Participation Requirements

Due to the current pandemic, Social Security has canceled all Initial Trainings through July 2020. Please check the Upcoming Trainings webpage for up-to-date information about Initial Trainings.

The CWIC and Community Partner Initial Training is open to WIPA project staff and their subcontractors, including Project Directors/Managers and those who are already certified. The training is also open to community partners. A community partner is an employee of an organization who serves Social Security beneficiaries. For detailed information on Community Partner participation, please click here.

New Requirement: Beginning with the San Diego October 2019 CWIC Initial Training registration that will open in mid to late August, all staff of community partner agencies or organizations are required to first successfully complete the VCU NTDC Introductory Web Course, "Introduction to Social Security Disability Benefits, Work Incentives, and Employment Support Programs", before they are eligible to register for and participate in the CWIC and Community Partner Initial Training and Certification process.

The CWIC and Community Partner Initial Training and Certification is designed solely for professionals who deliver individualized work incentives counseling services to disability beneficiaries on a regular basis. Establishing the Introductory Web Course as a prerequisite is intended to help Community Partners understand what comprehensive, individualized work incentives counseling entails, and to make an informed decision about whether to pursue the initial training and certification.

Important Note for WIPA Projects: This requirement does not apply to staff and subcontractors of a WIPA project who will provide WIPA services. The requirement does, however, apply to other staff of a WIPA agency who do not provide WIPA funded services.

Please visit the Introductory Web Course page for more information and to access the calendar of upcoming courses.

To be eligible to participate, all registrants must commit to full participation in all components of the CWIC initial training and certification process including:

  • Participation in the pre-training orientation conference call the week prior to the scheduled training;
  • Attendance and participation in all five days of the classroom training (it is not an option to attend only selected or partial days of the training);
  • Participation in Part 1 of the competency-based online assessment and certification process. Part 1 of the certification process takes place in the six-week period immediately following the classroom training and involves completing a series of online assessments. The assessment process takes, on average, 25-45 hours of time over the six-week period. Participants should plan to budget their time accordingly; and
  • Participation in Part 2 of the certification process. Part 2 of the process requires submission and successful review of three Benefits Summary & Analyses during the one-year period following successful completion of the online competency-based assessments. Participants will only be granted full CWIC/Community Partner certification following successful completion of this case review requirement.

Once registration closes, registrants will be approved and confirmed to participate according to the following priority list:

  1. New CWIC hires, Project Directors or other WIPA project staff who require initial training and certification in order to provide services to Social Security beneficiaries;
  2. New WIPA Project Directors who will not provide direct services to beneficiaries, but who will provide direct supervision to WIPA staff;
  3. CWICs or WIPA Project Directors who are already certified and would like to participate in the training as a refresher;
  4. All other WIPA project staff or WIPA contractors who indicate they will be providing daily CWIC-like services regardless of the funding; and
  5. Community partner staff who provide direct benefits counseling services to Social Security beneficiaries, are approved according to the following priority list. VCU will accept participants from this group, space allowing.

    Priority 1: Staff or managers of organizations or agencies who are an Employment Network, State Medicaid agency, State VR Agency staff, or American Job Center who indicate that they intend to use the training to provide direct benefits counseling services daily to Social Security beneficiaries.

    Priority 2: Staff providing direct benefits counseling services daily for Social Security demonstration projects. To attend, demonstration project staff must have advance permission from both the Social Security staff responsible for the demonstration and the VCU-NTDC Contract Officer Representative.

    Priority 3: Staff of all other community partner agencies and organizations who intend to use the training to provide daily or weekly direct benefits counseling services to beneficiaries.
  6. Community partner staff who attended the training and are certified, but would like to participate in the training as a refresher.

Important: There is no registration fee for those approved to attend initial training. However, all approved participants are responsible for their own travel, lodging and meal expenses.