SSA – Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program (2015)

APPLICATIONS DUE: March 30, 2015, 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time


Work Incentive Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects are community-based organizations that provide counseling and support to disabled beneficiaries of the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. On or before August 1, 2015, SSA will award cooperative agreements for a network of WIPA projects as authorized under Section 1149 of the Social Security Act. This Funding Opportunity represents the first re-compete of the WIPA program since 2006. With this Funding Opportunity, SSA seeks WIPA cooperative agreement awardees that will provide services across the country through July 31, 2020, pending availability of funds over a five-year period of performance.

The purpose of the program is to support beneficiaries who want to return to work to make a successful and profitable transition to the workforce. Beneficiaries that continue to work improve their economic independence and financial security. WIPA projects help beneficiaries take advantage of our work incentives programs, which may delay or reduce the effect of work on monetary benefits and health insurance. Additionally, WIPA projects act as repositories for information about other work incentives, benefits counseling services, and other resources that may help beneficiaries succeed in their work attempts, or may assist beneficiaries to improve financial stability as they return to work.

Funding Title: Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program (WIPA)

Agency Name: Social Security Administration

Funding Instrument Type: Cooperative Agreement

Express Language for Legal Aid: No. However, programs can provide direct counseling about work incentives and benefits.

Target Population: WIPA projects serve beneficiaries who are age 14 and older, and receive any of the following benefits based on their own disabilities:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits;
  • Childhood Disability Benefits;
  • Disabled Widow(er)s Benefits;
  • SSI based on blindness or disability;
  • Medicare under the Extended Period of Medicare Coverage (for former disability beneficiaries performing substantial work);
  • Medicaid under Section 1619(b) of the Social Security Act (for SSI beneficiaries ineligible for payment due to work income);
  • A State supplementary SSI payment (even if the beneficiary is not due a Federal SSI payment); or
  • Medicare coverage based on disability and Medicare qualified government employment.

Expected Number of Awards: 92

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:  Recipients of a cooperative agreement are required to contribute a non-Federal match of at least five percent toward the total approved cost of each award. The total approved cost of the project is the sum of the Federal share (maximum of 95 percent) and the non-Federal share (minimum of 5 percent). The non-Federal share may be cash or in-kind (property or services) contributions. Applicants may not use other Federal funds to account for the matching funds or services.

How to Apply: We ask prospective applicants to submit on or before February 9, 2015, a letter of intent that includes:

  1. This program announcement title, and Funding Opportunity number;
  2. A brief description of the intent to apply for a WIPA award and the exact name of the organization that will apply;
  3. The name, postal and e-mail addresses, and the telephone and fax numbers of the entity’s director; and
  4. Names of the key personnel, if known, as well as partner institutions and agencies.

The letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review process of a subsequent application. The sole purpose of the letter of intent is to allow Social Security staff to estimate the potential review workload and avoid conflicts of interest in the review. Send the email letter of intent to

Pre-application Teleconferences, Webinars and Competition Website

As applicants submit questions regarding the application submission process and programmatic content of this Request for Applications (RFA), we will post a list of questions and answers on the Internet at ( Submit questions to no later than March 23, 2015. Potential applicants should monitor the website frequently to ensure that they have the latest information, updates and answers.

  • Additionally, we will post, on the same website, announcements regarding two webinars or teleconferences we will host regarding this opportunity. If you plan to apply, you will need to register for one of these two events. Periodically, we may post important materials to the same website.

SSA requires that applicants submit an electronic application through for Funding Opportunity Number WIPA-WIP-15-001. The ‘‘Register’’ webpage is available to help explain the registration and application submission process. In addition, new Federal award applicants may find the ‘‘Register” Link’ at the following link to be helpful (

If you experience problems with the steps related to registering to do business with the Federal Government or application submission, your first point of contact is the support staff at, 1–800–518–4726. If your difficulties are not resolved, you may also contact the SSA Grants Management Team at for assistance.

Questions and answers regarding this Funding Opportunity will be posted to a dedicated website at

You may submit questions to All potential applicants should monitor the website frequently to ensure that they have the latest updates and information.

Current Closing Date for Applications: March 30 2015, 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time

Estimated Total Program Funding:    $20,000,000 for the initial 12-month period. SSA anticipates WIPA support during future fiscal years at an annual level of approximately $20.0 million.

Award Ceiling: $300,000


Eligible Applicants:  We are seeking applications from domestic institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, commercial organizations, State governments, and Native American tribal organizations.

Priority Consideration:    In general, successful WIPA applicants will serve beneficiaries, regardless of the referral source, according to the following priorities:

1. Beneficiaries who are working, self-employed full-time, or about to go to work full-time;

2. Beneficiaries working or self-employed part-time or about to go to work part-time;

3. Beneficiaries seriously considering employment, as evidenced by a relationship with a State VR agency, an Employment Network, or other vocational program, or by self-identification and the results of a CWICs queries; and

4. Beneficiaries who are transition-aged youth, Veterans, or members of underserved populations, seeking resources to assist them to obtain training or education with a clear employment goal.

Policy and Regulations on Use of Funds:     

Current/Past Funding Recipients:

Samples of Successful Application:

Link to Full Announcement:

Contact Information:    For matters related to the application and submission process and the programmatic content of this announcement, contact All Frequently Asked Questions and Answers will be posted and regularly updated at:

Categories: Education Organizations, Government Organizations, Individuals with Disabilities, Native American Tribes or Tribal Organizations, Non-profit Organizations, Public Benefits, Social Security Administration, Subgrant Possibilities

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