[tabi] special savings account for the disabled; your deposits are match as much as 4 to 1!

  • From: "Chip Orange" <Corange@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 17:18:08 -0400

Below is a short summary of a new law regarding savings accounts for the
disabled.  The summary came from the National Disability Institute, and
the link to it is listed above.  These accounts are known as individual
development accounts, and their primary benefit, along with the matching
dollars, is that they will not interfere with your eligibility for SSI
or SSDI or social security.
Individual Development Accounts
Your Opportunity to Build Assets and Maintain Benefit Eligibility

Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)
 are matched savings accounts that allow individuals with limited income
and limited
wealth to save money and to build assets. Financial institutions,
foundations, churches,
private donors, and state and local governments fund the matches to the
savings of IDA holders (usually at a rate ranging from $1 to $4 for each
dollar saved).
For example, an IDA program with a 2:1 match would provide $2 for every
$1 dollar
saved in the IDA, $1000 saved in the IDA would receive a $2000 match.
Many IDAs are part of an asset building strategy. The IDA provider may
also provide
financial literacy, budgeting, credit counseling and/or volunteer income
tax assistance
(VITA) services. These services provide an individual the opportunity to
their ability to earn, budget, and save towards their goal.
Individual Development Accounts began to receive federal funding in the
late 1990's
as an asset building strategy for low income, low wealth families.
Federal funding
for the accounts were provided by two sources, Temporary Aid to Needy
Families (TANF)
and the Assets for Independence Act (AFIA). Assets accrued in an IDA
using TANF or AFIA money cannot, under Federal regulations, negatively
impact an
individual's eligibility for federal programs.  The individual's
contributions, matching
contributions, and interest can not be considered as an asset when
determining eligibility
or benefit levels for federal benefit programs like Social Security,
Medicaid, and
Food Stamps.
You can achieve your asset building goals, using an IDA, to purchase a
asset such as a home, higher education and training, or a business by
the following steps:
Step 1: File your taxes
Locate the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Project near you. VITA
will do your taxes for free, based upon your income. To locate the
nearest VITA site,
call 1-800-829-1040.
Step 2: Apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
VITA utilizes volunteers trained by the IRS to identify eligibility for
tax credits
such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC is a refundable credit.
It is based
on your income, so even when you have no tax liability, you will receive
a tax refund.
Even if you are eligible for the EITC, you will not receive the refund
unless you
complete Step 1, file your taxes.
Step 3: Open an IDA account
Now that you have received additional funds through your tax return, you
can make
the first deposit into your IDA account. To locate an IDA program near
you, visit
CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development) at
Each IDA program has eligibility guidelines that determine the income
and asset limits
of those who would like to open an IDA.  Each program will also have
rules that you
will need to follow, such as participating in a financial literacy
program or saving
a minimum amount each month in your IDA account. Each IDA program has
to walk you through the process. They want you to be successful and
achieve your
savings goal.
One rule that many IDA programs have in common is the requirement that
you are working
and have earned money to build your IDA account. If you are not
currently working,
but are considering work, now would be a great time to speak with your
Rehabilitation Counselor or other return to work supports about your
asset building
goals and your goal to work.
Worried about how saving money and building assets will impact your SSI
Security Income), Medicaid and Waiver eligibility?
The best thing about an IDA is that IDA's that receive federal funding
from Temporary
Aid to Needy Families (TANF) or Assets for Independence Act (AFIA)
cannot be considered
as assets. So the money you save does not count against you as an asset
or resource.
Once you achieve your goal:
Your home will not count as a financial asset or resource as long as you
live in
Your education and training do not count as a financial asset or
resource. They are
your intellectual property.
Your business may not count as an asset or resource, depending on how
the business
is created.
Still concerned?
Schedule an appointment to speak with one of the following resources:
WIPA (Work Incentive Planning and Assistance) Project;
Social Security Administration
- 1-800-722-1213 - Make an appointment with your Claims Representative
or with the
Work Incentive Liaison in your local office so that you have a full
of your rights and responsibilities.
CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development);
Please note that only IDA's that receive federal funding from Temporary
Aid to Needy
Families (TANF) Block Grants or Assets for Independence Act (AFIA) funds
cannot be
considered as assets. Please check with your local IDA provider to see
if they receive
funding from a TANF Block Grant or from AFIA.

(c) National Disability Institute | 1667 K Street, NW Suite 640
Washington, DC 20006 | 202.296.2040

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