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DPN Individual FAQ
California Work Incentive Planning & Assistance
Q: I have recently become disabled and cannot do the work I had been doing in the past. Where can I get financial assistance for training or retraining?
A: Financial assistance for persons with disabilities preparing for entry or re-entry into the workforce may be available through your local One-Stop Career Center and your local state vocational rehabilitation agency. You may also locate your One Stop Career Center by calling 1-877-US2JOBS (1- 877-872-5627).
Q: What can I do if I think my employer or supervisor is discriminating against me because of my disability?
A: The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has a helpful fact sheet, Employment Rights, Who Has Them and Who Enforces Them, which summarizes the federal laws that prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and provides contact information for further information and assistance.
There may also be applicable laws in your state. Contact your State Department of Labor office for more information.
Q: Is there anything that my employer must provide to help me do my job and accommodate my disability?
A: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability-related nondiscrimination laws have specific requirements regarding reasonable accommodations. ODEP's Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has a wealth of information on accommodations for both employers and employees on the JAN website or by calling 800-526-7234. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also has an excellent resource for employers regarding accommodations, "Small Employers and Reasonable Accommodation."
California Work Incentive Planning & Assistance (WIPA)
If you receive disability benefits from the Social Security Administration and are interested in working or learning more about how working would affect your benefits, you can get help from a community organization known as a Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) project.
There were 104 new grants awarded throughout the U.S. and the U.S. territories in 2006 to a new SSA grantee program called Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Projects or WIPAs. Many of the WIPA grantees are organizations that were formerly known as Benefits Planning Assistance and Outreach projects or BPAOs. The WIPA projects were funded to assist SSA disability beneficiaries with information about work incentives, benefits planning, and making good choices about work.
If you want to know more about WIPAs please visit the WIPA Fact Sheet.
The 104 Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects across the U.S. and the U.S. territories work with SSA beneficiaries with disabilities on job placement, benefits planning, and career development.
By working with a WIPA, SSA beneficiaries will be better equipped to make informed choices about work. Each WIPA is staffed with Community Work Incentive Coordinators (CWICs) to:
- provide work incentives planning and assistance;
- help beneficiaries and their families determine eligibility for Federal or State work incentives programs;
- refer beneficiaries with disabilities to appropriate Employment Networks or State VR agencies based on individual needs and impairment types;
- provide general information about potential employer-based or federally subsidized health benefits coverage available to beneficiaries once they enter the workforce; and
- inform beneficiaries with disabilities of further protection and advocacy services available to them.
WIPAs are authorized to serve all SSA beneficiaries with disabilities, including transition-to-work aged youth, providing benefits planning and assistance services on request and as resources permit.
Link provide a list of Benefit Planners in CA
REMEMBER: WIPA staff called Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWICs), can answer questions about how part-time, full-time, or seasonal work would affect your benefits. WIPA staff can discuss your individual employment goals, assist you in identifying possible barriers to reaching those goals, and help you find the resources or services to overcome those barriers. WIPA services are FREE.