Financial literacy is the ability to use knowledge and skills to manage financial resources effectively for a lifetime of financial well-being. It’s an important component to independence, whether you’re creating your first household budget or planning for a comfortable retirement. For people with disabilities, financial literacy may include an understanding of any financial benefits they receive and how those benefits are impacted by life changes like a new job, marriage, children, or loss of caregivers.
The NIDILRR grantee community has a excellent resources to improve financial literacy for individuals and families experiencing disability. We reviewed these items below in 2015 and added new ones for 2016:
- The Life Skills Manual, created by Christine Helfrich, PhD, OTLR, focuses one module, Money Management, on strategies for budgeting, saving money, protecting one’s credit and identity theft. the Food and Nutrition module also teaches household budgeting. The manual is available free of charge through NARIC’s document delivery service.
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Disorders conducted research on asset accumulation through Individual Development Accounts (IDA), savings accounts matched by the Federal government and private sources. Read their report on IDA programs for people in mental health recovery (PDF). This project completed its research and development activities but they recommend a solid collection of resources to learn more about managing your money and your recovery.
- Family Briefs (PDF) from the ASIF project at Towson University offers information and support resources on several topics faced by families living with autism, including financial matters and how to find support.
- The VCU RRTC on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities answers your questions about work and benefits in this factsheet on Employment and Supplemental Security Income (PDF).
- Read what NIDILRR PI Peter Blanck has to say about web accessibility and how it impacts the inclusion of people with disabilities, including when it comes to accessing financial institutions and benefit programs.
- Explore abstracts of journal articles, books, and reports available from our collection.
Many more resources are available from other agencies and private organizations. Here’s a small sample of resources we found while exploring this topic:
- Curricula, fact sheets, videos, and more from the Federal Financial Literacy and Education Committee at MyMoney.gov
- ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families, to be created as a result of the passage of the Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014. Learn more from the ABLE National Resource Center.
- Reports, curricula, programs, and research on financial literacy, tax preparation, asset development, benefits planning, and public policy to support the economic advancement of people with disabilities from the National Disability Institute at RealEconomicImpact.org.
- Check out their Top 12 Financial Wellness Resources for 2016.
- The National Resource Center on Women and Retirement Planning published Financial Steps for Caregivers: What You Need to Know About Protecting Your Money and Retirement (PDF), designed to help you identify financial decisions you may face as a caregiver.
- The Ticket to Work program offers Financial Literacy Tips for People with Disabilities, guiding SSI and SSDI beneficiaries in taking charge of their money.
- We’ve collected more articles, books, and reports on financial literacy and independent living from these and other agencies and commercial publishers, abstracted in our REHABDATA database.