Benefit Counseling

Social Security benefit advisement, as it relates to employment, from a certified work incentive professional can be obtained through multiple paths.

Social Security benefit advisement, as it relates to employment, from a certified work incentive professional can be obtained through multiple paths.  It should be noted that the primary place for individuals looking for assistance should be the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.

It is recommended to exhaust options at DVRS before pursuing through other means.


Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Participants enrolled with DVRS can speak with their assigned Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor regarding receiving appropriate benefit services from a certified professional. It is recommended that individuals talk with the VRC about these services before accepting employment to avoid problems once employed.

Note: The Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (sister agency of DVRS) has different procedures.  If applicable, speak with your CBVI Vocational Counselor regarding benefit advisement options or contact appropriate WIPA (below).

Work Incentive Planning & Assistance (WIPA)

WIPA staff provide information about work and benefits to people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) because of a disability.  There are 2 entities in NJ tasked with providing WIPA assistance in NJ.

WIPA Services:

  • Require enrollment in SSI and/or SSDI
  • Are exclusively virtual (phone, video call, email)

For residents of most NJ counties:

The Family Resource Network’s New Jersey Work Incentives Network Support (NJWINS) program assists Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) beneficiaries to start, continue or increase work efforts while maintaining benefits for as long as they are needed.

Referral Form Here

Goodwill NY/NJ

For residents of: Essex, Bergen, Union and Hudson counties:

Our WORK Advocate, Work Incentives Planning and Assistance(WIPA), shows Social Security beneficiaries how to use work incentives to achieve employment and how to temporarily keep Social Security cash and medical benefits.

Please contact the ticket to work helpline at 1-866-968-7842 to be screened and referred for services.


The Division of Developmental Disabilities

Once benefit assistance options have been exhausted from the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, if applicable, individuals may use their own DDD budget to pay for benefit advisement.

Speak with your Support Coordinator regarding budget availability for Supported Employment.  Under this service, benefit advisement as it relates to employment is an allowable service.

Note: Not all Supported Employment providers employ certified staff members for benefit advisement.  Work with your Support Coordinator and local providers to find an agency that fits your need.

alternative-ticket to work

Ticket to Work

If you are a Social Security benefit recipient, you may have received a letter regarding “Ticket to Work.”  This voluntary program is a Federally overseen alternative to State Vocational Rehabilitation.  TTW is operate by agencies called “Employment Networks” across the United States.

This program has earnings requirements and supports offered are generally not delivered in person, therefore less comprehensive than State Vocational Rehabilitation. If you are in need of in person support like job coaching, it is advisable to look to your local DVRS instead of TTW.

Individuals working part time and in need of additional supports like job coaching or any onsite assistance, in general, benefit more from DVRS and/or DDD services. The intent of TTW is to help individuals transition away from benefits through substantially gainful employment.

You may utilize an Employment Network through TTW only when you do not have an open DVRS case due to DVRS holding your “ticket” for the duration of services.

If you have more questions, contact TTW helpline and speak with a representative about your situation.