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PDFWAC 388-310-2000

Individual development accounts (IDA).

(1) What are individual development accounts?
Individual development accounts (IDAs) are special savings accounts for people eligible for or receiving TANF or SFA. The IDA's will help families save money for qualified purchases that will help them become financially self-sufficient. Your IDA account may only be used for the following qualified purchase: Acquisition cost for a first home, postsecondary education expenses, or business expenses for self-employment. You may only deposit income that you have earned through work into an IDA, the state matches those funds, helping you reach your goal more quickly.
(2) Who helps you set up an IDA?
The state office of trade and economic development (OTED) administers the IDA program. OTED contracts with local nonprofit agencies to enroll participants in the IDA program, monitor account activity and provide training and other support services while you are enrolled.
(3) Who can enroll in the IDA program?
To enroll in the IDA program, you must receive (or be eligible to receive) TANF or SFA assistance, or post TANF families with income below one hundred seventy-five percent of the federal poverty level. You may remain enrolled in the program for three years from the date of opening your IDA account.
(4) What happens once you enroll in the IDA program?
Once you've enrolled, your IDA contractor will help you develop an individual savings plan that identifies the steps you must take to earn the match. To earn the match you must:
(a) Attend financial skills classes to learn how to manage your personal finances.
(b) Open your savings account at a financial institution that is participating in the IDA program through an agreement with the IDA contractor.
(c) Deposit savings from earned income into your account on at least a quarterly basis.
(5) How are your IDA matching funds handled?
Your matching funds are held in a separate account until you are ready to make a qualified purchase. The IDA contractor provides you with monthly statements showing the amount of matching funds you have earned.
(6) How much money can you save with an IDA?
The state will give you up to two dollars for every dollar you save, up to a maximum match of four thousand dollars. So, if you save two thousand dollars (the maximum amount allowed), you could earn four thousand dollars in match, for a total of six thousand dollars.
(7) When can you withdraw money from your account?
When you have an IDA, you really have two types of accounts: your own savings account and a trust account holding your match funds.
(a) You can withdraw your own savings at any time - it's your money; but you will forfeit any match that was earned on those funds and could jeopardize your ability to stay in the program. You also need to report any withdrawals to your DSHS case manager if you are receiving any type of public assistance benefits.
(b) You cannot withdraw your match until you are ready to purchase your asset and have met all of the requirements in your individual savings plan. At that time, the IDA contractor will withdraw the matching funds and pay them directly to the person or organization that you are purchasing your asset from (such as the mortgage company, college, or bank).
(8) Will having an IDA affect your eligibility for other public assistance programs?
The funds held in your IDA cannot be taken into consideration when determining if you qualify for TANF, Social Security, food stamps, or medicaid. However, if you withdraw savings from your IDA other than to purchase your asset, or if you leave the IDA program early, your eligibility could be affected. See WAC 388-470-0045 for more details about how IDAs affect your eligibility for other types of public assistance benefits.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.04.055, 74.04.057. WSR 04-05-010, § 388-310-2000, filed 2/6/04, effective 3/8/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.04.050, 74.08.090, 74.08A.220. WSR 01-03-042, § 388-310-2000, filed 1/9/01, effective 2/9/01.]
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