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2018 Top Financial Wellness Links for Persons with Disabilities, Family Members and Service Providers

Financial well-being is defined as having the financial security and financial freedom of choice in the present and into the future.

A wide variety of websites provide information and tools to help individuals improve the financial well-being. Below is a list of National Disability Institute's (NDI) top financial well-being links for 2018.

Earned Income Tax Credit and Free Tax Preparation

1. Free Tax Preparation by Volunteers (irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers)

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program offers free tax help to people who make $54,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals. This website provides a search feature to identify VITA programs by zip code.

2. MyFreeTaxes (myfreetaxes.com)

MyFreeTaxes provides free federal and state tax preparation and filing assistance for qualified individuals or families with a combined income of $62,000 or less in 2015.

Financial Education

3. Better Money Habits (bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com)

BetterMoneyHabits.com provides free, easy-to-understand videos and practical tips and tools to help build financial know-how. This website was developed by Bank of America in partnership with Khan Academy.

4. Money Smart (fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/moneysmart/index.html)

Money Smart is free, comprehensive financial education curriculum created by FDIC. Money Smart is available as an instructor-led curriculum, can be provided in nine languages and braille and involves computer-based instruction. Train-the-trainer videos and workshops are also available to build the capacity of individuals and organizations in providing Money Smart curriculum. 

5. Hands On Banking Quick Reference Guides (realeconimcimpact.org/financial-education/disability-reference-guides)

Hands on Banking (HOB) Disability Reference Guides provide financial educators, American Job Centers (AJC), Vocation Rehabilitation (VR) and community-based organizations access to resources and tools to support persons with disabilities as they take steps to secure employment and to improve their financial well-being. 

Employment

6. American Dream Employment Network (americandreamen.org)

The American Dream Employment Network (ADEN), a Social Security Administration (SSA) approved administrative employment network (EN), is a consortium of service providers and employers working together to create a path to employment for Social Security disability beneficiaries who want to return to or begin working for the first time.  ADEN provides return-to-work services, work incentive advisement and financial well-bing services at no cost to the jobseeker. 

7. Workforce3GPS (workforcegps.org)

WorkforceGPS is an interactive, online communication and learning platform. It is designed to communicate with and build the capacity of the public workforce investment system to develop and implement innovative approaches to workforce and economic development in the 21st century economy. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA), and made available to the general public, WorkforceGPS offers resources and peer-to-peer connection to help the public workforce system, education professionals and business leaders. 


Benefits Planning and Work Supports

8. Social Security Administration - Ticket to Work (choosework.ssa.gov)

SSA’s Ticket to Work website provides information and tools for SSA beneficiaries who want to work. The website provides information on the Ticket to Work program, work incentives and access to organizations that can assist beneficiaries as they make the choice to return to work.

9. my Social Security (ssa.gov/myaccount)

my Social Security allows individuals to get estimates of future retirement, disability and survivors benefit amounts, review earnings once a year to verify the amounts SSA posted are correct, view the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes paid, check the status of an application or appeal and get a benefits verification letter. 

10. Red Book (ssa.gov/redbook)

The SSA Red Book serves as a general reference source about return-to-work rules and available work incentives under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. The Red Book is designed for use by educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals and counselors who serve people with disabilities. 

ABLE Accounts

11. ABLE National Resource Center (ablenrc.org)

The ABLE National Resource Center (ABLE NRC) is a one-stop source for information on ABLE accounts, ABLE account providers, qualified disability expenses and the impact of ABLE accounts on public benefits. Managed by NDI, ABLE NRC is a collaborative of more than 20 of the country's largest and most influential national disability organizations working together to ensure that the design and availability of ABLE accounts meet the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. 

12. The ABLE Act and Employment: Maximizing the Effectiveness of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act as a Tool for Increasing Financial Stability and Employment Outcomes of People with Disabilities

The LEAD Center released a policy brief on how provisions of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act can be combined with federal benefit services and other federal programs and initiatives to further competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities. The brief examines the provisions of the ABLE Act, their impact on the financial self-sufficiency and employment opportunities of persons with disabilities, and recommendations on how to best utilize the ABLE Act to maximize these outcomes in several systems in which people with disabilities participate, including Workforce Development, Vocational Rehabilitation, Medicaid, and Social Security. a list of action steps so that these identified systems can partner with state ABLE programs to improve employment outcomes for ABLE eligible individuals.

Asset Development

13. America Saves (americasaves.org)

America Saves, a campaign managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America, uses the principles of behavioral economics and social marketing to motivate, encourage and support low- to moderate-income households to save money, reduce debt and build wealth. 

Financial Behavior

14. Banking Status and Financial Behaviors of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the 2015 FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households

Based on data mined from the 2015 FDIC National Survey on Unbanked and Underbanked Households, this report highlights the financial choices and banking habits of adults with disabilities. This report finds that, since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law, ensuring all individuals with disabilities the opportunity to achieve “economic self-sufficiency,” this population still faces numerous financial hurdles and roadblocks to financial inclusion.

15. Financial Capability of Adults with Disabilities: Findings from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation National Financial Capability Study

This report follows the outline of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s Financial Capability in the United States 2016. It compares working-age adults with disabilities to those without disabilities on four key components of financial capability: Making Ends Meet, Planning Ahead, Managing Financial Products and Financial Knowledge and Decision Making.

16. Access to Credit for Adults with Disabilities

Based on data from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study, these findings identify significant barriers to financial well-being for people with disabilities that go beyond the challenges faced by others with similar incomes.

17. Addressing the Needs of Americans with Disabilities in Financial Capability Programs

Based on data from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s National Financial Capability Study, these findings identify challenges to financial well-being for people with disabilities that go above and beyond the challenges faced by others with similar incomes.