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Work Incentives Planning and Assistance: Assisting Beneficiaries to Obtain Employment and Reduce Dependence on SSA Benefits

by John Kregel, Ed.D.

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Kregel, J. (2009). Work Incentives Planning and Assistance: Assisting Beneficiaries to Obtain Employment and Reduce Dependence on SSA Benefits. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 31(1), 1-9.
https://doi.org/10.3233/JVR-2009-0466

Testimony Presented To: Social Security Subcommittee House Ways and Means Washington, DC, May 19, 2009

Presented By: John Kregel, Ed.D., Principal Investigator
Work Incentives Planning and Assistance National Training Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA


Work Incentives Planning and Assistance: Assisting Beneficiaries to Obtain Employment and Reduce Dependence on SSA Benefits

Introduction

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for this opportunity. I will focus my comments today on SSA’s employment programs, particularly the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) program. The WIPA program is an integral part of SSA strategy to promote employment among SSA beneficiaries, reduce dependence on SSI and SSDI cash benefits, reduce the number of burdensome overpayments and other post entitlement problems experienced by beneficiaries engaged in employment, and decrease trust fund and general fund expenditures by reducing cash payments to beneficiaries. Authorized by Section 121 of the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999, 104 WIPA projects are providing services to SSA beneficiaries in all 50 states and territories. Collectively, the 104 projects employ over 400 Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs), many of whom are themselves individuals with disabilities, and have served over 350,000 individuals since the program’s inception in 2000.