needs.

  • CWICs have been trained and certified by Virginia Commonwealth University to provide in-depth and individualized benefits assistance and planning.
  • Each CWIC has passed a Social Security Administration background and suitability screening.
  • Our CWICs work throughout the state of Minnesota, provide services over the phone and in-person.

Get answers and support at 1-800-976-6728 (toll-free) or 651-632-5113 (MN Relay – 711).