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Live Life to the Fullest with Disability.gov - Your Guide to Information

Disabilitygov

By the Disability.gov Team

People visit Disability.gov for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for information on how to apply for disability benefits, and others want to know where they can find affordable and accessible apartments. As the federal government website for information on disability policies, programs and services, the Disability.gov team’s number one priority is to evaluate every resource to ensure you are connected to information that helps you live life to the fullest. Essentially, Disability.gov is a huge directory of resources from government agencies, academic institutions and nonprofit organizations.

If you have a disability and want to return to work, the Ticket to Work program can help you explore your options. You’ve found the Ticket’s website, but what if you need to access public transportation or paratransit service to travel to job interviews? What if you’re attending college or vocational training in a new city and need to find a doctor who specializes in your disability or want to connect with a support group? That’s where Disability.gov comes in.

A few months ago, Disability.gov launched the “Guide Me” tool to make searching on the site easier by walking visitors through four steps.

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Money Mondays: Tax Resources for People with Disabilities

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Tax season is here! If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to organize your financial information and start preparing and filing your tax forms. There are a number of resources available to help you file your taxes, and you may qualify for some additional tax benefits.

If you or someone you know has a disability and need help filing taxes this year, there are a number of resources that are available:

  • Download accessible forms and publications. The IRS offers content in a number of accessible formats to accommodate people who use assistive technology including screen reading software, refreshable Braille displays, and voice recognition software. The tax forms and publications can be downloaded or viewed online.
  • Watch the IRS Accessibility video. The video highlights how to find accessible tax information, products and services.
  • Visit an IRS volunteer tax site. The IRS offers volunteer sites that help individuals with a low- to moderate-income (about $52,000 or less) obtain free tax preparation assistance. These sites are managed by volunteers that are certified by the IRS. Visit www.irs.gov/Individuals/Find-a-Location-for-Free-Tax-Prep to find a site in your state.
  • File your taxes online for free with MyFreeTaxes.com. The service helps people access free tax preparation and filing assistance services online at home, at a community center or with the help of a nonprofit partner.

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Subscribe for Ticket to Work's Interactive Email Series, "The Journey to Financial Independence"

Ticket to Work Email Campaign

Social Security’s Ticket to Work program is pleased to announce the launch of our email series called “The Journey to Financial Independence.”

This email series will provide information about how Ticket to Work can help you or someone you know achieve the goal of becoming financially independent through work. Ticket to Work is a free and voluntary service for Social Security disability beneficiaries age 18 through 64 who are interested and able to work.

When you opt-in to participate, you will receive emails once every week or two. They will contain information and resources to help you on your journey to make more money and eventually eliminate your reliance on benefits. You will learn more about the Ticket to Work program and how to access resources that may be available to you.

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Register Now! Social Security's Work Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinar: Ticket to Work: Support for People with Disabilities on the Journey to Financial Independence

Lisa Seeley

Join us for our next WISE Webinar on January 22, 2014 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. EST. Register online at www.choosework.net/wise or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

This webinar is a great opportunity for individuals who have previously participated in a Ticket to Work and Work Incentives webinar to learn more about the path to financial independence.

The January 22 webinar will present tips, tools, and resources that help you:

  • Learn how to save what you earn
  • Understand tax benefits that may apply to you
  • Gain basic financial knowledge such as budgeting and expense tracking

If you cannot make the live event, wish to review the information, or are looking for a particular webinar topic, our most recent webinars can be downloaded from our webinar library.

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Happy New Year! Have You Made Your Resolution for 2014?

A new year is a new beginning! Now is a great time to set goals and make plans for the future.

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions have to do with employment and financial wellness. Choosing to work can change your life. If finding employment is one of your New Year’s resolutions, Ticket to Work may be able to help. We can connect you with the right people to help you explore your options, prepare for work, gain experience and help you understand the affect working may have on your benefits. Explore our website for more information about the program, email us at support@chooseworkttw.net, or call our Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY) to get started!

Whether you are looking for a job or already have one, managing your money better can help you reach your goals for 2014. Financial wellness begins with understanding your income, your spending, and how much you save. Here are some common topics on financial wellness from our #MoneyMondays series:

No matter what your resolutions are for 2014, pursue your goals and make this your year! Don’t forget that Social Security’s Ticket to Work program may be able to help along the way!

We wish you a happy and healthy 2014!

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Money Mondays: How to Create and Stick to Your Budget

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The new year is almost here and it is the perfect time to make some important financial decisions to start 2014 on the right track.

Did you get a job, a raise or a promotion this year? If you were lucky enough to increase your income in 2013, it might be the perfect time to create a budget if you haven’t done so already. The first step toward financial independence is developing a budget and then sticking to it, which can be hard during the holidays.

Here are steps to create a monthly budget so you can plan how to pay your expenses and save for your goals:

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Money Mondays: What You Should Know About Saving Your Money

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If you’ve used your Ticket, found a job, are keeping a budget and have started to save a little, you might still have questions about saving limits. In this post, we will share some ways you can manage your cash and benefits while saving.
 

The Saving Limit

If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you should make sure you are aware whether your total resources (for example, the total of your cash, checking and savings accounts, or stocks, bonds or IRAs) are within the program guidelines so that you can anticipate any changes to your cash benefits and avoid overpayments.

For example, if you receive SSI, the total for your countable resources cannot be more than $2,000 for an individual. You can own a home and one car for essential transportation, and the value of these items is not counted against the $2,000 resource limit. The limit is $3,000 for a couple. Remember, if you exceed cash benefit limits, your cash benefits will stop.

Certain assets are not counted when Social Security determines financial eligibility for SSI or your state determines financial eligibility for Medical Assistance. For a complete list of assets that are not counted, go to: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/textresources-ussi.htm.
 

Ways to Save and Receive Benefits

There are ways to save money while you are collecting benefits and trying work. In past posts we shared information about Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS), and an Individual Development Account (IDA). Today we are sharing another option, a Special Needs Trust.

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Money Mondays: Fall Round-up

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Work can be rewarding. For people with disabilities, returning to work or trying work for the first time can lead to more money and a more fulfilling life. Through work, many people meet their career and financial goals.

 

With the Ticket to Work program and Work Incentives you may discover a new career or return to a previous one to earn more money than receiving benefits. The program offers services and supports to guide you on your path to financial independence.

What does financial independence mean for people receiving disabilities?

  • Financial independence can mean being able to support yourself to meet your wants and needs with money that you earn from a job
  • It means being able to make choices and have options about what you buy, where you live, and what you do with your free time
  • It means not being limited by Social Security disability benefits and working your way off of cash benefits whenever possible

Learn what financial independence means to Lisa, Rob and Michelle, some of our Ticket to Work Success Stories who used the Ticket to Work program and Work Incentives to return to work or find a new job!

Think about how it would feel to have more money and get paid to do what you love. Through work, you can meet new people, learn new skills and contribute in meaningful ways.

Having more money from working can help you meet your career and personal goals, not to mention help reduce some stress. Check out some past Money Monday posts to help you get started on managing your money.

Money Mondays: Setting up a Bank Account
Money Mondays: Start Saving With Your New Bank Account
Money Mondays: Creating a Budget Today to Improve Your Tomorrow
Money Mondays: Know Your Credit

#Money MondaysRead more money savings tips and financial wellness at #MoneyMondays!

 

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