City expands financial counseling services for Louisville residents with disabilities

December 19, 2022
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Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS) today announced a new collaboration with National Disability Institute (NDI) that provides expanded, free financial counseling opportunities for Louisville residents with disabilities and their families. 

RCS was one of two cities nationwide selected by NDI to participate in a new Financial Health Equity (FHE) initiative which focuses on helping people with disabilities manage their budgets, better understand Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, tackle Social Security Administration (SSA) overpayments and transition to work. 

As part of this initiative, more than 20 FHE financial counselors, coaches and other service providers in the Louisville area received over 20 hours of specialized training in effective financial counseling for people receiving Social Security disability benefits.  In addition to team members with RCS’ Office of Financial Empowerment, FHE financial counselors and coaches will be located at Louisville’s new Financial Empowerment Center launched last July, and Apprisen, a non-profit organization which provides a number of financial services.

According to NDI, the poverty rate for adults with disabilities is more than twice the rate of adults without a disability. Furthermore, people of color with disabilities face double marginalization, discrimination and stigma that lead to poor socioeconomic outcomes. Although only 24 percent of the population living in the Louisville/ Jefferson metropolitan area are Black/African American, Black/ African American residents experience disability at the highest rate (16.2%) compared to White (15.9%), Latinx (6.8%), and Asian (5.9%) counterparts. (Source: US Census Bureau, 2020 ACS 5-Year Estimates. Tables B18101A, B, D, and I.  Retrieved from United States Census Bureau Search).

 The FHE initiative aims to reduce the disparity and wealth gap that exists between people with disabilities and, more specifically, people of color with disabilities.

“People with disabilities are often forced to make unique financial decisions to achieve financial stability and independence,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “It is our responsibility to ensure that every resident in our city has equitable access and opportunity to improve their financial health.  We’re grateful to National Disability Institute’s new Financial Health Equity initiative for helping to build the capacity and knowledge of our service providers so they are better equipped to serve residents with all types of abilities.”

“People with disabilities face significant barriers to financial stability, including low or unstable income, lack of savings and the extra costs of living with a disability. Financial decisions can often be further complicated by interactions with and dependence on public benefits that require limited income and assets to remain eligible. Financial counseling plays a key role to help individuals with disabilities develop financial strategies to achieve improved financial health. We value the partnership we have built with RCs over these past years and are excited about this new collaboration," said Thomas Foley, Executive Director, National Disability Institute.

To learn more about the FHE initiative and to schedule an appointment with a trained counselor or coach, visit the FHE website at: https://louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services/financial-health-equity-project. Sessions will be offered both in-person at various sites as well as virtually or via phone. Accommodations for persons with disabilities are available upon request.

About Louisville Metro Office of Resilience and Community Services
The Office of Resilience and Community Services (RCS) serves as the social service department of the Louisville Metro Government, and the Community Action Agency for Jefferson County, KY.  RCS holds a mission to fight poverty and promote compassion, stability, and the empowerment of residents and communities. RCS provides essential services for Louisville residents, especially for low- and moderate-income populations providing housing, utility assistance, food, advocacy, and financial empowerment services to the city’s most vulnerable residents. The Office of Financial Empowerment is a division of RCS and is the primary driver of all financial empowerment and economic mobility resources for the city.  For more information, visit louisvilleky.gov/RCS or follow RCS on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @LouMetroRCS.

About National Disability Institute
National Disability Institute (NDI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better financial future for people with disabilities and their families. The first national organization committed exclusively to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial stability for all persons with disabilities, NDI affects change through public education, policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives. To learn more, visit www.nationaldisabilityinstitute.org. Engage with NDI on Facebook: @NationalDisability or follow NDI on Twitter: @NatDisability.

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