University of Wisconsin Stout | Wisconsin's Polytechnic University
Get Your Hands on Your Future
Get Your Hands on Your Future
Fear of losing benefits is a common concern for people with disabilities who want to work. SVRI’s Work Incentive Benefits Specialists explain the effect that working will have on an individual’s benefits and dispel some of the myths about working while receiving benefits.
The individual and work incentive benefits specialist meet to discuss the individual's current benefits, anticipated earnings, and specific questions from the individual. The work incentive benefits specialist can travel to the individuals' local area for meetings or conduct the intake over the phone if preferred.
The work incentive benefits specialist then verifies and analyzes benefits the individual receives such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, FoodShare, Energy Assistance, Housing Assistance, and any others. The work incentive benefits specialist then writes a comprehensive individualized report.
This report includes:
At the conclusion, the work incentive benefits specialist, individual, and anyone else invited by the individual such as family or Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) counselor meet to discuss the report and ensure that the information provided is understood. The work incentive benefits specialist is also available to answer questions in the year following the report. This can help diminish future concerns as they may arise when returning to work.
A Work Incentive Plan or WIP is a way to enhance the Work Incentive Analysis. The WIP goes into further investigation with the consumer if there are benefits issues to resolve. The WIP can also be used as a road map to maximize the use of work incentives in the return to work process.
A Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) is a way for a person to save money to purchase items or services needed to reach a vocational goal. In order to pursue this option, a specific vocational goal is needed with the intension to decrease dependence on Social Security benefits by the completion of the PASS. SVRI provides assistance with developing plans to assist the individual.
SVRI is participating in the Benefit Offset National Demonstration (BOND) Project. This is an experimental program through the Social Security Administration (SSA). The program allows individuals to "Earn more. Keep more."
The standard fee for a Work Incentive Benefit Analysis is $750. This fee can be paid by a number of agencies. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and Managed Care Organizations (MCO) are the common funders of this service.
As of June 1, 2012, there will be grant funding available to those with no other funding source. This funding will go through December 2012 or until the money is exhausted. This is a grant through the Department of Health Services.
SVRI's Work Incentive Benefits Specialists were trained by the Wisconsin Disability Benefits Network (WDBN) and regularly participate in continuing education activities and trainings to keep their knowledge up-to-date. They are also required to be part of the Work Incentive Benefits Specialist Association (WIBSA), which promotes quality benefits analysis services in the state of Wisconsin. WIBSA members are required to attend 12 hours of training related to benefits counseling, as well as peer review of a report each year.
More information on WIBSA can be found at http://www.wibsa.org
More information on Benefits Counseling in Wisconsin can be found at http://eri-wi.org/benefits-specialists
Work Incentive Benefits Analysis Program Manager
715 232-2115 (voice)
715 232-1323 (fax)
"I have worked with many agencies throughout my daughter's 26 years and found that this was the first time someone really took the effort and time to clearly present information in an understandable manner."