How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

An estimated 17.6 million individuals were victims of one or more incidents of identity theft in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. On February 10th, National Disability Institute and the Federal Trade Commission held a webinar on how to protect your identity, how to recognize scams, strategies to follow if one’s identity has been compromised and tools and resources, such as IdentityTheft.gov, that can help an individual if their identity has been compromised. View an archive of the "Identify Theft: Tools and Resources to Help Clients Protect Their Identity" webinar.

Resources for Real Economic Impact

Public Benefits and Work Supports 

PASS as Protected Savings

Do you know any SSI and SSDI beneficiaries who are interested in working and becoming self-sufficient? Sometimes beneficiaries need a way to increase their earnings and save money to reach their goals towards working. A Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS) may help them do just that. PASS allows for income and resources, other than SSI, to be saved in an account. The savings can cover costs associated with education, transportation, starting a business or to purchase other approved items. It is estimated that 1.5 million beneficiaries are eligible for this work support. To learn more, visit www.passonline.org.

Employment 

Your Guide to Retirement Planning

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has created “Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Fitness,” which provides helpful information on how to incorporate retirement savings into an individual’s financial situation. Unfortunately, far too few individuals are putting aside adequate retirement savings or taking advantage of employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. This guide helps a person clarify goals, priorities, and retirement savings needs to achieve a financially healthy retirement.

Taxes and Tax Preparation 

Win Big When You Save Your Refund

Taxpayers across the country have a chance to win cash prizes for saving a portion of their federal tax refund through SaveYourRefund, which is offered by America Saves and Doorways To Dreams Fund (D2D). With $35,000 in prizes and over 100 chances to win, SaveYourRefund makes tax-time saving fun. All taxpayers are welcome, and entry is as simple as saving at least $50 through IRS Form 888. Organizations can sign up to be a SaveYourRefund partner at saveyourrefund.com/partners to help clients enter the promotion when they file their taxes.

Financial Education 

5 Simple Steps to Savings

Having money to set aside for a rainy day, an unexpected emergency or to purchase an asset provides peace of mind. To help clients set a savings plan, Better Money Habits has published “5 Steps to Get Started with Saving.” This resource provides tips on how clients can begin saving money, such as by placing one percent of their income into savings over the next month.

Asset Development 

Find the Best Bank for Your Buck

One way to improve your overall financial well-being is by improving your saving ability. Here’s a tip: when you want to save money, shopping around first is wise. Banks not only pay varying interest rates on savings, but they may also have different terms and conditions for saving and checking accounts. The difference between one bank’s offer of a 0.1 percent interest rate, compared to another’s 1 percent offer can add up. Read "7 Tips for Choosing a Savings Account When Interest Rates Increase" from Bankrate.com to learn more.

Public Policy 

Improvements to Earned Income Tax Credit Made Permanent

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of our country’s most effective anti-poverty initiatives, keeping millions of low- to moderate-income workers out of poverty. Its benefits are critical to individuals with disabilities – considering the disproportionate number of Americans with disabilities in poverty, as compared to those without disabilities. Improvements to the EITC, as a result of H.R. 2029, are a significant achievement in the fight against poverty and will allow those with disabilities to more readily achieve and maintain economic self-sufficiency. Visit the NDI website to learn more about the EITC.

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Issue 23 - Feb. 2016

In This Issue

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Benefits: PASS as Protected Savings

Employment: Your Guide to Retirement Planning

Tax Preparation: Win Big When You Save Your Refund

Financial Education: 5 Simple Steps to Savings

Asset Development: Find the Best Bank for Your Buck

Public Policy: Improvements to Earned Income Tax Credit Made Permanent

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