Working with SSI: Our Speaker Series Kick-off on October 10

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Mon, Sep 17, 2018 @ 01:57 PM

 The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.


Pampered chef_croppedPlease join us as we welcome Kathleen Kelly of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission presenting on the topic of public benefits for working individuals with disabilities.  Discussion will include:

  • SSI eligibility & redetermination at age 18.
  • Students who work while attending school.
  • Social Security benefits for students in transition to adult life.

See the flyer below for more details. 

RSVP to Alex via email  or call 781-756-1804.

 

SSI Benefits Program Flyer (3)

 

Tags: Social security income

ABLE Account Contributions and Social Security Income (SSI)

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Aug 18, 2018 @ 08:00 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP

We are committed to presenting complimentary educational workshops to  organizations and parent groups. We are currently booking presentations for Fall 2018/Spring 2019 season. Please click here to email Alex Nadworny or call 781-756-1804 . 

ABLEThe analysis and case study below are excerpted from a Case Summary series offered by the National Disability Institute's ABLE National Resource Center(ABLE NRC).  John Nadworny met Chris Rodriguez of the National Disability Institute at a meeting prior to the ABLE's passage and has worked with Chris and the ABLE NRC on a number of presentations and webinars educating the public about ABLE. We share below information from the case studies presented by ABLE NRC. The case serves to illustrate the impact of the ABLE Account on Social Security and Social Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. 

The ABLE Account offers an individual with a disability, which began before age 26, an opportunity to save funds in a dedicated account to meet " qualified disability expenses" that will allow them to improve health, independence and quality of life.  To view the benefits, limitations and rules related to the ABLE Account, see ABLE Accounts:10 Things You Need to Know

SSI is based on financial need and therefore impacted by any income received by the SSI beneficiary.  Note: SSDI is not a means-tested benefit and is not impacted by the ABLE account. In 2018, the maximum SSI federal benefit is $750/month with states supplementing this amount at their option. Unless income exclusions apply, any income received by the SSI recipient will effect the SSI monthly payment amount. The maximum countable resources a beneficiary is allowed is $2000. If resources go above $2000, the right to an SSI payment may be suspended.  If resources remain above $2000 for 12 months, the SSI is terminated.  

ABLE Account & SSI

A summary of SSI policies regarding ABLE: 

(Source: POMS SI 001130.740, https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0501130740.  )

 Contributions of the designated beneficiary to the ABLE account, from his or her monthly income (i.e., income other than SSI), will still count as income for SSI (subject to any income exclusions) and may result in a reduction to the SSI payment. Contributions from all others are excluded and not counted as income of the beneficiary.

• Earnings from the ABLE account are excluded and not counted as income or against SSI resource limits.

• Up to $100,000 of the account balance is excluded by SSI and not counted toward the $2,000 SSI resource limit.

• When the value of an ABLE account exceeds $100,000 and the amount above $100,000, combined with other resources, results in countable resources above $2,000, SSI payments are indefinitely suspended.

 Unlike the general SSI rules related to excess resources, SSI eligibility is not terminated after 12 months of excess resources related to the ABLE account. SSI payments will be restored once the overall countable resources are reduced to $2,000 or less. Under SSI’s ABLE policy, two years or several years could elapse and the beneficiary can return to SSI payment status when countable resources are again below $2,000.

 • When the SSI payment is suspended due to excess ABLE account resources, Medicaid eligibility will continue.(Note of caution to readers that while the cited policy does allow Medicaid to continue despite an ABLE account balance of more than $100,000, since Medicaid eligibility will be tied to SSI status in 41 states, we believe countable resources (other than the ABLE account) must still be below the $2,000 SSI resource limit in those states. In the remaining nine section 209(b) states, that opted to determine Medicaid eligibility separately, the ABLE account should still be an exempt resource but the person will have to meet any state-specific resource test to keep Medicaid. POMS SI 01715.010.)

 A Case Study of SSI being Impacted by an ABLE account

Source: ABLE National Resource Center

ABLE-1

Mario has $101,500 in his ABLE account and $1,500 in his checking account. Since his countable resources are now $3,000 ($1,500 from ABLE account + $1,500 from checking account), his ABLE account has caused him to exceed the resource limit and his SSI payments are indefinitely suspended.

Mario continues putting money in his ABLE account for 24 more months and his indefinite suspension continues. Then, with the account balance standing at $107,000, he takes a $21,000 distribution to purchase a new car (a Qualified Disability Expense), dropping his account balance to $86,000 at a time when his checking account balance stands at $850. Since the ABLE account balance is below $100,000 it is once again exempt and his only countable resource is the $850 in his checking account. Mario’s SSI payments will be restored without the need for a new application. Mario had Medicaid eligibility continue when his SSI payments were suspended for 24 months based on excess resources caused by the ABLE account.

To read a more detailed case study and analysis, see ABLE National Resource Center. 

 The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide
specific advice or recommendations for any individual, nor intended to be a substitute for specific
individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified
tax or legal advisor.

Prior to investing in an ABLE account investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers amy state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such states's ABLE program.  Withdrawals used for qualified disability expenses are federally tax free.  Tax treatment at the state level may vary.  Please consult with your tax advisor before investing. 

 

Tags: disability supports, government supports, ABLE Account, Social security income

ABLE to Work and Key Changes to the ABLE Account

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Aug 04, 2018 @ 08:30 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP

We are committed to presenting complimentary educational workshops to  organizations and parent groups. We are currently booking presentations for Fall 2018/Spring 2019 season. Please click here to email Alex Nadworny or call 781-756-1804 . 

 

Changes to the ABLE Account for 2018

ABLEThere are significant changes/enhancements to the ABLE account for 2018.  We have summarized the changes based upon information from the National Disability Institute's excellent  ABLE National Resource Center.  To learn the basics about ABLE, check out our ABLE Accounts: Ten Things You Need to Know , adopted from the The ABLE National Resource Center.

Major changes for 2018 are:

  1. Increased annual contribution limit- now $15,000.
  2. ABLE to Work- additional allowable contributions by the beneficiary as a result of employment.
  3. Ability to Rollover funds from a 529 College Savings account to an ABLE -529A-account.
  4. Savers Credit - Access to the Retirement Savings Contribution Credit.

 1. Increased Annual Contribution Limit - The annual contribution limit is periodically adjusted by Congress for inflation. 

  • For the 2018 tax year, the annual limit is $15,000. 
  • Since an ABLE account may have many individuals depositing money into the account, it is important for the account holder to be sure the total of all contributions from all sources does not exceed $15,000. in one year. 

 

2. ABLE to Work- The ABLE to Work provision was passed by Congress as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  It is currently set to expire on January 1, 2026.

  • This provision allows an ABLE account beneficiary who works and earns income to contribute funds above the $15,000 annual limit.
  • The additional contribution may be up to the lesser of: the account beneficiary's earned income or the federal poverty line, which for 2018 is $12,060. This means it is possible to contribute up to $27,060 to an ABLE account in one year. 
  • Two additional elements of the law to be aware of when considering eligibility for the additional contribution:
    • (1) the ABLE beneficiary may not be a participant in their employer-based retirement fund, including if an employer makes contributions to the fund on their behalf.
    • (2) the Beneficiary's employment earnings deposited in an ABLE account are still counted in terms of Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) or earned income, and will be taken into consideration when  determining eligibility for certain public benefits. 

Example: Sheila, an ABLE owner has a job and makes $13,000. She does not participate in her employer's retirement plan. Although her parents have put $15,000 into her ABLE account in 2018, Sheila can contribute an additional $12,060 of HER OWN MONEY into her ABLE account.


3. 529 Fund Rollovers-  This provision allows funds in a 529 College Savings account to be rolled over into a 529A(ABLE) account. It is currently set to expire on January 1, 2026. 

  • The ABLE account beneficiary to receive the rollover funds must be either:
    • the beneficiary of the 529 College Savings Account or
    • A "family member" of the beneficiary of the 529 College Savings account
  • The rollover funds are subject to the annual contribution limit of $15,000 for any given tax year, given that no other contributions have been made into the account that year.

Example:  Max, a teenage child just received a diagnosis of autism. When he was born his parents started a college savings fund (529) for him but now it is not known whether he will go to college or not.  An ABLE account may be opened for Max, assuming he meets the criteria, and his parents may now roll over the 529 to an ABLE account without any penalties or taxes due on earnings.


4.  Saver's Credit- also known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit, was designed to provide an incentive for low and middle income individuals to save. It is currently set to expire on January 1, 2026. 

An ABLE owner contributing to their own account, and meeting the following eligibility requirements, may claim this credit toward taxes owed with the maximum value reducing the taxes owed to zero. The ABLE owner must be:

  • Age 18 or older
  • Not a full time student
  • Not claimed as a dependent on another person's return

Details about the Saver's Credit:

  • Maximum credit is $2000 for an individual and $4000 for a couple
  • Percent of your contribution allowed to take is reduced as your AGI ( Adjusted Gross Income) increases

 

This chart outlines the credit for each category of tax filer:

Source: the ABLE National Resource Center

2018 Saver's Credit      
Credit rate

Married-

filing jointly

Head of 

Household

All Other

Filers*

50% of your

contribution

AGI less than 

$38,000

AGI less than

$28,500

AGI less than

$19,000

20% of your 

contribution

$38,001-

$41,000

$28,501 -

$30,750

$19,001-

$20,500

10% of your

contribution

$41,001-

$63,000

$30,751-

$47,250

$20,501-

$31,500

0% of your

contribution

More than

$63,000

More than

$47,250

More than

$31,500

 

Example: You are an ABLE owner working and making $20,000. You have put $2000 into your ABLE account this year.  You can take a credit of 50% of your contribution,  equal to $1000 in this case, to reduce your tax liability. If possible, you can use this $1000 to contribute further to your savings. 

For further information, please contact us or visit the ABLE National Resource Center

 

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual, nor intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax or legal advisor. [ add line space ] Prior to investing in an ABLE account investors should consider whether the investor's or designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's ABLE program. Withdrawals used for qualified disability expenses are federally tax free. Tax treatment at the state level may vary. Investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.

 

Tags: ABLE Account

Summer Travel Plans? Check this list twice....

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.

 activity-beauty-blue-61129

 

For many families, summer includes going away on vacation. Before you travel, you should do 2 things:

  1. Review the Pre-Trip Checklist from Smarter Travel to be sure you address everyday tasks, secure your home and collect all of the information you might need while you are away. Download the Checklist here.
  2. Have a completed copy of pages 7-12 of your Letter of Intent outlining all of the information someone would need to know about your child with a disability in case of emergency and/or you are not available. You can access a fillable Letter of Intent here.

 

Happy and safe travels!

Tags: special needs Letter of Intent

Employment and more: Upcoming Presentations, May-July 2018

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, May 05, 2018 @ 08:03 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.

It has been a very busy spring of presentations, webinars and panels.  If you have not had a chance to attend one of our recent presentations, take a look at what is ahead and join us!

Presentation calendar

 May 23rd Employment Presentation Flyer

 

Tags: special needs presentations

Appealing Financial Aid When You Have a Family Member with Special Needs

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Apr 28, 2018 @ 09:37 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.

collegeThe FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) does not provide families with the opportunity to explain special circumstances affecting their family.

 To remedy this, Congress has delegated to the school’s financial aid administrators the authority to compensate for special circumstances on a case-by-case basis with adequate documentation.

 If you have a family member with special needs, you may qualify to appeal your financial aid by requesting a special circumstances review. Special circumstances include anything that has changed from one year to the next and anything that distinguishes the family from the typical family.

 How does a Special Circumstances Review work? The special circumstance review is based on strict guidelines and percentages that must be verified before figures can be manipulated. The Federal need analysis methodology assesses a portion of the family's discretionary income (money that is not required for basic living expenses). Expenses and income reductions that are caused by circumstances beyond the family's control do not represent discretionary spending and so can be used to justify professional judgment. The changes in the data elements on the FAFSA will then result in a new expected family contribution (EFC). This, in turn, may result in a new financial aid package.

 How to request a Special Circumstances Review:

Research/ask your college’s financial aid office about their process for a special circumstances review.

 In general, you will have to provide a letter (or fill out a form) explaining your appeal and provide documentation. The documentation should ideally include information about the financial impact of the special circumstances in addition to discussing the nature of the special circumstances.

 Each college’s financial aid office will make its own decision about the request for an adjustment. Some colleges may make an adjustment while others may not. Decisions made by a financial aid administrator at one college are not binding on financial aid administrators at other colleges. Even if the college allows an adjustment, the college may not be able to provide additional financial aid funds, but the financial aid administrator may be able to suggest other options.

 Adjustments apply only to a single award year. Financial aid administrators must review the special circumstances once a year to ensure that they still apply before making an adjustment.

 Good to Know: Financial aid administrators can also adjust the cost of attendance figures, not just the data elements on the FAFSA. For example, the financial aid administrator might increase the cost of attendance to include the cost of a computer, dependent care costs for a special-needs child or disability-related expenses. Financial aid administrators are more likely to adjust the cost of attendance when the student’s EFC is zero, since current financial aid formulas do not allow the EFC to go below zero. When a student’s EFC is already zero, increasing the cost of attendance is the only way to increase the student’s demonstrated financial need (and thus, the amount of financial aid).

Sources:

 https://fafsa.ed.gov/fotw1718/help/fahelp29a.htm

https://www.edvisors.com/fafsa/after-submitting/changes/adjustments-appeals/#special-circumstances

http://www.finaid.org/educators/pj/specialcircumstances.phtml

 https://www.collegechoice.net/admissions/the-fafsa-appeal/

Follow us on Facebook!  

Tags: college financial aid

SSI,SSDI & More- Your Social Security Questions

Posted by Haddad Nadworny on Sat, Apr 14, 2018 @ 07:30 AM

The Special Needs Financial Planning Team  Cynthia Haddad, CFP | John  Nadworny, CFP | Alexandria Nadworny, CFP  We are committed to offering educational workshops to organizations and parent  groups.  Please call Alex or click here to attend a workshop or discuss a presentation  to your group.
Social Security Benefits for People with Disabilities- April 26, 2018

 

JOIN US! - Click below to view flyer
 Social security
Some Facts and Figures:
 
56 million Americans, or 1-in-5, live with disabilities.
38 million disabled Americans, or 1-in-10, live with severe disabilities.
 
Payments are modest: 

As of December 2016, Social Security paid an average monthly disability benefit of $1,171.15. That’s barely enough to keep a beneficiary above the poverty level ($12,060 annually).

What is Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)?

Social Security disability is a social insurance program under which workers earn coverage for benefits, by working and paying Social Security taxes on their earnings. The program provides benefits to disabled workers and to their dependents. For those who can no longer work due to a disability, our disability program is there to replace some of their lost income.

What is Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes) to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and provide cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.

SSDI vs. SSI

Social Security Disability Insurance

Supplemental Security Income

Payments come from the Social Security trust funds and are based on a person’s earnings.

Payments come from the general treasury fund, NOT the Social Security trust funds. SSI payments are not based on a person’s earnings.

An insurance that workers earn by paying Social Security taxes on their wages.

A needs-based public assistance program that does not require a person to have work history.

Pays benefits to disabled individuals who are unable to work, regardless of their income and resources.

Pays disabled individuals who are unable to work AND have limited income and resources.

Benefits for workers and for adults disabled since childhood. Must meet insured status requirements.

Benefits for children and adults in financial need. Must have limited income and limited resources.

 
Contact Alex to learn more.
 
 

Tags: Special Needs Financial Planning

Subscribe via E-mail

Follow Me

Special Needs Financial Planning
Our Most Recent