Susan O’Mara is a faculty member in the Department of Counseling and Special Education at VCU’s School of Education. She is the Project Director and Co-Principal Investigator of VCU’s Work Incentives Planning and Assistance National Training and Data Center. Since 2009, she has led a team of professionals in the development of the national WIPA training curriculum, initial training content, and certification protocols; pioneered protocols for remote benefits counseling and the development of state specific benefit templates; and designed the current continuing certification program that has dramatically improved the quality of services provided to beneficiaries. Susan also currently serves as the national Site Director for Social Security’s Promoting Opportunities Demonstration, leading VCU’s work on the design of intervention protocols and managing the training and technical support provided to demonstration sites across the country.
Over the past 30 years, Susan’s work has focused on increasing knowledge and understanding, supporting research, and influencing needed policy reform on the Social Security Disability benefit programs, public health care programs, and other federal and state benefit programs. Ms. O’Mara’s recent work experience includes providing technical support to state and local projects on five Social Security Admininstration funded initiatives. In her work on these projects, she played a lead role in the design and implementation of national training and technical assistance efforts.
Ms. O’Mara was accepted as a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance in 2006.