I am a New Yorker with a disability, and I want to:
Build financial assets

If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and are looking to build financial assets, this is the right time in history. There are a number of ways to increase your financial assets and achieve independence.

First, you might want to consider applying for a Plan For Achieving Self Support (PASS). We have produced a newsletter on the topic. (Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS)  PDF (950 KB)  |  TEXT (33 KB)) If you want more thorough information on how you can use a PASS to become more self-sufficient and how to apply for one, we have produced a Policy-to-Practice Brief (Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS)  PDF (778 KB)  |  TEXT (120 KB)) on the topic. Additionally, we have established a website entitled PASS Online that thoroughly explains the PASS, how it works and provides a mechanism to complete the application online and print a PDF of the application, once completed, to submit to the Social Security Administration. PASS Online can be accessed by going to www.passonline.org.

Second, you might want to look in to Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). What are IDAs? Individual Development Accounts are special savings accounts designed to assist low income people on their path toward asset ownership through matched savings and financial education. IDAs reward the monthly savings of people who are trying to buy their first home, pay for college or start/expand a small business. IDAs help people invest in their future. According to one participant, "I started the IDA because of the match, it's hard to believe that anyone who had the opportunity would turn it down. Now my life is richer because of the IDA, I feel better about myself and I know what I can afford."

Third, you might want to look into the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The EITC is a refundable tax credit for eligible low-income workers with and without disabilities. There are three major purposes of the EITC: to reduce the tax burden on low-income workers; to provide a work incentive; and to supplement wages. We have produced a Self-Help Guide For Beneficiaries (Earned Income Tax Credit: How to Use the Tax Credit to Build Assets  PDF (271 KB)  |  TEXT (9 KB)) on the topic.

What if I Still Have More Questions About How To Build Financial Assets?

If you have any questions about how to build financial assets, you can contact specialists to assist you toll-free at 1-888-224-3272 VOICE, 1-877-671-6844 TDD. The hotline is available during business hours Monday through Friday, except on holidays. Every effort will be made to return calls the same day or within one business day.

Finally, SSA has contracted with Employment Networks to assist individuals who are seeking employment find employment at no cost to the SSDI or SSI recipient. If you want more thorough information on Employment Networks, we have produced a Self-Help Guide entitled Choosing an Employment Network (PDF version)  |  Choosing an Employment Network (TEXT version).

Get the New York Makes Work Pay Newsletter


Sign-up for our newsletter, regular project news and updates.

Contact Us

Call Our Toll-free Hotline:

Voice: 1-888-224-3272
TDD: 1-877-671-6844

Partnering Organizations

New York State Office of Mental Health Burton Blatt Institute K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute