Find a Benefits Specialist

In Benefits and Employment Articles, Blog, Employment Articles, Featured, Resources, Ticket to Work Articles by Stephanie Drum

Benefit Specialists understand the complexities of public benefit systems and assist individuals through various life transitions. Whether you are applying for benefits, seeking health care coverage, entering adulthood, considering employment, or retiring, a benefits specialist can help.

Wisconsin has several types of benefits specialists:

Disability Benefit Specialists (DBS)

Wisconsin has Disability Benefit Specialists (DBS) who assist people with physical, developmental, and mental illness disabilities between the ages of 18 and 59. A DBS can provide cost-free information and counseling about public and private benefits programs and help people apply for or appeal the denial of benefits. DBS’s are currently available through Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC). Find a Disability Benefit Specialist…

ERI’s Community Benefits Specialists provide services to assist individuals with mental illness in Dane County in applying for public benefits like Social Security, Medicaid, and FoodShare, etc. Find out more about this service.

Work Incentives Benefit Specialists (WIBS)

Work Incentive Benefit Specialists (WIBS) assist people with disabilities by helping them wade through the complexities to make informed choices about the impact of work on their benefits. WIBS can provide a written and oral analysis of a person’s services and benefits and how work will change their cash payments, medical coverage, and continued eligibility.

The services of Work Incentives Benefits Specialists are available to all persons with a disability in Wisconsin without cost to the individual.

Find a Work Incentive Benefits Specialist

In Wisconsin

  • Wisconsin Work Incentives Benefit Specialist Association (WIBSA)
  • Contact the Social Security Work Incentives Planning and Assistance Program (WIPA) for help with achieving employment goals and financial independence – call the WIPA Helpline at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 TTY Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST – after hours?  Leave us a message and we will return your call!
  • Call 1-800-710-9326 for information and assistance from Employment Resources, Inc.
  • Ask your DVR counselor
  • Visit Ticket to Work with Social Security Ticket to Work Program | Call 1-866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967(TTY/TDD) Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST

Nationally

  • Ask your VR counselor
  • Visit Ticket to Work with Social Security Ticket to Work Program | Call 1-866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967(TTY/TDD) Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST

Elder Benefit Specialist

When reaching retirement age, a person with a disability will still have many if not all of the benefits from before that time; however, some of the rules will change. In Wisconsin, Elder Benefit Specialists (EBS) help people age 60 or older figure out their private or government benefits, including the complex issues around various prescription drug plans. They also provide counseling for individuals approaching retirement and not yet receiving benefits. An EBS can provide accurate and current information, suggest alternative ways to secure benefits or appeal denials of benefits, advocate with other parties, explain legal action or other possible solutions, and make referrals to an appropriate attorney if necessary. Find an Elder Benefit Specialist…

Tribal Benefit Specialist

Tribal benefit specialists help tribal elders and adults with disabilities to understand and access benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, FoodShare, low-income housing and health insurance. Find a Tribal Benefit Specialist….

About the Author

Stephanie Drum

Stephanie Drum started at ERI in 2006. She has worked as a Work Incentive Benefits Specialist (WIBS) in various programs while at ERI. In addition to working as a benefits specialist, she is a lead trainer for the Initial WIBS training offered by ERI. More about Stephanie...