June 23, 2014
As part of our focus on Youth-in-Transition this month, we have compiled a round-up of previous Money Mondays posts related to young adults in transition, as well as general financial tips for people with disabilities.
If you are entering the workforce after graduating from school, it is important to get your finances in order so you can successfully make the transition to work. It is also important to understand the expenses and resources available to you if you are thinking about attending college. To that end, we have compiled a list of past Money Mondays posts to help you get started on your path to financial independence:
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May 19, 2014
For those who are graduating from high school or college, now is the perfect time to make some important financial decisions to start your summer on the right track!
Many graduates decide to enter the workforce after school, and it is important to get your finances in order so you can successfully make the transition to work.
One way to minimize the stress of transitioning from school to employment is to organize a budget so you know how you will spend and save to pay for your expenses and reach your goals. It will also prepare you for when you start making more money at your new job!
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April 21, 2014
For people with disabilities, self-employment can provide increased flexibility and opportunities to meet career and financial goals, but there are also challenges one should consider.
Self-employment can bring you increased income while allowing you to set your own working hours and decide where to work. If you have the right skills and a good business plan, self employment can be a great path to a better self-supporting future.
But, starting a business can be risky for anyone, and as a person with a disability you may also confront additional barriers when attempting to start your own business. You may have a hard time getting the seed money needed to start a business, and it may be harder to get the information and resources needed to develop an effective business plan.
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March 24, 2014
The deadline to file your taxes is Tuesday, April 15! Last month we listed a number of resources to help you or someone you know with a disability prepare and file their taxes. We know tax forms can seem daunting. You can use this information to help make filing taxes easier.
Did you know that many people with disabilities are eligible for special deductions? A deduction lowers your taxable income, meaning you pay less in taxes. Look at this list of tax credits and deductions for individuals with disabilities to see if there are any that apply to you!
Do you want help understanding what deductions you can make? Work Incentives Planning and Assistance (WIPA) projects are community based organizations that provide advice to disability beneficiaries. Here are some questions about taxes and benefits that WIPAs hear a lot.
If you find yourself unsure where to begin, the Interactive Tax Assistant will walk you through a number of questions to help you determine how you can file, what you can deduct from your income, and whether you’re eligible for certain tax credits.
If you have a tax question that can’t be answered by phone or online, free Taxpayer Assistance Centers can provide you face-to-face assistance.
If you are looking for specific forms in text or braille formats, take a look at this list of all accessible IRS documents.
Finally, whether you prepare your taxes yourself, with a professional, or using an online service, make sure you deal only with people and organizations you trust. You can use these 10 tips to help protect your privacy while online. If you decide to file online.
We hope you find this information helpful as the deadline to file your taxes approaches! If you need more in-depth counseling, you can always call the IRS directly.
Read more money savings tips and financial wellness at #MoneyMondays!
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February 24, 2014
Tax season is here! If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to organize your financial information and start preparing and filing your tax forms. There are a number of resources available to help you file your taxes, and you may qualify for some additional tax benefits.
If you or someone you know has a disability and need help filing taxes this year, there are a number of resources that are available:
Download accessible forms and publications. The IRS offers content in a number of accessible formats to accommodate people who use assistive technology including screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays, and voice recognition software. The tax forms and publications can be downloaded or viewed online.
Watch the IRS Accessibility video. The video highlights how to find accessible tax information, products and services.
Visit an IRS volunteer tax site. The IRS offers volunteer sites that help individuals with a low- to moderate-income (about $52,000 or less) obtain free tax preparation assistance. These sites are managed by volunteers that are certified by the IRS. Visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Find-a-Location-for-Free-Tax-Prep to find a site in your state.
File your taxes online for free with MyFreeTaxes.com. The service helps people access free tax preparation and filing assistance services online at home, at a community center or with the help of a nonprofit partner.
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January 27, 2014
Are you ready to gain control of your finances but unsure where to start?
Everyone needs good advice regarding their personal finances, but for people with disabilities, the barriers to financial independence can be especially high. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may be able to help! The CFPB was founded in2011 to educate the public about managing personal finances, enforce laws governing banks, and compile information aimed at protecting consumers.
The CFPB is building a suite of resources designed to help you take control of your personal finances and get on the road to financial independence.
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December 23, 2013
The new year is almost here and it is the perfect time to make some important financial decisions to start 2014 on the right track.
Did you get a job, a raise or a promotion this year? If you were lucky enough to increase your income in 2013, it might be the perfect time to create a budget if you haven’t done so already. The first step toward financial independence is developing a budget and then sticking to it, which can be hard during the holidays.
Here are steps to create a monthly budget so you can plan how to pay your expenses and save for your goals:
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November 18, 2013
If you’ve used your Ticket, found a job, are keeping a budget and have started to save a little, you might still have questions about saving limits. In this post, we will share some ways you can manage your cash and benefits while saving.
The Saving Limit
If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you should make sure you are aware whether your total resources (for example, the total of your cash, checking and savings accounts, or stocks, bonds or IRAs) are within the program guidelines so that you can anticipate any changes to your cash benefits and avoid overpayments.
For example, if you receive SSI, the total for your countable resources cannot be more than $2,000 for an individual. You can own a home and one car for essential transportation, and the value of these items is not counted against the $2,000 resource limit. The limit is $3,000 for a couple. Remember, if you exceed cash benefit limits, your cash benefits will stop.
Certain assets are not counted when Social Security determines financial eligibility for SSI or your state determines financial eligibility for Medical Assistance. For a complete list of assets that are not counted, go to: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/textresources-ussi.htm.
Ways to Save and Receive Benefits
There are ways to save money while you are collecting benefits and trying work. In past posts we shared information about Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS), and an Individual Development Account (IDA). Today we are sharing another option, a Special Needs Trust.
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