Arcare Charitable Fund grant will help shape the future of supported decision-making

The Arcare Charitable Fund is proud to announce it has awarded $25,000 in grant funding to The ARC of Douglas County, in concert with existing partnerships with the Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) and the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD).

Grant funding received from the Arcare Charitable Fund will support the creation of a comprehensive website, development of online training materials and delivery of trainings for Kansans with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families on the topic of supported decision-making.

What is supported decision-making?

Supported decision-making is a tool that allows individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities to retain their decision-making capacity by choosing a group of supporters to help them make choices. The ideal group, or “circle of support,” comprises trusted advisors, such as friends, family and professionals, who serve to assist the person with an intellectual/developmental disability in fully understanding, considering and communicating their decisions. Supported decision-making can help individuals in many areas of life: personal, financial and professional.

Research has shown that individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities who participate in supported decision-making can experience a better quality of life, including enhanced employment and independent living outcomes. With a knowledgeable, trained, and caring circle of support, supported decision-making can be an appropriate alternative to guardianship.

Developing a leading-edge resource

The comprehensive website developed with funds from the Arcare Charitable Fund will feature user-friendly information and materials about supported decision-making, as well as resources for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, their families and their circle of support. In addition, training materials and course agendas will be available on the website for other organizations who may wish to develop their own trainings on the topic. Currently, no other organization inside or outside the State of Kansas provides this level of training and resources on supported decision-making. This initiative will help position Kansas at the forefront of supported decision-making.

The Arcare Charitable Fund is excited for the opportunity to partner with The ARC of Douglas County in its efforts to provide continuing support to Kansans with intellectual/developmental disabilities, their families and their supporters. Together, we can enhance the quality of life, personal satisfaction and independence among Kansans with developmental disabilities. We look forward to sharing the developed resources and tools with you in the near future.

Key facts about receiving coronavirus economic impact payments

In the wake of the spreading coronavirus pandemic, U.S. lawmakers enacted a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that includes economic impact payments to the majority of Americans in order to combat the financial consequences of the outbreak. As part of the rescue package signed into law by President Donald Trump, Americans will receive checks of up to $1,200.

For individuals with a disability and those who may be receiving Medicaid services, here is important information about what to expect and how to obtain economic impact payments:

  • Independent adults (those not claimed as a dependent by a parent on their taxes) will receive the full amount of $1,200, as long as their income does not exceed $75,000 annually.
  • Those who receive Social Security payments in the form of SSDI and are mailed a form SSA-1099 annually will not need to take any additional steps in order to receive this payment. It will be direct-deposited into the account in which monthly Social Security benefits are deposited or mailed to the address where individuals receive monthly checks.
  • For individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), for whom the IRS does not send 1099s, a tax return for 2018 or 2019 is required. If one has not already been filed, a simple or abbreviated tax return for year 2019 can be filed through July 15, 2020. This requirement must be met in order to receive the stimulus check, even for those who do not typically file an annual tax return.
  • An abbreviated tax return can be filed for free online, and many community agencies can assist with preparing the abbreviated tax return. The IRS encourages any individual who must file an abbreviated tax return to include direct deposit information to avoid any unnecessary delays in receiving the economic stimulus. Upon receipt and processing of the abbreviated tax return, the IRS will direct deposit the payment to the account provided, or mail to a home address if direct deposit information is not provided.

It is important to note that stimulus money is not considered taxable income, and it will have no impact on an individual’s Medicaid eligibility or eligibility spenddown. 

Please check back for updates to this process and for a list of community organizations that can assist with filing an abbreviated tax return.