Financial Wellness is defined as having the financial security and financial freedom of choice, in the present and in the future. It is one of the primary reasons people want to return to work and/or increase their earnings. Having enough income to take care of yourself and your family is important for everyone.
A wide variety of websites for people with disabilities and their families that provide information and tools to help improve financial wellness. National Disability Institute has put together our top financial wellness links for 2016.
Earned Income Tax Credit and Free Tax Preparation
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.
2. Free Tax Preparation 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.
3. Better Money Habits
BetterMoneyHabits.com provides free, easy-to-understand videos and practical tips and tools to help build better money habits. This website was developed by Bank of America in partnership with Khan Academy.
4. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s mission is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards or using any number of other consumer financial products. This website provides information, resources and tools to ensure consumers can make sound financial decisions and submit a complaint should an issue arise.
5. LEAD Center
The LEAD Center is a collaborative of disability, workforce and economic empowerment organizations dedicated to a single mission: advancing sustainable individual and systems level change to improve competitive, integrated employment and economic self-sufficiency for all people across the spectrum of disability. The LEAD Center website provides resources, reports, archived training and a calendar of events to build users’ knowledge on the leadership, employment and economic advancement of individuals with disabilities.
Workforce3One offers e-learning, knowledge sharing, resource information, and tools for workforce professionals and others to build the capacity of the workforce investment system to successfully meet the employment needs of America’s workforce and employers. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Workforce3One offers extensive training, resources and toolkits on a wide variety of workforce topics, at no cost to the user.
7. Social Security Administration – Choose Work Web Site
SSA’s Ticket to Work Site provides information and tools for SSA beneficiaries who want to work. The site provides information on the Ticket to Work program, work incentives and access to organizations that can assist a beneficiary return to work.
8. Social Security WIPA
The goal of the WIPA program is to enable beneficiaries with disabilities to make informed choices about work, and to support working beneficiaries to make a successful transition to self-sufficiency. Each WIPA project has Community Work Incentives Coordinators who will:
- Provide in-depth counseling about benefits and the effect of work on those benefits;
- Conduct outreach efforts to beneficiaries of SSI and SSDI (and their families) who are potentially eligible to participate in Federal or State work incentives programs; and
- Work in cooperation with Federal, State, and private agencies and nonprofit organizations that serve disabled SSI and SSDI beneficiaries.
9. Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS) Online
PASS Online provides basic information about a PASS – a Social Security work incentive that lets you use your own income or assets to help you reach your work goals. This website also includes a PASS application form and helpful hints to assist in completing the application online.
10. Assets for Independence Resource Center
The Assets for Independence Resource Center is a one-stop source for information on the Assets for Independence program and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). IDAs are matched savings accounts designed to promote asset building for low-income workers with and without disabilities. This website provides a listing of IDA providers around the country in addition to the positive impact of IDAs on individuals with disabilities, including those who receive Social Security disability benefits.
MyMoney.gov is a product of the congressionally chartered Federal Financial Literacy and Education Commission, designed to strengthen financial capability and increase access to financial services for all Americans. This website provides tools and resources on five key principles of financial education; earn, save and invest, protect, spend and borrow.
12. ABLE National Resource Center
On December 19, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE). First introduced in 2006, and subsequent sessions of Congress, the ABLE Act will allow people with disabilities (with an age of onset up to 26 years old) and their families the opportunity to create an ABLE Account, a tax-exempt savings account that can be used for maintaining health, independence and quality of life.