‘Caregiver compensation’ for Utahns with disabilities, however the cash might run out

SALT LAKE CITY – An idea born out of the COVID-19 pandemic has helped hundreds of families with a loved one with a disability, but now funding threatens to run out.

The “care allowance”, which gives a family member a small amount of money to stay at home and care for someone, was funded by the state until the end of August. But it depends on the federal government granting a Medicaid waiver and approving the use of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to maintain it beyond that.

It’s a blessing for families who use the money.

Lisa Thornton, whose daughter Kate Prader-Willi has syndrome, used the caregiver compensation to stay at home and take care of her. In the COVID-19 pandemic, Kate was unable to bring health workers home or go to any type of group home due to concerns about the spread of the virus. Kate needs 24-hour care, her mother said.

“Just having the continuity of care that I can be home and take care of her makes her happier, it made her calmer. Nobody knows her better than I do and so it was a great opportunity,” Lisa said in one Interview with FOX 13.

The Utah State Legislature created a “care allowance” when it passed law that allows spouses to receive money to care for their loved ones. The state gets a Medicaid exemption from the federal government.

But the Utah Department of Human Services has now expanded caregiver compensation to help fund siblings, parents, and other family caregivers.

“The origins really are in the pandemic. Parents had concerns about sending their families in groups or even having caregivers come in,” said Angie Pinna, executive director of the Utah Division of Services for People with Disabilities.

It’s not exactly what lawmakers intended, but Senator Wayne Harper, R-Taylorsville, said he was okay with his bill being expanded to cover this. After using it successfully in this way, he wants to expand it permanently.

“It has been used very, very well and appropriately,” he said.

In order to expand it permanently, the state would have to raise up to 60 million dollars. You can get a Medicaid exemption in exchange for dollars equivalent, Senator Harper said, but they are waiting.

At the moment, caregiver compensation has cost the state approximately $ 22 million. There are 442 families in the program, each receiving approximately $ 2,372 per month in compensation for approximately 26 hours per week.

Senator Harper said that without the Medicaid waiver and permanent enlargement legislation, some Utah families could be cut off. He plans laws to expand the program but may have to start small and not cover all of them right away.

“Overall, the feedback we have received from the families we use has been very positive,” Pinna told FOX 13.

Lisa Thornton said she urged people to turn to their lawmakers to support the program.

“These kids are so tough. We can’t do it alone,” she said. “We need help and we don’t want to put her in an institution. It would cost the state hundreds of thousands more to have Kate in an institution than to keep her at home.”

Kids and Cash: A Widespread Financial savings Program for Individuals with Disabilities [Column] | Cash

ABLE is growing rapidly.

Five years after its introduction, the ABLEnow savings program has reached a so-called milestone. Currently accounts in all 50 states and some in the District of Columbia hold over $ 100 million in assets for over 12,000 account holders.

It’s not as poor as a tax-friendly savings program for the disabled that isn’t as well known as its cousin, the 529 University Savings Plan.

The ABLE account was created by Congress in 2014 and introduced state-to-state two years later. It saves people with disabilities various skilled disability expenses such as education, transportation, housing and vocational training. , Designed to be funded.

The kickers are: As long as the eligibility rules are adhered to, account holders can use ABLE without endangering the eligibility of government programs such as Medicaid and additional security insurance.

Account earnings (formerly the Achieveing ​​a Better Life Experience Program) are exempt from federal taxes, and states can also offer tax incentives. The account can be opened by anyone who develops a disability before the age of 26. As with your 529 account, family and friends can contribute.

The annual donation amount for 2021 is capped at $ 15,000, but the total amount for your account cannot exceed $ 500,000.

According to ISS Market Intelligence for the first quarter of 2021, the average account balances of $ 8,368 are well below those limits.

The national ABLEnow program is administered by the Virginia 529 program, the largest university savings plan in the country. Accounts are not yet sponsored in all 50 states, but qualified individuals are not required to open an account in their home state. Several programs, including Virginia, are open for national registration, according to the ABLE National Resource Center.

ABLEnow account holders can choose from several investment options depending on their risk tolerance and there is no minimum deposit or registration fee. Some programs may require a monthly account service fee of $ 3.25 and some asset-based fees. (For more informations, www.ablenow.com).

Individuals can also open an account through the ABLE America Plan, a partnership between ABLEnow and the American Funds Group.

Last year, the new ABLEnow accounts increased 10% and the average portfolio increased 24% through May 2021.

The growth can be due to several factors including a focus on economic controls on accounts, people spending more time at home and focusing on savings, and of course, rising stock markets.

Mary Morris, Virginia Chief Executive Officer said:

But for many skilled people with disabilities, ABLEnow’s report may seem “too good and untrue,” said Morris.

“When you state that the funds in your ABLEnow account will not affect disability services and benefits, many people are used to not being able to save money or plan for the future, so look for one Hook, ”she says. Said.

According to Morris, supporters are turning to social media using webins and other video conferencing tools to spread information about ABLE. A message worth sharing.

Children and Money: A Popular Savings Program for People with Disabilities [Column] | money

Source link Children and Money: A Popular Savings Program for People with Disabilities [Column] | money

Golf event in Agawam raises cash for non-profit that helps households with disabilities

FEEDING HILLS, Mass. (WWLP) – High ambitions for a golf tournament in Feeding Hills that raises money for a good cause.

People met Wednesday at Oak Ridge Country Club for the 42nd annual Tony Strycharz Memorial Golf Tournament. Jericho, a Springfield Diocese nonprofit that helps families with disabilities, intends to raise tens of thousands of dollars from the event.

Police have been looking for a missing Agawam man since April

“Our goal today is to collect $ 30,000 between golf and the raffles. We hope that everyone who has come will open their wallets and wallets and be very generous to us, ”said Linda LaPointe, Executive Director of the Bureau of Exceptional Children & Adults.

This is the largest fundraiser in Jericho every year.