Social Security Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program

To comply with the Ticket-to-Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act (TWWIIA) which was passed in December 1999, and reauthorized by the Social Security Protection Act of 2004, which requires the SSA to establish a community-based work incentives planning and assistance program.

The purpose of

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this Program is to disseminate accurate information to beneficiaries with disabilities (including transition-to-work aged youth) about work incentives programs, and issues related to such programs, to enable them to make informed choices about working and whether or when to assign their Ticket to Work, as well as how available work incentives can facilitate their transition into the workforce.

The ultimate goal of the WIPA Program is to assist beneficiaries with disabilities succeed in their return to work efforts.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

(1) Independent Living Centers; (2) Goodwill Organizations; (3) University Based Programs; (4) Protection and Advocacy Organizations; (5) Vocational Rehabilitation Organizations (5) Hospitals.

Agency - Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration advances the economic security of the nation's people through compassionate and vigilant leadership in shaping and managing America's Social Security programs.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

In October 2006, SSA awarded cooperative agreements to 99 entities, to implement work incentives planning and assistance (WIPA) services. In April 2007, SSA awarded an additional 5 cooperative agreements in order to establish national WIPA coverage. Continuation awards will be effective in April 2008, for ten subsequent months.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Cooperative agreements are awarded to organizations to: (1) Provide statewide work incentives planning and assistance, including information on the availability of protection and advocacy services, to all Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries with disabilities, and to conduct ongoing outreach to those beneficiaries with disabilities and to their families that are potentially eligible to participate in State or Federal work incentives programs.

(2) Disseminate accurate information to beneficiaries with disabilities (including transition-to-work aged youth) about work incentives programs and issues related to such programs, to enable them to make informed choices about working and whether or when to assign their Ticket to Work, as well as how available work incentives can facilitate their transition into the workforce.

Cooperative agreement funds may not be used for construction or major renovation of buildings.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicants applying for cooperative agreement funds may include State or local governments (excluding any State administering the Sate Medicaid program), public or private organizations, or nonprofit or for-profit organizations (for-profit organizations may apply with the understanding that no cooperative agreement funds may be paid as profit to any awardee), as well as Native American tribal organizations that the Commissioner determines is qualified to provide work incentives planning and assistance to all SSDI and SSI beneficiaries with disabilities, within the targeted geographic area.

These may include Centers for Independent Living established under Title VII of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, protection and advocacy organizations, Native American tribal entities, client assistance programs established in accordance with Section 112 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, State Developmental Disabilities Councils established in accordance with Section 124 of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, and State agencies administering the State program funded under Part A of Title IV of the Act.

The Commissioner may also award a cooperative agreement to a State or local Workforce Investment Board, a Department of Labor (DOL) One-Stop Career Center System established under the Workforce Improvement Act of 1998, or a State Vocational Rehabilitation agency.

Cooperative agreements may not be awarded to any individual, the Social Security Administration Field Offices, any State agency administrating the State Medicaid program under Title XIX of the Act, any entity that the Commissioner determines would have a conflict of interest if the entity were to receive a cooperative agreement under the Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) Program or any organization described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1968 that engages in lobbying (in accordance with Section 18 of the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C.


Beneficiary Eligibility

All SSDI and SSI beneficiaries with disabilities.


Costs and administrative requirements for grantees will be determined in accordance with Social Security Administration regulations 20 CFR 435 and 437.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Not applicable.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

The standard application forms furnished by SSA must be used for this program. When cooperative agreement opportunities are available, SSA publishes a notice in the Federal Register soliciting cooperative agreement applications. Application packages will be provided at If extenuating circumstances prevent you from submitting an application through please contact the Grants Management Team at Office of Acquisition and Grants (OAG), Social Security Administration, Attention: Phyllis Y. Smith or Gary Stammer, 1st Floor-Rear Entrance, 7111 Security Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21244. The telephone numbers are: Phyllis Y. Smith (410) 965-9518 or, Gary Stammer, (410) 965-9501. The fax number is (410) 966-9310. To be considered for a cooperative agreement award, all applicants must complete the prescribed application forms, through unless the applicant has received prior approval from OAG to submit a paper application to the Grants Management Team. The application shall be executed by an individual authorized to act for the applicant agency or organization who will assume the obligations imposed by the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement. At least three independent reviewers prepare written assessments of each program relevant cooperative agreement application. Applications found irrelevant or unresponsive to program objectives are returned to the applicants.

Award Procedures

OAG provides a Notice of Cooperative Agreement Award as official notice for approved applications. The notice indicates award amount, the purpose of the award, award terms and conditions, the budget period, the anticipated project period, and the awardee's cost sharing requirement.


Closing dates for receipt of cooperative agreement applications are published in the Federal Register announcement (usually 30 to 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register).


Social Security Act, Section 1149(d); Section 121, Public Law 106-170; Ticket-to-Work Incentives Improvement Act; Social Security Protection Act, Public Law 108-203; Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Developmental Disabilities Rehabilitation and Assistance and Bill of Rights Act; Workforce Improvement Act of 1998; Lobbying Disclosure Act; 2 U.S.C. 1611.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Generally, 3 to 6 months after the closing date established in the Federal Register announcement.


There are no formal appeal procedures. If an application is not approved, the reasons will be stipulated in the denial notice.


Cooperative agreements can be continued via formal continuation application, which is subject to approval. If an application is recommended for approval for 2 or more budget periods, the awardee must submit a formal request for funding continuation each year. Continuation applications are evaluated prior to a recommendation of additional funding.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

The formula is based on the amount appropriated and the percentage of beneficiaries with disabilities: maximum of $300,000 and minimum of $100,000 (Minimum awards for territories is $50,000.) Awardees are required to share the cost of projects. The cost-sharing ranges from five to 25 percent of total project costs.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds are usually granted for a period of 12 months. Funds, however, can be granted for a minimum of 3 months, and up to a maximum of 60 months.

Post Assistance Requirements


Progress and financial reports are required on all projects.

Financial reports are required semi-annually.

Interim financial reports are due within 30 days after the end of the first 6-month period.

Quarterly progress reports are due within 30 days after the end of each quarter of the budget period.

Comprehensive final progress and financial reports are due no later than 90 days after the cooperative agreement expires.


Audits shall be conducted in accordance with SSA regulations 20 CFR 435 and 437. In accordance with the provisions of (OMB) Circular A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations, "nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Awardees must maintain financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and all other records pertinent to an award for 3 years after the end of the project. In the event of an audit, records must be maintained until all questions are resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Cooperative Agreements) FY 07 $23,000,000; FY 08 est $23,000,000 and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$50,000 to $300,000. Figures may vary with type of program.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Not applicable.

Headquarters Office

Elissa Ness, Project Officer, Office of Employment Support Programs (OESP), ODISP, 6401 Security Boulevard, 107 Altmeyer Building, Baltimore, MD 21235. Telephone: (410) 965-7955.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Generally, applications are evaluated on the following criteria: (1) Capability; (2) relevance and adequacy of project design; (3) resources and management; and (4) quality assurance.

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