Work Incentives Counselor

Posted By
Portsmouth, NH
Job Type
Salary Type
Salary Range
$22.40 - $23.08

About the Organization

​The Seacoast Mental Health Center (SMHC) is one of ten NH state-designated community mental health centers.

The mission of SMHC is to provide a broad, comprehensive array of high quality, effective and accessible mental health services to residents of the eastern half of Rockingham County. Communities included in our catchment area are: Brentwood, Deerfield, East Kingston, Epping, Exeter, Fremont, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, New Castle, Newfields, Newington, Newmarket, North Hampton, Northwood, Nottingham, Portsmouth, Raymond, Rye, Seabrook, South Hampton, and Stratham.

Last fiscal year we provided services to nearly 5900 children, adolescents, adults, and families.

We are mandated to provide evaluations and treatment for severe and persistent mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, as well as depression, anxiety and other mental health illnesses to children, adolescents, and their families; adults; as well as to the distinct elderly demographic. We exist to help our clients reach their sustainable recovery goals regardless of their ability to pay. In order to better meet the community’s needs and our own client’s needs, in 2017 we expanded our Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services to include Medication Assisted Treatment (Suboxone).

Some of our service lines are loss leaders, cannot be sustained through reimbursement, and are entirely grant, sponsorship or donation funded.

Services include but, are not limited to: individual and group therapy; couples and family therapy; psychiatric services; specialized services for children, adolescents, adults, elders; psychological and neuropsychological assessments and testing; support services, including targeted case management, supported employment, and community/home-based services; and consultation/educational services for community organizations and businesses to name a few. In addition, we manage a 24/7 supervised group home for 8 adults who have a serious and persistent mental illness who are unable to live independently.

Emergency Crisis Intervention and Stabilization services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. These services are provided on an outpatient basis by our emergency clinicians and our staff psychiatrists. We also see Emergency Services patients in the Emergency Room at Exeter Hospital.

Our goal is to offer services that empower a family unit and/or an individual to build upon health, community, and resilience within a collaborative treatment model. From identifying emerging needs and creating services to meet those needs, to collaborating with local organizations to improve the delivery of our mental health services, we create an extensive support system for individuals that we serve.

Numerous obstacles continued to challenge the mental health and substance use disorder systems of care in FY19.  Healthcare workforce shortages, waitlists for inpatient and outpatient services, increasing suicide rates, and the ongoing Opioid crisis are only some of the hurdles we at Seacoast Mental Health Center (SMHC) faced to serve those who need our care.

We used these challenges as inspiration to make many operational and process changes that enhanced our ability to provide more accessible and comprehensive care to our clients. 

  • We increased collaborative work as part of the Region 6 Connections for Health Integrated Delivery Network.  We replicated the existing Portsmouth Community Care Team in our Exeter service area. This model brings providers, social service support, and managed care representatives together to eliminate gaps in the safety net for those most in need and serve them more expeditiously.
  • We expanded our primary care co-located staff throughout the region and now provide services at multiple CORE practices, Pediatric Associates of Hampton and Portsmouth, Lamprey Healthcare and Families First Health and Support Center. Staff continue to be co-located in most schools throughout our region.  Expanding our ability to bring services into the community - where residents already are - decreases barriers to care for individuals and families seeking mental health services.
  • At Exeter Hospital we partnered with hospital staff to create a new APRN position to support the psychiatric emergency services, which we have provided for decades. By collaborating closely with hospital attending physicians to provide more treatment and discharge options for those in psychiatric crisis, we believe we can alleviate the historical challenge of emergency room holding and care backups.
  • As part of a statewide Emergency Services Learning Collaborative, SMHC joined other community mental health centers and hospitals in implementing the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale.  Paired with training provided as part of our Zero Suicide initiative, provision of this simple tool can assist in identifying those most at risk of suicide.  Early identification allows for early intervention which decreases risks for some of our most vulnerable clients.

However, identifying who is in need is not enough.  We spent most of the year working to develop policies and changes to workflows that would be necessary to launch one of our biggest initiatives to date.  “Our Access Redesign process” reduces or removes one very large barrier to care – waiting for a first-time intake appointment.  Through this new process individuals who call seeking care will have the option of being seen in a matter of days rather than weeks or months.  We have added a new team of staff to provide these first-time appointments and opened time in existing clinical schedules to take new clients.  We are excited about eliminating the long waits for individuals and families to access services and begin their recovery journey.

Our commitment to continuing our efforts to reduce barriers and improve access to care will continue.  We could not do any of this without the strong support we have from members of our community and our incredibly dedicated staff and Board.  Thank you. 

We invite people to visit our website at, and to read our annual report, which may be found on our website.  We also have a strong prescence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.  Addionally, we welcome interested companies or individuals to contact our Community Relations department to schedule a tour or in person meeting.


About the Job


Seeking full-time Work Incentives Counselor to join our team!

Interested in a rewarding job and a supportive culture and being part of an organization that rates the highest in the state for consumer satisfaction?  Seacoast Mental Health Center, Inc. has openings for Work Incentive Counselor.

The rising demand for mental health and substance use disorder services offers immediate employment opportunities to make a difference in a strong, stable organization.

The CWIC provides work incentives planning and assistance to SMHC clients to assist them in their employment efforts. The CWIC will provide counsel and educate consumers about how employment will affect their current benefits so that individuals may make informed choices towards employment and self-sufficiency.


  • Provides timely and accurate work incentives planning, educating consumers on the potential impacts of employment and the work incentives that are available in order to increase rates of employment among individuals with mental illness in the IPS-Supported Employment Program

  • Demonstrates knowledge of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability programs

  • Develops and updates existing brochures on work incentives programs available through SSA as well as other programs such Medicaid/Medicaid, Housing/Housing Programs, and Food Subsidy Programs to ensure clients and SMHC employees are aware of this service.

  • Maintains communication with and reports to SSA any event that will affect the amount of benefits or any pertinent change in a client’s circumstances

  • Develops individualized Benefits Summary, Analysis reports, Work Incentives Plans that include:   individual work incentives options that can be used to increase financial independence, accept pay raises, or increase earned income. Reports will include the impact of two or three levels of income based on existing benefits

  • Delivers follow-along services to help beneficiaries manage their benefits, report income, and access available work incentives programs; this could include the provision of Functional Support Services and Targeted Case Management

  • Provides trainings as needed to other staff within the Agency

  • Maintains basic knowledge regarding IPS-Supported Employment services and fidelity

  • Tracks and compiles data to report out to VR monthly, and DHHS on a quarterly basis on outcomes, employment and incentives data

  • Works closely with agency Billing Department to ensure consistent practices; collaboration and consult on clients and their benefits. 

  • Assures protection of confidentiality of information relating to each individual as well as assuring the human and legal rights of clients

  • Attends IPS-SE Team meetings and other meetings as requested

  • Other duties as assigned


Bachelor’s degree required, and at least two years of experience that includes knowledge of SSA and other federal, state, and local work incentives programs; or combination of prior education and work experience

  •  Already certified as a Work Incentives Counselor a plus

       *   Requires completion the 14- week training to become a Work Incentives Counselor as soon as training as offered

Seacoast Mental Health Center, Inc. offers a generous compensation package including paid time off, health and dental plans, retirement account match, etc.  We are an Equal Opportunity Employer, and we value the diversity of our community.  

How to Apply