The Alabama Department of Mental Health (ADMH) provides FREE benefits counseling services for recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) through the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program in southern Alabama.

Services

Do you have questions about how earned income could affect your SSDI, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, or other public benefits?

  • You will be assigned to a Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) who can look at your specific situation and give you the answers to these questions.
  • You will be given an individualized Benefits Summary and Analysis (BS&A) and other written documents to explain available work incentives and help you track your progress.
  • You will be given information on required reporting including what, when, and to whom you should report so that you stay in good standing with these important agencies.

In addition, your CWIC can connect you to other agencies and service providers when needed – like Employment Networks, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, and local Career Centers.

Benefits counseling services through WIPA can provide long-term support related to work and disability benefits.  Maintaining contact with your CWIC regarding your job status and earnings will allow for continued guidance based on your changing needs.

Eligibility

  • Currently receiving disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSDI and/or SSI)
  • Between the ages of 14 and 66 and have not yet reached full retirement age

Priority is given to those:

  • already working
  • job-offer pending
  • interview within the last 30 days or the next 2 weeks
  • veterans
  • transition youth between the ages of 14-25

How to Get started?

Call Social Security’s Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY)
They will verify your eligibility and connect you to our WIPA! If you are experiencing trouble getting through to the Ticket to Work Help Line, feel free to email us directly at wipareferral.dmh@mh.alabama.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

Work Incentives Planning and Assistance

Can I work and keep my cash benefits?

It is possible! This depends on the type of benefit you get and how much you earn per month. Your CWIC will be able to answer this question when benefits counseling services begin (with verification of benefits and information on earnings).

Can I keep my healthcare if I start working?

Yes! In almost every case, you will be able to keep health insurance. Duration of coverage will depend on the type of benefit/healthcare you receive and on additional information related to your situation.

What are work incentives?

Work Incentives are rules that make it possible to work and still receive monthly SSDI/SSI payments in some cases, as well as Medicare and/or Medicaid. Work incentives are specific to the benefit you receive and other details about your situation. Your CWIC will explain and help you utilize any work incentives that may be beneficial in your return to work.

The Red Book is a Social Security publication that serves as a guide to these work incentives.  You can download or print a copy of the latest edition at https://www.ssa.gov/redbook/.

What happens if I lose my cash benefit and my hours decrease or stop working altogether because of my disability?

You will be asked some questions to make sure you are eligible for services and interested in work. If so, your information will be sent to the ADMH Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program. You will receive a phone call and a packet of information/releases by mail (including a postage-paid return envelope). When we receive your signed releases, we will acquire a Benefits Planning Query from Social Security with details about your benefits and work incentive usage. You will then be contacted by your CWIC and individualized services and assistance will begin.

What organizations administer the WIPA program in Alabama?

Map of the state of Alabama depicting a northern portion of the state where the WIPA program is administered by Disability Rights & Resources, and a southern portion of the state where the WIPA program is administered by ADMH.

Alabama Department of Mental Health covers the following 41 counties in southern Alabama:

AutaugaCoosaMobile
BaldwinCovingtonMonroe
Barbour CrenshawMontgomery
Bibb DalePerry
Bullock Dallas Pike
Butler ElmoreRandolph
Chambers EscambiaRussell
ChiltonGenevaShelby
Choctaw HenrySumter
ClarkeHoustonTalladega
ClayLeeTallapoosa
CleburneLowndes Washington
Coffee MaconWilcox
ConecuhMarengo

Disability Rights & Resources covers the following 26 counties in northern Alabama:

Blount Greene
Marion
Calhoun Hale Marshall
Cherokee Jackson
Morgan
Colbert JeffersonPickens
Cullman Lamar St. Clair
DeKalb Lauderdale Tuscaloosa
Etowah Lawrence Walker
Fayette Limestone Winston
Franklin Madison

Contacting the Ticket to Work Help Line @ 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) will route you to the correct WIPA covering your area.

What happens when I contact the Ticket to Work Helpline?

You will be asked some questions to make sure you are eligible for services and interested in work. If so, your information will be sent to the ADMH Work Incentives Planning and Assistance program. You will receive a phone call and a packet of information/releases by mail (including a postage-paid return envelope). When we receive your signed releases, we will acquire a Benefits Planning Query from Social Security with details about your benefits and work incentive usage. You will then be contacted by your CWIC and individualized services and assistance will begin.

You can find more information on the Social Security Administration’s Ticket to Work program at https://choosework.ssa.gov.

This document is funded through a Social Security cooperative agreement. Although Social Security reviewed this document for accuracy, it does not constitute an Official Social Security communication.
Must meet or exceed compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. (Award #23)