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« Collateral Damage | Main | Meh. »

August 11, 2006

Comments

marisa

hey lisa,

one option for financial help in buying a house or starting a business is called an individual development account (IDA). these are awesome programs for working poor (x percent over the federal poverty line). you get free financial education and credit help. and when you deposit a fixed amount into the IDA each month, it is matched 3 to 1. woo hoo! i was in one of the first IDA programs from 1999 to 2003, which allowed me to start a home-based accessible web design business.

run a google search for "individual development account." ooh, and there's an IDA directory search tool too.

That Girl

I think it's fascinating. People dont like to talk about money because it really shows the emporer is naked.
There's no way to argue how "fair" everything is when you are forced to face how unfair everything is - and putting things in terms of money makes it crystal clear.
I shudder to think there are actually people who say you are "living off the system". These are the same people that get a tax break for their interest mortgage payments and tax incentives to buy an SUV, right? Can you say privledge? I knew you could.
Im so glad you have a plan that seems to please you - having a plan is the first step. You are going to do fabulously!

rossecorp

Do they have affordable housing lotteries where you are? Here, when a builder puts in new construction, a certain percentage has to be set aside for low-to-middle income buyers, and these units are sold via lottery. Might work for you...

Gretchen

Hi,
I've been lurking for about a week, and figured I should say something.

And that something is Good Luck! on the plan, job, house, etc.

And keep up the writing, you do it so well.

art-sweet

I think you brilliantly illustrate how seriously f'ed up this system is.

I'd rather be paying taxes for sustainable health care for folks who need it than for bombing the crap out of innocent people in Iraq and lining Dick Cheney's pockets.

Keep up the great writing!

luolin

Good luck with everything. I agree that is important to talk about how the financial things actually work for you and people in general.

marisa

Also, even if your dad doesn't leave you the house, it may be wiser for him to leave you a special needs trust, so you can get an inheritance but keep medicare and SSI. Otherwise said inheritance can get eaten up very quickly by medical costs, especially if you're deemed nearly uninsurable and have to pay for an exorbitant COBRA or HIPAA plan. (I think you mentioned having gotten inheritance from your mom, in care of your sister. You might be able to get the trustee changed (?). Consult the Special Needs Alliance lawyers page for more info.

marisa

hi again. one more resource i've found useful... tho i'm not sure if the charts are screen reader accessible. they're certainly printable and a human reader will do.

this site has excellent pdf brochures for health insurance options and
qualifications for each state. very useful.

http://coverageforall.org/our_services.htm#options

Lisa

Marissa,

Thanks for all the tips. Yes, the trust my mother assigned for me through my sister also encompasses my father's assets as well when he dies. I do not know if it has been designated as a "special needs trust" or not. However, you are making a similar mistake that my family/mother made. I'm not on SSI, so I have no limit to what I can save or have as assets under SSDI. SSDI is not based on income, it is entirely based on how much FICA you've paid in. I will not lose medicare because I have too much money.

This is one of the reasons I wanted to get the kids off medicaid and other benefits. They don't allow that you can save any money for them. On SSDI, I can save as much as I want, I just can't EARN that much from month to month.

I only point this out because I think it is important for people to help people with disabilities have opportunities to be self-determined with their own money. Too often, everyone likes to make financial decisions for PWD without having a good understanding of the needs they have or how it effects benefits. Putting inheritence into a trust, for example, without understanding that a person can use inheritance money to buy a home that will not be counted against them (even on SSI or most any benefits program) has left a lot of disabled people (most with cognitive disabilities) in institutions or other substandard or rental living situations that are not the person's choice. For example, I once knew of a sister who was trustee for a person with cognitive disabilities who lived in an institution in a town several hundred miles away. The sister used the trust money to travel to visit her sister about four times a year. Instead, she possibly could have saved and invested it for a few years and then just bought her sister her own condo in the same town, set up a roommate situation to exchange free rent for support for the disabled sister, and visited her any time she wanted to. This is what the women with disabilities wanted, she wanted to move out of the institution, but the sister/trustee went around saying that she couldn't use this money for housing. She could have, but she didn't get that choice. Its not like trustees have to take a class or follow many rules as far as giving the beneficiary any rights. There can be a lot of abuses here.

However, special needs trusts are very beneficial for people on SSI (which is based on poverty level). D has one that he put a small settlement in from his car accident. He would not have been able to keep his medicaid, SSI, etc., if he'd been given his settlement in one lump sum without having to spend it down.

Your idea about IDA's is very interesting and I am going to look into that. Thanks for your input.

marisa

oh, oops, i was thinking of SSDI and medicaid, not SSI and medicare. hee hee.

marisa

about the IDAs, it seems you can set them up for children and youth up to age 18, too.

shannon

Heh. You're right. It's rich people who decided it isn't polite to talk about money. It would not be in their best interest for the rest of us to know how much they've got.

By the same token, I was frowned on when I talked about how much I made with a co-worker at an old job. Turns out, he was getting paid 25% more than me for no reason I could figure except that he was male (same job, same experience, same education--he started 3 months AFTER me and he did about 30% of the work I did--I kept track once I found about about the pay inequity). So it was certainly not in my employer's interest for me to be talking about numbers.

Therefore, to further the revolution, I say, spill the exact figures, babe. And anyhow, now I admire you even more, because I was making about $1000/month living in DC and couldn't even support myself, let alone two toddlers. You should start a blog category for budgeting and money-stretching tips.

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