Work Incentives Planning and Utilization For Benefit Practitioners Certificate Series
WEBINAR SERIES BUNDLE
WIP-C™ Full CredentialingView Full Listing for WIP-C™ Full Credentialing
Work incentives pave the way to work and financial independence for recipients of public benefits. All public benefits programs and pensions provide incentives for recipients with disabilities to return to work. During the first set of 7 webinars (Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income and Work), participants will explore the principal benefits provided by the Social Security Administration as well as the work incentives pertaining to each benefit. While SSA provides some of the most significant cash and health care benefits, reality indicates that recipients with disabilities may receive benefits from a myriad of public sources. The second set of 6 webinars (The Effect of Work on Other Federal Programs and Their Relationship the Disability Programs) participants will review the various federal programs providing benefits to individuals with disabilities, including TANF, Workers Compensation, and Veterans Benefits, as well as how each relate to one another and are impacted by earned income. Finally, the third set of 4 webinars (The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Benefits Practitioner) will introduce the practice to participants by providing suggestions as to how this complex variety of work incentives, critically needed benefits and earnings can be described and explained to an individual with a disability to both encourage work and financial independence.
This intensive certification program for Benefits Practitioners requires participation in 17 webinars, completion of a provisional certification on line examination as well as a file review that, upon successful completion, will result in full certification. The webinars are presented twice weekly over a period of eight and a half weeks. The on line examination will be administered two weeks after the conclusion of the webinar series and participants will be allowed a full work week (24/7) to complete the examination. Finally, within 3 months of successfully completing the examination a file review will be completed by Cornell faculty to ensure that the provisionally certified Benefits Practitioner is actually able to effectively use the information obtained through the webinar courses and written materials.
Full certification can be maintained by securing 60 hours of continuing education units (CEU) over the 5 year period immediately following the attainment of full certification. An on line “portal” will be made available for logging CEU activity.
Audit OnlyView Full Listing for Audit Only
Work incentives pave the way to work and financial independence for recipients of public benefits. All public benefits programs and pensions provide incentives for recipients with disabilities to return to work. During the first set of 7 webinars (Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income and Work), participants will explore the principal benefits provided by the Social Security Administration as well as the work incentives pertaining to each benefit.
While SSA provides some of the most significant cash and health care benefits, people with disabilities may receive benefits from a myriad of public sources. In the second set of 6 webinars (The Effect of Work on Other Federal Programs and Their Relationship the Disability Programs) participants will review the various federal programs providing benefits to individuals with disabilities, including TANF, Workers Compensation, and Veterans Benefits, as well as how each relate to one another and are impacted by earned income.
Finally, the third set of 4 webinars (The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Benefits Practitioner) will introduce the practice to participants by providing suggestions as to how this complex variety of work incentives, critically needed benefits, and earnings can be explained to an individual with a disability to encourage both work and financial independence.
This intensive training program for Benefits Practitioners requires participation in 17 webinars. At the completion of the 17 webinars, participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance. Credentialing can be received if the participant chooses the Work Incentives Planning and Utilization for Benefit Practitioners Certificate Series (with Credentialing as a Benefits and Work Incentives Practitioner) course.
Part 1: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income and WorkView Full Listing for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income and Work
Participants interested in completing a course in SSA Work Incentive Knowledge and Utilization must complete all seven webinar classes in this concentration area. Individuals considering the delivery of benefits and work incentive planning and assistance should consider also completing the Work Incentive Planning course and the Federal Benefit Programs course. Individuals completing all three courses and passing an online examination will be eligible for the Cornell University Certificate in Work Incentives Planning and Utilization for Benefit Practitioners.
Benefits Planning for Transition-Aged Youth-YOUTH-CView Full Listing for Benefits Planning for Transition-Aged Youth-YOUTH-C
Learn to counsel youth with disabilities to use work incentives as a tool for establishing careers, as you earn Cornell’s Youth-C credential!
You’ll learn about:
- Work incentives that can specifically benefit youths
- Calculating and tracking the use of these work incentives, and planning for periods of time when each may not apply
- Using and understanding the BPQY to ensure a youth receives applicable work incentives
- Counseling youths and parents about the benefits of work—and the benefits of work incentives
- Financial tools to assist the youth and family as the youth begins work
- Assisting with developing good money habits immediately when a job begins
Prerequisite: Either an up-to-date WIP-C™ credential from Cornell University or CWIC certification from Virginia Commonwealth University.
The class will be limited to 40 participants.
Benefits Planning for Veterans-VET-CView Full Listing for Benefits Planning for Veterans-VET-C
Learn to counsel Veterans with disabilities about returning to work, as you earn Cornell’s Vet-C credential.
You’ll learn about
- Disability benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
- How VA benefits and SSA benefits impact each other
- What happens to VA benefits when Veterans return to work
- Tools to verify VA benefits
- Counseling Veterans about the benefits of work and how to leverage VA benefits to support work
- Outreach to organizations serving Veterans
Prerequisite: Either an up-to-date WIP-C credential from Cornell University or CWIC certification from Virginia Commonwealth University. The class will be limited to 35 participants.
Webinar - 5.26 : WIP CEU Webinar Series: Representative Payees or Managing One’s Own Benefits: Help Me with (or Get Your Hands Off) My BenefitsView Full Listing for WIP CEU Webinar Series: Representative Payees or Managing One’s Own Benefits: Help Me with (or Get Your Hands Off) My Benefits
A representative payee (or rep. payee) manages benefits from Social Security for a beneficiary who is not capable of managing the funds independently. The proper role of rep. payees is often not clearly understood…even by rep. payees themselves. Many beneficiaries need rep. payees, but many advocates believe that rep. payees are overused, and that many individuals who have rep. payees don’t need them - they could manage their own funds adequately. In the course of your work, you are likely to encounter individuals who have rep. payees, but would like to (and are capable of) managing their own benefits. You’ll also meet people who need payees, but whose payees are not doing a good job serving them. You may be uncertain about how to interact with rep. payees; which issues should you address with them and which issues should you not? What is a Work Incentive Practitioner to do?
Webinar - 5.27 : NEW WIP CEU Webinar Series: Unsuccessful Work Attempts (UWAs): It’s As If It Never HappenedView Full Listing for NEW WIP CEU Webinar Series: Unsuccessful Work Attempts (UWAs): It’s As If It Never Happened
The moon landing. Elvis’s death. The existence of COVID. Denial of actual events usually has negative causes, ranging from ignorance to malice. But Social Security has a work incentive that actually makes it beneficial to deny an event. An unsuccessful work attempt (UWA) is a period of work with SGA-level earnings that SSA agrees to erase and not count as SGA. UWAs can enable individuals to either initially qualify for Title II or SSI benefits, or continue Title II benefits after the Trial Work Period, if a short-term work effort fails or earnings drop below SGA.
This webinar, filled with case examples, highlights these factors concerning UWAs:
· Criteria for a UWA:
o Limit on duration
o Events that must precede and follow a UWA
o Reasons for work discontinuing or dropping below SGA
o Event after which a UWA is no longer possible
· Interaction of UWA with other work incentives (Trial Work Period, Subsidy and Special Conditions, Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs), Averaging)
· How to document UWAs
· How SSA evaluates possible UWAs
· UWA case examples
Webinar - 5.28 : WIP CEU Webinar Series: Self-Employment Issues for Title II Disability and SSI: Take That Job and Shove It; I’m Working for MyselfView Full Listing for WIP CEU Webinar Series: Self-Employment Issues for Title II Disability and SSI: Take That Job and Shove It; I’m Working for Myself
SSA’s rules regarding the impact of earnings on Title II Disability and SSI benefits are substantially different for self-employment income than for wages. This topic has grown increasingly important in recent years as more workers have been classified as self-employed, including private contractors (who work for an employer but are technically self-employed) and gig workers. Self-employment has also become a more popular work option for many people with disabilities for whom regular wage employment is impractical or undesirable. Now more than ever, Work Incentive Practitioners need to know the self-employment rules.
Self-employment generally involves some advantages where benefits are concerned. However, it also entails more responsibility. Self-employed beneficiaries need to keep better records than wage employees, tracking earnings, business expenses and other details. Work Incentive Practitioners not only need to understand the rules, but also know how to advise self-employed workers about tracking information, reporting earnings and filing tax forms.
This webinar covers all the self-employment basics:
· What constitutes self-employment?
· Tracking business expenses
· Calculating “net earnings from self-employment (NESE)”
· How NESE are counted during the Trial Work Period, SGA determinations and for SSI purposes
· Reporting self-employment earnings to SSA
· Differences in SGA determinations and work incentives for self-employment
· Importance of business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC) or corporation)
· Differences regarding SSI work incentives for self-employment (IRWE, BWE, PASS, Property Essential to Self-Support (PESS))
Webinar - 5.29 : NEW WIP CEU Webinar Series: Subsidies and Special Conditions: The Benefits of Lower ProductivityView Full Listing for NEW WIP CEU Webinar Series: Subsidies and Special Conditions: The Benefits of Lower Productivity
Subsidies and Special Conditions are double-edged work incentives. On the downside, they broadcast that the work of an employee with a disability is not worth the full amount they are paid. Also, an employee with a hidden disability must usually disclose their disability to their employer in order to document a subsidy. On the upside, subsidies and special conditions can enable a worker with a disability to earn significantly more than the SGA level without performing SGA. They are also easy to document and, unlike IRWEs, they don’t require the employee to pay for any expenses. For most workers who may be eligible to use Subsidies and Special Conditions, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
This webinar explores the rules and strategies for using these work incentives, including:
· What is the difference between subsidies and special conditions?
· Circumstances that indicate strong possibility of a subsidy
· When a subsidy may exist in atypical circumstances
· How to determine the value of subsidies and special conditions
· How to document subsidies and special conditions
· Interactions among subsidies and special conditions and other work incentives (Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs), Averaging)
· Case examples
Webinar - 5.30 : WIP CEU Webinar Series: SSDI and Transition to Retirement: The Benefits of AgingView Full Listing for WIP CEU Webinar Series: SSDI and Transition to Retirement: The Benefits of Aging
The actor Bette Davis famously said, “Old age ain’t no place for sissies”. Yet there’s one silver lining about growing old that even Bette would have appreciated. When a SSDI beneficiary reaches full retirement age, their SSDI is switched to a Retirement Insurance Benefit (RIB), they no longer have an earnings limit and they don’t have to endure medical reviews. That much is pretty simple and beneficial.
But the details about transitioning to retirement can get complex. First of all, full retirement age is different for different people, depending on their birth year. Second, some people who work may be better off getting their Retirement Insurance Benefit before full retirement age (early RIB). Third, some of those people may be “simultaneously entitled” to SSDI and early RIB, which gives them some advantages. And fourth, simultaneously entitled people may switch back and forth between SSDI and early RIB, depending on their circumstances.
This webinar addresses the details, including:
· How to determine a person’s full retirement age
· Transitioning from SSDI to RIB at full retirement age
· When it may be advantageous to file for early RIB, and when it’s better to stick with SSDI
· How to be simultaneously entitled to SSDI and early RIB, and the benefits of simultaneous entitlement
· When a simultaneously entitled person may benefit from switching back and forth between SSDI and early RIB
· The impact on Medicare of transitioning from SSDI to RIB or early RIB
· The role of a Work Incentive Practitioner in the transition from SSDI to RIB or early RIB
Webinar - 5.31 : WIP CEU Webinar Series: Surviving Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs): How to Keep Title II Disability Benefits During Work and Medical ReviewsView Full Listing for WIP CEU Webinar Series: Surviving Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs): How to Keep Title II Disability Benefits During Work and Medical Reviews
People who get approved for Title II Disability benefits – often after appeals and long waits – usually breathe deep sighs of relief to have that nerve-racking ordeal behind them. Little do they know. Getting awarded a Title II Disability benefit is just the beginning. SSA periodically conducts two kinds of reviews to determine whether eligibility for benefits can continue. Work continuing disability reviews (CDRs) evaluate earnings and allowable deductions to determine which Title II Disability work incentive phase a person is in, and whether they remain eligible for benefit payments. Medical CDRs consider whether a person has medically improved, and therefore, whether benefits should continue.
This webinar details work and medical CDRs – when and how often they are initiated, which forms and documents are used, tips for people whose work CDRs will determine they are performing SGA and the standard of proof used for medical CDRs. The session also reviews two work incentives that can enable a person to keep Title II Disability or SSI benefits temporarily even if they have medically improved – the Ticket to Work and Section 301 – and how to prepare beneficiaries to use them, if necessary.
Webinar - 5.32 : NEW CEU Webinar Series: Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs): Something for EveryoneView Full Listing for NEW CEU Webinar Series: Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs): Something for Everyone
Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWEs) are the ultimate multi-purpose work incentive. IRWEs are the only deduction from countable income that can be used by both Title II and SSI beneficiaries, as well as Title II and SSI applicants who are working. IRWEs do it all: help keep earnings below SGA to enable Title II beneficiaries to keep their benefits (and working Title II and SSI applicants to qualify for benefits) and increase SSI payments for people who get SSI.
IRWEs are perhaps the most complex work incentive. They function differently for Title II beneficiaries than for SSI recipients, the rules for determining which expenses qualify as IRWEs can be complicated, and determining when and how IRWEs may be deducted is often confusing. However, IRWEs benefit so many people we serve that it’s well worth learning the details.
Webinar - 5.33 : WIP CEU Webinar Series: Overpayments: As Certain as Death and TaxesView Full Listing for WIP CEU Webinar Series: Overpayments: As Certain as Death and Taxes
When you provide work incentives counseling, some good things are bound to happen, like enabling people to earn more than they thought they could and to keep their medical benefits even if their cash benefits stop. Unfortunately, some not-so-good things are also inevitable, like some people having overpayments. Even when people report their earnings and do everything they’re supposed to, it’s almost impossible to completely avoid overpayments. SSA is simply too overwhelmed to always stop or adjust benefit payments in a timely way.
But there’s good news. You can help people decrease overpayments by reporting earnings, reduce or eliminate overpayments by using work incentives, negotiate reasonable repayment plans to make overpayments less painful, and even have some overpayments “waived”. You just need to know the rules…and some loopholes.
This training covers:
· How to reduce or eliminate overpayments by reporting earnings and requesting work incentive use
· Asking SSA to stop or reduce benefit payments, when necessary, to keep overpayments from growing
· Appealing overpayments
· Requesting that overpayment determinations be “reopened” when appeals are not an option
· Benefit adjustment to recover overpayments, and how to request that lesser amounts be withheld from benefits to repay overpayments
· Installment payments to settle overpayments when benefits have stopped
· Compromise settlements
· How and when to request a waiver of an overpayment
· Resources for helping with overpayments
Webinar - 5.34 : WIP CEU Webinar Series: Why On Earth Should I Work My Way Off SSDI?: Why Losing Benefits Can Be Giving Yourself a Hand, Instead of Shooting Yourself in the FootView Full Listing for WIP CEU Webinar Series: Why On Earth Should I Work My Way Off SSDI?: Why Losing Benefits Can Be Giving Yourself a Hand, Instead of Shooting Yourself in the Foot
One of a Work Incentive Practitioner's greatest challenges is to persuade Title II beneficiaries that they can be better off financially if they earn enough to stop their cash benefits. Because of the infamous "cash cliff" - the all-or-nothing nature of Title II benefits - most beneficiaries choose to keep their earnings below SGA. Unfortunately, this fear-borne practice condemns many beneficiaries to a life of poverty. In reality, almost every Title II beneficiary can be financially better off working their way off Title II if they can earn enough. And once a person's cash benefits have stopped, they can earn as much as possible, unencumbered by the need to keep earnings below SGA.
This session describes three categories of Title II beneficiaries based on their fears and motivations regarding benefits: "green" people who are eager to work full-time despite the impact on Title II; "yellow" people who are cautious about benefits, but who might consider performing SGA if their net income with full-time earnings (and without cash benefits) would be greater than if they worked part-time and kept Title II; and "red" people, who resist any action that could cause benefits to stop. The workshop features appropriate strategies to discuss the possibility of performing SGA with "green", "yellow" and "red" people.
The training also highlights some key "do's" and "don't's" about discussing the possibility of performing SGA. These include using an online tool to estimate the impact of income and payroll taxes on a person's net income, and always presenting beneficiaries with full-time earnings options that would yield higher net incomes, even without Title II, than working part-time and keeping Title II.
Webinar - 5.35 : NEW WIP CEU Webinar Series: Update on VA Benefits for Working Veterans with DisabilitiesView Full Listing for NEW WIP CEU Webinar Series: Update on VA Benefits for Working Veterans with Disabilities
Update on VA Benefits for Working Veterans with Disabilities from Debora Wagner.