Benefits Planning Resources

Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs) disseminate accurate information to beneficiaries receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the work incentives available under these programs. This information will help individuals to make informed choices about employment/self employment including:

  • How available work incentives can facilitate their transition into the workforce; and
  • Information on the impact of earnings on other support programs, such as:
    – Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
    – Food Stamps
    – Federal Housing
    – Unemployment Insurance
    – Worker’s Compensation
    – Earned Income Tax Credit
    – Health Insurance


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Also, check out our new YouTube channel, featuring brief videos that answer many of the questions that Social Security beneficiaries have about returning to work and benefits planning!

Tip #3:   How does Social Security employment supports (work incentives) help?

Employment supports are in place to assist you in your efforts to become self-sufficient through work. They can help you find a job or start a business, protect your cash and medical benefits while you work, or save money to go to school. If your benefits end because of your work and you have to stop working later, employment supports can make it easy to begin receiving benefits again.  There are employment-supports or work incentive provisions that are available under the two disability related programs through the Social Security Administration:

The SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) employment supports provide help over a long period to allow you to test your ability to work, or to continue working, and gradually become self-supporting and independent.

The SSI (Supplemental Security income) employment supports offer ways for you to continue receiving your SSI checks and/or Medicaid coverage while you work. Some of these provisions can increase your net income to help cover special expenses.

How do you find out more about work incentives or employment supports? Contact your local Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC). They focus on you, your choices, your future, and especially your work goals.

CWICs distribute accurate information to beneficiaries receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and the work incentives available under these programs.

If you are a Social Security beneficiary and need assistance with work incentives, please contact DRI’s intake specialist at 1-800-779-2502 x12 between 9:00 am and 12:30 pm Monday through Friday.

Tip #4: How do I report my wages to Social Security?

To make sure you get timely and accurate payments, you must participate in monthly wage reporting. Each month, take or mail all pay stubs to your local Social Security office. Be sure to include pay stubs for overtime, vacation pay and bonuses. If you have receipts for disability-related items or services necessary for work, turn those in as well.

Most people with telephone access can report wages using Social Security’s automated phone system. Reporting monthly wages by phone saves paper, postage and time by eliminating the need to copy, fax or mail wage evidence to the local office. Contact Social Security to learn more.

Social security also has many online features to save you time and money. For example, if you need proof that you are receiving Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income and/or Medicare, you can request a benefit verification letter online by using your “my Social Security” account. To set up or use your account to get a benefit verification letter, go to and click on “Sign In / Create An Account”.

You can view, print, and save your benefit verification letter. The benefit verification letter is also called a budget letter, benefit letter, proof-of-income letter, or proof of award letter.