Social Security Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA)

Counseling Services

The WIPA program is a community-based organization that receives funding from Social Security to provide all Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries (including transition-to-work age youth) with FREE access to work incentive planning and assistance.  Ability Connection Colorado is the only nonprofit approved to provide benefit counseling services through the Social Security Administration program.

Certified Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWIC) under the grant with the Social Services Administration must undergo high level security screening and training in order to provide and protect important beneficiary information.  This information is provided FREE OF CHARGE.

CWIC Contact Information

Please contact your local CWIC to answer questions regarding your specific situation.

Denver Metro Region

Terry McGarry

303/691-9339

Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer, Morgan, Philips, Sedgwick, Weld, Washington, Yuma
Denver Metro Region

Harold Lasso

855/228-5393 (toll free)

Arapahoe/Douglas Region – Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan, Park, Weld
Colorado Springs Region

Julie Taylor

719/597-0068

Baca, Bent, Chaffee, Cheyenne, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, El Paso, Elbert,  Fremont, Huerfano, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Las Animas, Lincoln, Otero, Prowers, Pueblo, Teller
Durango Region

Julie Taylor (in orange)

719/597-0068

David Nelson (in blue)

970/256-2457

Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Rio Grande, Saguache

Archuleta, Delores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mineral, Montezuma, San Juan

Grand Junction Region

David Nelson

970/256-2457

Clear Creek, Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Gunnison, Jackson, Lake, Larimer, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Ouray, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, Routt, San Miguel, Summit

WIPA Program Services FAQ

What is the Colorado Work Incentive Planning and Assistance Project (WIPA)?

The WIPA program is a community-based organization that receives funding from Social Security to provide all Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability beneficiaries (including transition-to-work age youth) with FREE access to work incentive planning and assistance.

What does a CWIC (Community Work Incentive Counselor) do?

  • A CWIC provides work incentives planning and assistance to beneficiaries with disabilities.
  • Conducts outreach efforts to those beneficiaries and their families who are potentially eligible to participate in Federal or state employment support programs,
  • Work in cooperation with Federal, state, private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve beneficiaries with disabilities.

Will I lose my benefits if I go back to work?

Most people will not lose their benefits if they chose to go back to work.  Social Security has developed a formula and work incentives that are available to most SSA beneficiaries that allow them to test their ability to go back to work without losing their cash or medical benefits.

Will I lose my Medicaid benefits once my SSI cash payments cease?

Most SSI beneficiaries may still be entitled to Medicaid benefits even after their SSI cash payments have ceased due to an increase income through a work incentive call 1619(a) (b).

What is a Trial Work Period (TWP)?

A Trial Work Period (TWP) is a work incentive available to SSDI recipients that allows you to test your ability to work for at least 9 months (these months do not have to be consecutive).  During your TWP, you will receive full SSDI benefits regardless of how high your earnings might be as long as your work activity has been reported and you have a disabling impairment.

Does the TWP apply to SSI?

No.. A TWP does not apply to the SSI program.

What is a Ticket to Work?

The Ticket to Work is a program for individuals with disabilities who want to work and participate in planning their employment.   It is a free and voluntary service.  With the Ticket a beneficiary can use the Ticket to obtain employment, vocational rehabilitation services or other support services needed to get or keep a job.  There is no penalty for not using your ticket.  If you do choose to use your ticket you may not be subject to a continuing disability review while you are using your ticket. For more information about the Ticket to Work, you can speak with a member of our staff or contact the Ticket to Work Help Line at (866) 968-7842 (Voice) or (866) 833-2967 (TTY). You can also visit  www.ssa.gov/work.

What is Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

SGA is used to describe a level of work activity and earnings.  SGA is used as a factor to determine initial eligibility and to decide if your disability continues after you returned to work and complete your Trial Work Period.

What will happen to my Medicare if I lose my SSDI check?

Many individuals with disabilities who work will may continue to receive Medicare.  Please contact you local CWIC to get more information regarding Medicare.

Is it possible to get back on SSDI/SSI if I lose my benefits and can no longer work again?

It is possible to become eligible again for either SSDI or SSI benefits.

801 South Yosemite Street   |   Denver, CO 80230   |   303.691.9339   |   info@abilityconnectioncolorado.org