Benefits Planning

What is benefits planning?

Benefits planning helps you understand the impact of work on your benefits such as cash, medical, housing, personal care services, and food benefits. A benefit specialist can help you explore and utilize work incentives and develop a plan to transition to work.

Why is benefits planning important?

Benefits planning helps:

  • Reduce uncertainty about how your benefits will be impacted when you work.
  • Enhance your understanding of the impact of work on benefits and allow you to work to your potential instead of limiting earnings to keep benefits.
  • Discover how Social Security work incentives and other programs can help pay for items and services you need to maintain employment.
  • Explore healthcare options

How do I find a benefit specialist in my area to help me understand how working will affect my benefits?

There are two options.

  1. DVR has benefits planning services as part of receiving services from DVR. Use the benefit calculators to estimate how wages from a job would impact your Supplemental Security Income - SSI.
  2. Work Incentive Planning & Assistance - WIPA Projects are approved by SSA to help you learn about Social Security work incentives, other employment support programs, provide benefits planning services and evaluate what would be helpful for you. There are two WIPAs serving people receiving SSI and/or Social Security Disability residing in Washington State:
    • Plan to Work 
      Statewide: toll-free at 1-866-497-9443 or TTY 1-877-846-0775 
      Serves every Washington state county except those served by “Plan for Work” below
    • Plan For Work 
      Statewide toll free at 1-800-452-1694 x227 or 503-243-2081 x 227 
      Serves ten Southern Washington counties: Pacific, Lewis, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Clark, Skamania, Klickitat, Benton, Franklin, and Walla Walla

Some County Developmental Disabilities programs also offer benefits planning. Check with your Case Manager at the Division of Developmental Disabilities to find out if these services are available in your area.

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