First Steps in 2015The following resources provide the first step you or your organization might take to learn more about each category.
A First Step to Understanding Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability benefits system is complex and can be confusing to both beneficiaries and professionals alike. Where do you start your journey to better understand these benefits? Social Security has developed a basic guide to benefits and work incentives entitled the “Red Book.” If you are a professional or a beneficiary, this is a great place to start learning more about how work incentives support the return to work. To access the Red Book, please visit www.ssa.gov/redbook.
A First Step Toward New Partnerships: Understanding the Disability Employment System
Individuals with disabilities have access to a range of generic and disability-specific employment services. Several key players within the public workforce system include American Job Centers (also called Workforce Centers or One Stops), Vocational Rehabilitation and the Division of Blind Services. Learn more about these key entities and other service providers as a first step toward developing new partnerships with disability service providers by watching an archived recording of a recent NDI webinar.
Taxes and Tax Preparation
A First Step Toward Connecting to Free Tax Preparation: MyFreeTaxes Marketing Materials
Marketing materials are now available on the MyFreeTaxes Affiliate Portal! You can download numerous marketing materials including customizable and noncustomizable fliers, door hangers, digital banners, folders and much more. Marketing materials are also available in Spanish. Be sure to review the information at the top of the "Print Materials" page before customizing materials for your program. In addition, there will soon be a social media toolkit consisting of infographics and suggested social media posts for Twitter and Facebook, so be on the lookout! Once complete, the toolkit will be made available on the “Social Media” page of the Affiliate Portal. Finally, the MyFreeTaxes Partnership is developing a Veterans-specific flier to help spread the word for eligible servicemembers and their families. This flier will be available in February 2015. As a reminder: keep checking the Affiliate Portal for new marketing resources throughout the tax season!
A First Step Toward Creating a Financial Education Program
If your goal in 2015 is to create a financial education program for individuals you serve, your first step should be to check the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Money Smart Program. A comprehensive financial education curriculum, Money Smart is designed to help low- and moderate-income individuals outside the financial mainstream enhance their financial skills and create positive banking relationships. Research shows that the curriculum positively and substantially influences how consumers manage their finances.
Learn more about Money Smart.
A First Step to Becoming an IDA Provider
Individual Development Accounts (IDA) are viable resources helping individuals successfully save for certain assets such as acquiring a first home, opening a small business or enrolling in postsecondary education or training. Funding for IDAs comes from the Assets for Independence (AFI) Program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. AFI’s website provides information on the grant process and on determining if the AFI Program is right for your organization. To learn more on becoming an IDA provider, please visit AFI’s webpage.
A First Step Towards Understanding the ABLE Act
The ABLE Act is now law! In recognition of this unprecedented legislation, NDI has created a list of 6 next steps an individual or family can take to become ABLE account ready.
View a video of NDI Executive Director Michael Morris explaining, “ABLE Account Planning: Six Next Steps in 2015.”
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