Participating in an IDA program that risks your benefits

The type of funding an IDA program has will determine how it affects your benefits. Federally funded IDAs—those with block grants from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Assets for Independence Act (AFIA)—will not jeopardize your eligibility for benefits.

If you enroll in a non-federally funded IDA program, you could lose your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medical Assistance (MA) benefits. If you enroll in a non-federally funded IDA program and have an approved Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS), however, you will not risk losing your benefits.

Before you enroll in an IDA program, be sure to find out what its funding source is and how that may affect your existing benefits.

Failing to fulfill IDA requirements

If you do not fulfill the requirements of the IDA program you might no longer be able to access the matching funds provided by the program. Be sure to review the requirements of your program carefully with your IDA caseworker.

Working without considering a PASS

Many people who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and considering work are not aware that a PASS is an option that may make transition back into the workplace easier. Using a PASS may let a person have access to more income and assets when transitioning into the workplace.

Failing to account carefully for PASS funds

To use PASS funds you must provide receipts to verify your expenses. Funds intended for a PASS must be deposited into a separate account. PASS money cannot be entered into an account that is used for personal expenses. Failure to use the funds as approved, or keeping them separate from personal living expenses, could result in:

Paying for tax filing assistance

If you are on a limited income, do not pay someone to do your taxes. Use a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Center to file. Most centers can e-file your return for free. To find the nearest VITA site, visit Minnesota Revenue or call 1-800-652-9094.

Giving assets directly to a person who is eligible for government benefits

If you give money directly to a person who depends on public benefits programs, the assets you give them may mean that they are not able to get further benefits from the public programs they depend on. The use of an appropriate trust can help a person with disabilities have funds available for his or her benefit without the funds counting as a financial asset for benefits eligibility purposes.