Friday, January 6, 2023

Benefits And Financial Assistance From The Government Trust Fund

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Cons Of Student Financial Aid

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  • Loan repayment required
  • Lifetime limits on Pell Grants
  • Private loans are more expensive and restrictive
  • Defaulting on loans hurts credit

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, student loan payments, including principal and interest, on federally held student loans were suspended through Sept. 30, 2021, and extended again through Jan. 31, 2022. On Dec. 22, 2021, the pause on federal student loan repayments was extended for an additional 90 daysthrough May 1, 2022. However, the suspension only applies to federal student loans held by the Department of Education.

The Department of Education also stopped the collection of defaulted federal student loans. This applies to loans in nonpayment. As a result, garnishment of wages and any offset of tax refunds and Social Security benefits have also been stopped through May 1, 2022.

The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in March 2021 includes a provision that makes all student loan forgiveness from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2025, tax-free.

What Happens When My Child Trust Fund Matures

If you have a Child Trust Fund but do not inform your provider what you would like to do with the money in it when it matures, the money will be held in a ‘protected account’ until you contact your provider.

Interest earned on funds in a ‘protected account’ will remain tax-free, and any terms and conditions that applied to your Child Trust Fund before it matured will still apply.

Check What Help You Can Get From The Government

The government will give every household in Great Britain £400 off their electricity bill. This is called the Energy Bills Support Scheme. You dont need to do anything to get the money and you wont have to pay it back.

Youll get the £400 in 6 instalments starting from October 2022. Youll get:

  • £66 in October and November

  • £67 in December, January, February and March

If you have an electricity meter and pay your bills every month or quarterly, your supplier will automatically take the amounts off your energy bill each month.

If you have a prepayment meter, your supplier will confirm how youll get the £400 closer to October 2022. Theyll either:

  • automatically add the instalments to your energy meter

  • give you the instalments as vouchers by email, text or post

If you get vouchers, youll only be able to use them for your own energy account.

If your household is in council tax A-D, you should have received a £150 council tax rebate from the government. You should have got this in April 2022 – you don’t need to pay it back.

If you havent got your council tax rebate, you should contact your local council. You can find your local council on GOV.UK.

The government will also send you extra one-off payments if you:

  • get certain benefits – for example, Universal Credit, PIP or Attendance Allowance

  • are over State Pension age and get Winter Fuel Payments

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General Education And Learning

Education Incentive Program

Tenants of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation, attending junior high, high school, post-secondary school, or an Adult Basic Education program, may receive a monthly payment for each student. This income is considered exempt and will not affect the amount of Income Support received by tenants of NLHC.

For more information contact your regional NLHC office.

Scholarship Program

Each year, NLHC offers 12 scholarships valued at $1,000 to tenants and tenants children: six Youth Scholarships , and six Adult Scholarships . The application deadline is August 31 for the Youth Scholarship and September 30 for the Adult Scholarship.

For more information contact your regional NLHC office.

Adult Basic Education

ABE is a provincial high school equivalency program for adults, offered in 35 locations around the province. It is made-up of three levels:

  • Level I Basic Literacy Skills
  • Level II Skills similar to Grade 7-9
  • Level III Equivalent to Grade 10-12

Toll free: 1.800.563.6600

General Educational Development-GED

The GED credential is a way for adult learners to earn a high school equivalency diploma. A person can take the GED test if they are:

  • At least 19 years of age or older
  • Not currently enrolled in a high school program
  • Not a high school graduate

T: 709.729.7919 or 709.729.7918

Early Childhood Education Bursary Programs

Student Financial Services

T: 709.729.5849

General Housing Shelter And Home Supports

COVID

Rental Housing Program

The Rental Housing Program helps households with low income that cannot obtain suitable and affordable rental housing on the private market.

You may be able to access low-income rental housing if:

  • your total household income falls within certain income levels
  • your present housing is adequate but you pay more than 30 per cent of your total household income towards rent and heat
  • your present housing is unsuitable, you pay less than 30 per cent of your total household income for rent however, suitable housing in your area would cost 30 per cent or more of your total household income

Provincial Home Repair Program

This program provides money to assist homeowners with low income who require repairs to their homes. The repairs bring houses up to minimum fire and life safety standards, with improvements in basic heating, electrical and plumbing services.

For more information, contact your regional NLHC office.

Emergency Supports for Victims of Violence

Emergency supports are available for any victim of violence and include transportation to a safe location and accommodations. This support is not limited to people receiving Income Support.

A person or family in need of these services should contact the nearest shelter. For emergencies, please contact 911.

For more information, contact your regional AESL office.

Victims of Violence Assistance Allowance

For more information, contact your regional AESL office.

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Low Income Benefits And Tax Credits Cost Of Living Payment

The low income benefits and tax credits cost of living payment is a payment of £650 in total, that is to be paid in two instalments in 2022 to households on a low income who are entitled to one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Adult Disability Payment
  • Child Disability Payment
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

The payment will be made from September 2022 and wherever possible will be automatically paid into your bank account so you do not have to apply for it separately. It is tax free and will not affect your benefits or the benefit cap and you will receive it in addition to any other cost of living payments you are entitled to.

If you think you should be entitled to this cost of living payment but you have not received it you can report a missing cost of living payment online.

Help With Landline Telephone And Broadband Costs

If you are on certain benefits and are on a low income you may be able to get your home telephone and/or broadband cheaper through a social tariff. These are cheaper packages that your provider may offer to people on benefits. You will need to check if your provider has a social tariff and whether you are eligible.

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Pensioner Cost Of Living Payment

A £300 tax-free cost of living payment will be given to households who are eligible for a winter fuel payment. This is a payment to help with heating bills for people who are over State Pension age and is in addition to any other cost of living payment you may get. Youll qualify for the winter fuel payment if you get State Pension or another social security benefit .

The amount of winter fuel payment you will get in 2022/23 is between £250 to £600 depending on your age and circumstances. Most payments will be made automatically in November or December and you should have received the payment by 13 January 2023. You do not need to apply for the payment if you are getting State Pension or another social security benefit, unless you have deferred your state pension or moved abroad.

If you do need to claim you can do so by phone or post and the deadline for winter 2022/23 is 31 March 2023.

If you do not get your winter fuel payment you can contact the Winter Fuel Payment Centre to report the missing payment.

Child Trust Funds For Children In Care

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Some children looked after by local authorities have a Child Trust Fund account set up on their behalf.

If a child has been in the care of a local authority and was born between 1 September 2002 and 2 January 2011, they could have a Child Trust Fund account.

If you want to find your Child Trust Fund, your first option is to fill in the HMRC form on the GOV.UK website
Or you can get help on the

The Share Foundation acts as the registered contact for Child Trust Fund accounts for children and young people who are care-experienced and manages them for the child or young person. The Share Foundation run both the Child Trust Fund and the Junior ISA schemes for children and young people in care.

The Share Foundation will write to the account holder about two months before they turn 16, telling them how to become the registered contact for their Child Trust Fund account.

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What Is The Trust Funds Financial Status

If Social Securitys trust funds run out of Treasury bonds to cash in, benefits would not stop contrary to a common misunderstanding.

Social Security is adequately financed in the short term but faces a modest long-term financial shortfall amounting to 1.1 percent of gross domestic product over the next 75 years, the period that the programs actuaries use in evaluating Social Securitys long-term finances.

Following the bipartisan Social Security financing deal in 1983, Social Security ran a surplus every year until 2021. Starting in 2021, Social Securitys total cost exceeded its total income. However, the trust funds reserves supplement the programs income from payroll taxes, income taxes on benefits paid to higher-income beneficiaries, and interest earned on the trust funds bonds to enable Social Security to keep paying full benefits until 2035.

If Social Securitys trust funds run out of Treasury bonds to cash in, benefits would not stop contrary to a common misunderstanding. At that point, if nothing else is done, Social Security could still pay 80 percent of promised benefits using its annual tax income. Of course, paying less than full benefits is not an acceptable way to run this vital program, and Congress will need to act to strengthen its long-term finances.

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

The EBB opened for enrollment on May 12, 2021, and provides a monthly discount of $50 to $75 for households that qualify. The program also grants a one-time discount of up to $100 toward a new laptop, desktop, or tablet purchased from participating providers.

Your household is eligible if at least one member meets one of the following criteria:

  • Has income at or below 135% of the current Federal Poverty Level or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline.
  • Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2020 to 2021 school year.
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year.
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since Feb. 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers.
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating providers existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

To apply, do one of the following:

  • Contact a participating broadband provider directly to learn about its application process.
  • Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and to find participating providers near you.

The EBB program is scheduled to end six months after the Department of Health and Human Services declares an end to the pandemic, or if the program runs out of funds.

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If You Have A Traditional Prepayment Meter

Youll get the discount as either:

  • an automatic credit when you top up at your usual top-up point

Your supplier will tell you in advance how youll get your discount.

If you get an automatic credit but you cant afford to top up, speak to your supplier. They might be able to send you a voucher.

If you get a voucher

Your supplier will send the voucher by text message, email or post by the 14th day of each month.

You can only use your voucher for your own energy accounts. But you might be able to choose to use it for gas or electricity – even if you have different suppliers for these.

Your supplier will tell you where you can use your voucher. Youll probably need to take it to a local Post Office or shop with a PayPoint logo.

Youll need to show a UK driving licence or utility bill with the same name and address as your energy account.

If Youre Over 55 And Have A Personal Pension

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You might be able to take some money from your pension savings to help pay for essential costs or to pay off your debts.

Taking money from your pension will mean you have less income when you retire. If youre getting benefits, taking money from your pension could affect your claim.

You can get free guidance on your pension options from Pension Wise. Theyll explain the different options so you can decide which is best for you.

You should also get financial advice before taking any money from your pension savings – youll have to pay.

You can check how to find a financial adviser – they can tell you which option is best for you.

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How Do The Trust Funds Work

Social Securitys financial operations are handled through two federal trust funds: the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund and the Disability Insurance trust fund. Although legally distinct, they are often referred to collectively as the Social Security trust fund. All of Social Securitys payroll taxes and other earmarked income are deposited in the trust funds, and all of Social Securitys benefits and administrative expenses are paid from the trust funds.

Social Security is largely a pay as you go program, meaning todays benefits are funded primarily by the payroll taxes collected from todays workers. For over three decades, however, Social Security collected more in payroll taxes and other income than it paid in benefits and other expenses, and the Treasury invested the surplus in interest-bearing Treasury securities, ultimately reaching a total of $2.9 trillion in trust fund reserves. In 2021, Social Security began redeeming those reserves to help pay benefits. Payroll taxes from current workers will continue to pay for the bulk of benefits. The trust fund reserves will make up the difference between income and costs until the reserves are depleted. At that point, Social Securitys income will still be able to pay 80 percent of promised benefits even in the unlikely event that policymakers fail to act.

What About Child Trust Funds And Young People With Disabilities

Some young people with a disability might not have the mental capacity to manage the money in their Child Trust Fund.

If your child doesnt have mental capacity, then you as their parent/carer will need to apply to the Court of Protection to act as your childs Deputy.

A Deputy is someone, usually a family member, who is appointed by the court to manage and make day-to-day decisions about someones finances. Without this, you wont be able to manage the account when your child turns 18. This is because they legally become an adult and the money belongs to them.

At the moment, applying to the Court of Protection can be expensive. This is because theres a court fee of £365 and legal costs, if a solicitor is used. There might also be delays to the process due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Its important to get legal advice if you want to apply to the Court of Protection so you understand all of the options. Solicitors might provide you with a free initial discussion.

However, the government announced on 1 December 2020 that all parents or guardians of children or young people who lack mental capacity can ask for court fees to be waived or refunded when seeking access to a Child Trust Fund.

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How A Child Trust Fund Works

When CTFs became available, HMRC sent the parents or guardians of qualifying children a starting payment voucher of £250 . This voucher could then be used to set up a Child Trust Fund account in the childs name.

If you didnt use the voucher within one year, HMRC would set up a Child Trust Fund account in your childs name on your behalf.

Money in a Child Trust Fund account belongs to the child and is locked in until they turn 18.

When a child or young person turns 16 years old, they can legally take over responsibility for their Child Trust Fund account and can make decisions about the fund . They can do this by contacting their Child Trust Fund provider.

When the account-holder turns 18 years old, they can access and withdraw the money in their Child Trust Fund account.

Im 18 Or Over And Have A Child Trust Fund What Should I Do With The Money In It

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If youre 18 years old or over, you can access the money in your Child Trust Fund account.

To access the money you will need to contact your Child Trust Fund provider. If you don’t know who that is, read the section above on ‘Finding a Child Trust Fund account’.

Its your money, and its up to you what you do with it.

One option to consider is to continue saving your money. This could be by, for example, transferring your money into an adult savings account or an adult ISA. As your savings build up, theyll grow faster so your money makes money.

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You might want to save regularly and build up your fund for a deposit towards a property purchase or a rental deposit.

The money in your Child Trust Fund could also provide an excellent foundation for building a rainy day fund to make sure you have money available for emergencies or sudden expenses.

Putting money away now means youre covered for an expense you didnt see coming, reducing your need to borrow. For example, if you were to suddenly lose your job, need a new phone or need emergency dental treatment thats when a rainy day fund would be handy.

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