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Social Security WIPA program threatened if Congress doesn't act

The return to work programs of the Social Security Administration can benefit New York recipients who are advancing in their recovery. These programs seek to assist injured or ill workers who find that they are able to do at least some work. Often a worker can continue to receive Social Security disability benefits even as they begin to start work again.

A program funded by Congress has assisted many workers in locating return to work programs. Called Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA), the programs help recipients in planning for returning to work. However, in this uncertain economic climate, the future funding for these programs has come into question.

Reports from Congressional offices note that there has been a low participation rate from recipients of Social Security disability benefits in the return to work programs. This may be due to their complexity, those familiar with the programs note. However, if funding is reduced or withheld entirely, the program may be forced to end.

Returning to work may be an option for some New York Social Security disability recipients. In some cases, workers will be allowed to return to work while still receiving their benefits. Programs like WIPA offered by the Social Security Administration may be able to assist workers who are recovering from illness or injury. Individuals who find that they are recovering from their illness or injury and may be able to consider a return to work may find it beneficial to review all available programs pertaining to those receiving Social Security disability payments.

Source: The Daily Courier, "Congressional reauthorization in doubt for program that benefits disabled people," Ken Hedler, April 8, 2012

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