Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

Frequent Pitfalls

Participating in an Individual Development Account (IDA) program that affects your benefits

If you are getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or health coverage through the Arizona Long Term Care System (ALTCS) and plan to enroll in an IDA, it is very important that you find out who funds that IDA program.

If you are on SSI or ALTCS, it is highly recommended that you enroll in a federally funded IDA rather than an IDA funded by some other source.

If you choose an IDA program that is not federally funded, you may become ineligible for your SSI or ALTCS benefits because your IDA account could cause you to exceed their asset limits. The only way you can have a nonfederally funded IDA that does not impact your SSI or ALTCS eligibility is if your IDA is part of your approved Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS).

The 2 federal programs that fund IDAs are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Assets for Independence Act (AFIA). However, you do not need to be enrolled in those programs to have an IDA funded by them.

Failing to fulfill Individual Development Account (IDA) program requirements

If you do not fulfill the requirements of the IDA program, you may become ineligible to access the matching funds offered by the program. Be sure to review the requirements of your program carefully with your IDA caseworker.

You must have earned income to start an Individual Development Account (IDA) program

To open a federally funded IDA account, your earned income must come from work. IDAs funded by other sources may allow for income from other sources.

Most Individual Development Account (IDA) programs have a savings limit (or savings cap)

Most programs only allow you to save a total of $4,000 to $6,000 in your IDA. This savings limit is called the savings cap. The savings cap includes the money you deposit as well as the matching funds from the IDA program.

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