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Florida Developmental Disability Council Presents: Other Resources – State Incentives & Asset Tools that Enhance Successful Employment Part 2 September 24, 2012
Objectives l l l Medicaid Buy In Programs (CMS) Earned Income Tax Credit (IRS) Asset Building (Individual Development Accounts) (IDA) (HHS) Housing Support (HUD) Employer Tax Credits (DOL & IRS)
Policy Confusion l l l Prove unable to work because of a medical condition not expected to improve in the near future. Continued eligibility for public benefits only if total assets remain under $2, 000. Tear down the remaining barriers to equality that face Americans with Disabilities today. 3
The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 The Nation’s proper goals regarding individuals with disabilities are to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for such individuals; 42 U. S. C. § 1201(a)(8) (2005) 4
The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 l the continuing existence of unfair and unnecessary discrimination and prejudice denies people with disabilities the opportunity to compete on an equal basis and to pursue those opportunities for which our free society is justifiably famous, and costs the United States billions of dollars in unnecessary expenses resulting from dependency and non-productivity. 42 U. S. C. § 1201(a)(9) (2005)
Enhance Asset Building l Earn It l l Claim It Keep It
SSI Work Incentives and Wages l SSI Work Incentives enhance economics and can protect Medicaid § § § § Student Earned Income Exclusion (SEIE)= excludes wages Blind Work Expense (BWE)= Out of pocket expenses Plan For Achieving Self-Support (PASS)= Saving for Occupation Property Essential for Self-Support (PESS)=Protects Some Resources Impairment Related Work Expense (IRWE)=Out of Pocket Expenses Special Condition/Subsidies=Calculating Value of Work 1619 b = Protects SSI Eligibility and State Medicaid
Medicaid Buy-In l l l Authorized by the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999 Medicaid Buy-In programs allow states to expand Medicaid coverage to workers with disabilities who are not typically eligible for Medicaid due to their income/assets. States design their Medicaid Buy-In program (within certain parameters) to meet their State’s unique needs, resources, and objectives. To be eligible for the Buy-In program, an individual must have a disability (as defined by the Social Security Administration), have earned income, and meet any other financial eligibility requirements established by their state. As of September 1, 2008 39 states currently have a Medicaid Buy-In program. An overview of the Medicaid Buy-In Initiative can be found at the Center for Workers with Disabilities at: http: //cwd. aphsa. org/statetostate/docs/mbioverview. htm
Enhance Asset Building l Earn It l Claim It l Keep It
Earned Income Tax Credit l The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a credit for people who earn low-to-moderate incomes. EITC can reduce your taxes, and can mean a refund. In simple terms, working families and individuals may keep more of what they work for.
Earned Income Tax Credit EITC requirements: l Must have a valid Social Security Number l You must have earned income from employment or from self-employment. l Your filing status cannot be married, filing separately. l You must be a U. S. citizen or resident alien all year, or a nonresident alien married to a U. S. citizen or resident alien and filing a joint return. l You cannot be a qualifying child of another person. l If you do not have a qualifying child, you must: – – – l be age 25 but under 65 at the end of the year, live in the United States for more than half the year, and not qualify as a dependent of another person Cannot file Form 2555 or 2555 -EZ (related to foreign earn income)
VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance File For Free!!! l The VITA Program offers free tax help to low- to moderateincome (generally, $39, 000 and below) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Certified volunteers sponsored by various organizations receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. VITA sites are generally located at community and neighborhood centers, libraries, schools, shopping malls, and other convenient locations. Most locations also offer free electronic filing. To locate the nearest VITA site, call 1 -800 -829 -1040.
REI Tour l The Real Economic Impact Tour (REI Tour) is a national, public/private initiative assisting low income persons with disabilities with asset building strategies, free tax preparation and filing assistance. l The REI Tour is visiting 100 cities this year. For more information on the REI Tour, go to www. reitour. org
Work Opportunity Tax Credit l l l A federal tax credit available to all private sector businesses. The WOTC is one tool in a diverse toolbox of flexible strategies designed to help move people from welfare into gainful employment and obtain on-the-job experience. It joins other tax credits, education, and workforce training programs that help American workers with barriers to employment prepare for good jobs; ease their transition from job to job; benefit from the creation of effective regional economic development strategies; and create high performance workplaces.
Work Opportunity Tax Credit The new employee must belong to one of the following nine WOTC target groups: – Long-term TANF Recipient. l l l – Received or recently received Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) payments for at least 18 consecutive months ending on the hiring date, or Received TANF payments for any 18 months (whether or not consecutive) beginning after August 5, 1997, and the earliest 18 -month period beginning after August 5, 1997 ended during the past 2 years, or Stopped being eligible for TANF payments during the past 2 years because federal or state law limited the maximum time those payments could be made. Other TANF Recipient. A member of a family that is receiving or recently received TANF benefits for any 9 -month period during the 18 -month period ending on the hiring date; – Qualified Food Stamp Recipient. An 18 -39 year old member of a family that received Food Stamps for the past 6 months, or received Food Stamps for at least 3 of the past 5 months; – Designated Community Resident. An 18 -39 year old resident of one of the federally designated Empowerment Zones (EZs), Enterprise Communities (ECs), Renewal Communities (RCs), and for individuals who begin to work for an employer after May 25, 2007, this High-Risk Youth group has been renamed "Designated Community Resident" and expanded to include residents of Rural Renewal Counties;
Work Opportunity Tax Credit (con’t) – Summer Youth Employee. A 16 -17 year old EZ/EC or RC resident hired between May 1 and September 15; – Qualified Veteran. A veteran who is a member of a family that is receiving or recently received Food Stamps for at least a 3 -month period during the past 15 months; and for individuals who begin to work for an employer after May 25, 2007, the veteran group is expanded to include "disabled veterans" who are entitled to compensation for a service-connected disability and who, during the one-year ending on the hiring date, were: a) discharged or released from active duty in the U. S Armed Forces, or b) unemployed for a period or periods totaling at least 6 months. The firstyear wages taken into account for these "disabled veterans" are capped at $12, 000; – Vocational Rehabilitation Referral. An individual who completed or is completing rehabilitative services from a State certified agency, an Employment Network, or the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs; – Qualified Ex-Felon. An individual who has been convicted of a felony and has a hiring date which is not more than one year after the last date on which he was so convicted or released from prison; – SSI Recipient. A recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for any month ending during the past 60 day period ending on the hire date. For additional information, go to http: //www. doleta. gov/business/incentives/opptax/
Enhance Asset Building l l Earn It Claim It l Keep It
Social Security Work Incentives l Social Security Disability Insurance - SSDI – l No asset limits Supplemental Security Income - SSI – Resources must remain below $2, 000/month $3, 000/month per couple
Protected Savings Options l l SSI’s PASS Plans (Plan for Achieving Self Support)-Reaching an Occupational Objective Federal Individual Development Accounts (IDA) -Home, Education, Small Business HUD Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) SSI Approved Trusts
SSI’s PASS Plans Plan for Achieving Self Support l l l Allows an individual to set aside income (any income other than SSI) or resources which would otherwise affect the individuals eligibility for a benefit or the individual’s payment amount to achieve a work goal. Any person who receives SSI benefits, or who might qualify for SSI, or any person who receives SSDI (or a similar benefit) and could qualify for SSI, may be able to have a PASS. The PASS plan must: – – – – – Have a specific work goal Have a specific time frame for reaching the goal Show what money and any other contributions will be used to reach the work goal Show any money set aside in savings will be kept separate from other funds Show the money and resources will be saved and, later, spent Be submitted in writing and approved by Social Security’s PASS Cadre Include a Business Plan if the PASS is for self-employment Be reviewed periodically to assure compliance Increase an individual’s ability to be self-supporting by decreasing the amount they receive in cash benefits from Social Security
PASS Plans For more information on Plans for Achieving Self Support: l l l Social Security Administration – http: //www. socialsecurity. gov/disabilityresearch/wi/pass. htm The University of Montana Rural Institute - http: //www. passplan. org Institute for Community Inclusion - http: //www. communityinclusion. org/article. php? article_id=66 Cornell University Employment and Disability Institute - http: //www. passonline. org/ Work World - http: //www. workworld. org/wwwebhelp/pass. htm WIPA Projects – http: //www. socialsecurity. gov/work/Service. Providers/WIPADirec tory. html
US Department of Health and Human Services’ Individual Development Accounts IDA l Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) are matched savings accounts that allow individuals with limited income and limited wealth to save money and to build assets. l The IDA Provider partners with Financial institutions, foundations, churches, private donors, and state and local governments to fund the matches to the personal savings of IDA holders (usually at a rate ranging from $1 to $8 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.
Individual Development Accounts l Individual Development Accounts began to receive federal funding in the late 1990’s as an asset building strategy for low income, low wealth families. l Federal funding for the accounts were provided by two sources, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) and the Assets for Independence Act (AFIA). l Assets accrued in an IDA established using TANF or AFIA money can not, 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.
Individual Development Accounts l An IDA can be used to purchase 1. 2. 3. a home higher education and training a business l 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 increase their ability to earn, budget and save towards their goal. l For a Local IDA Provider, cfed (Corporation for Enterprise Development) www. cfed. org or http: //idanetwork. cfed. org
HUD Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) l l The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program is a HUD program (Housing and Urban Development) that encourages communities to help individuals and families who are receiving Housing Choice Vouchers as a rent subsidiary to set employment goals and advance their self-sufficiency. At a local community level, the FSS program is administered by the local public housing agency (PHA). The FSS program was established in 1990 by Section 554 of the National Affordable Housing Act. The PHA will have an FSS Coordinator who will enter into a five year FSS contract with a family, outlining goals and services.
HUD Family Self Sufficiency Program l FSS program services may include but are not limited to: – Childcare – Counseling – Transportation – Household Skill Training – Education – Job Training – Homeownership Counseling For more information, go to http: //www. hud. gov/offices/pih/programs/hcv/fss. cfm
Special Needs Trusts l A Special Needs Trust is intended to provide for an individual's needs by supplementing public benefits to improve an individual’s quality of life. l A trust is established and administered by an entity or individual called the trustee. The individual, their family and other supports work with the trustee to document what the money in the trust should be used for. l Because the trust does not belong to the individual with a disability, it does not count as an asset, making it possible for the individuals to remain eligible for much needed public benefits.
Special Needs Trusts There are 3 types of Special Needs Trusts: l l l Family-Type Special Needs Trusts Court Ordered Special Needs Trust Pooled Special Needs Trust
Special Needs Trusts l Special Needs Trusts are complicated legally binding documents. Please consult a qualified trust attorney that has experience establishing these types of trusts. l Please ensure that your trust attorney sets up the trust in accordance with Social Security’s rules. http: //www. ssa. gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-trusts. htm Please note: Information on Special Needs trusts came from the World Institute on Disability, http: //www. wid. org/programs/access-to-assets/fact-sheets/special-needs-or-supplemental-needs-trusts
Financial Literacy l The FDIC provides the Money Smart curriculum to interested parties free of charge. A limited number of copies are available to each party; however, the materials are easily reproduced and have no copyright restrictions. l FDIC staff is available to provide technical assistance and to help facilitate partnerships among interested parties. Training can be provided free of charge to a group of 10 or more. l Money Smart is available in multiple languages and in Braille. l For more information or to bring Money Smart training to your community: http: //www. fdic. gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/trainthetrainer. html
Financial Literacy FDIC – Money Smart l The Money Smart curriculum’s 10 modules help individuals build financial knowledge, develop financial confidence, and use banking services effectively. – – – – – Bank on It - an introduction to bank services Borrowing Basics - an introduction to credit Check It Out - how to choose and keep a checking account Money Matters - how to keep track of your money Pay Yourself First - why you should save, save Keep It Safe - your rights as a consumer To Your Credit - how your credit history will affect your credit future Charge It Right - how to make a credit card work for you Loan To Own - know what you’re borrowing before you buy Your Own Home - what home ownership is all about
Providing Resources l How can you assist with asset development: – – Resource? Facilitator?
The Resource Advocate Role… l As a Resource, part of your role is to be a resource. – – Asset Development is a crucial piece of economic self-sufficiency and greater community participation and choice. It is essential for a advocate to understand what Asset Development is and some of the basics in order to connect job seekers and One-Stop Career Center staff to the right resources.
The Resource/Advocate Role… l l In many towns/cities there are local coalitions who work on Asset Development issues, as an advocate, participation in that coalition is key. If there is not a coalition who works on these issues, perhaps there is an already established committee who may be willing to make Asset Development an issue for a subcommittee.
The Advocate’s Role… l l The REI Tour is in many cities this year, check to see if a city you cover is on the tour by using the link provided http: //www. reitour. org/cities/index. htm If a city you cover is on the tour, click on the link to find the local contact information and contact the local contact to discuss how you as an advocate may be of assistance.
The Advocate’s Role… l l Work with key One-Stop Career Center staff (such as the WIA Counselor and Case Management staff) to educate them about the EITC and how it may be beneficial to One -Stop customers. The Advocate can also act as a conduit for access to financial literacy education to promote asset development.
Review l Medicaid Buy-In: Allows states to expand Medicaid coverage to workers with disabilities who are not typically eligible for Medicaid due to their income/assets. l Earned Income Tax Credit: A credit for people who earn low-tomoderate incomes. l l Work Opportunity Tax Credit: a federal tax credit available to all private sector businesses. Individual Development Accounts: Matched savings accounts that allow individuals with limited income and limited wealth to save money and to build assets. l Family Self Sufficiency Program: HUD program that encourages communities to help individuals and families who are receiving Housing Choice Vouchers as a rent subsidiary to set employment goals and advance their self-sufficiency.
Contact Information www. socialsecurity. gov Sharon Brent, Director Training and Technical Assistance National Disability Institute [email protected] org Elizabeth Jennings, Program Associate National Disability Institute [email protected] org Michael Roush, Program Associate National Disability Institute [email protected] org