I am a New Yorker with a disability, and I want to:
Understand my benefits

Benefits and Work Incentives Planning and Assistance is a critical employment support for individuals with disabilities who receive public entitlements. Understanding how your benefits are impacted by earnings is an important first step in making an informed choice about work. The Social Security Administration has sponsored 103 Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) programs nationwide to ensure their beneficiaries have access to the information they need. Seven WIPA programs have been established in New York State, each staffed with Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs) that can:

  • provide work incentives planning and assistance;
  • help beneficiaries and their families determine eligibility for Federal or State work incentives programs;
  • refer beneficiaries with disabilities to appropriate Employment Networks or State VR agencies based on individual needs and impairment types;
  • provide general information about potential employer-based or federally subsidized health benefits coverage available to beneficiaries once they enter the workforce; and
  • inform beneficiaries with disabilities of further protection and advocacy services available to them.

WIPAs are authorized to serve all SSA beneficiaries with disabilities, including transition-to-work aged youth, and a listing of these programs is provided below.

Abilities Inc.Albertson, NY
Research Foundation for Mental HygieneBrooklyn, NY
Goodwill of Greater NY and Northern NJ, Inc. (I)Brooklyn, NY
Goodwill of Greater NY and Northern NJ, Inc. (II)Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood Legal ServicesBuffalo, NY
Goodwill of Greater NY and Northern NJ, Inc. (III)Long Island City, NY
Research Foundation for Mental HygieneNew York, NY
Independent Living, Inc.Newburgh, NY
City University of NY Research Foundation (CUNY)NY
Resource Center for Independent LivingUtica, NY

In addition to WIPA programs, the New York Makes Work Pay initiative, has developed a Work Incentives Information Network to increase the number of certified benefits and work incentives specialists available statewide. The map below provides reference points for additional practitioners serving local areas which may be more proximate to your needs.

  • Check back regularly for updated listings of practitioners in your local area. If you are interested in becoming a certified benefits and work incentives specialist. Download the application:  PDF   |  TEXT
  • Glossary of SSA Disability Programs and Related Terms  PDF (635 KB)   |   HTML (70 KB)

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Partnering Organizations

New York State Office of Mental Health Burton Blatt Institute K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute