On December 13, President Obama signed a healthcare spending bill called the 21st Century CURES Act. This new law included a provision supported by NSSTA that allows individuals to set up their own special needs trusts. This small change to the Social Security Act enables a person to petition the court to establish a special needs trust without an outside trustee. Under the previous law, only the court or a legal guardian could establish a special needs trust.
Taking back our brand is one of the top priorities for NSSTA and for our members. We all know that when people hear the term “structured settlements” they think about catchy jingles from cash-now pushers or the stories they’ve heard about predatory factoring and the negative effects those transactions can have on injury victims and their families. One of our goals is to identify the challenges we face when it comes to structured settlements in the media and to identify opportunities to educate the public.
Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that they will be filing a complaint against Access Funding, LLC. The complaint alleges that the factoring company acted in an illegal manner while trying to get structured settlement recipients to sell their payments for an immediate cash payout.
Structured settlement annuities provide guaranteed, income tax-free payments to claimants receiving settlement funds as a result of a physical injury or illness. As part of a comprehensive settlement plan, these annuities help provide a stable and secure financial future for these injured claimants. Some would argue that structured settlements provide less value in a low rate environment, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
With the results of the election this week, January is sure to bring big changes to Washington D.C. The installation of a new administration and new elected officials will present NSSTA and our members with opportunities for outreach and education. We will continue to work with the partners that we have in Washington while reaching out to Congressional Representatives that may not be familiar with the work we do to promote structured settlements as part of a comprehensive settlement plan.
According to the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), there are over 35 million eligible voters with disabilities in 2016, and countless others that consider issues of disability rights when casting their votes. Education, the economy, healthcare, and infrastructure are important to many of us, but these issues take on particular relevance for Americans with disabilities. With the election less than one week away, it’s important to remember that for a large number of people in our society voting is not an easy process in many ways.
The NSSTA Fall Conference begins next week! We have invited Anne Marie Panoringan, a freelance food writer out of Orange County, California, to share her tips for making the most of our time in Denver. She regularly contributes to OC Weekly’s food and drink blog, and has written for Westways, South Coast Plaza’s TASTE, Where OC and Foodbeast. Follow her on Instagram as brekkiefan.
On Monday, October 3, several NSSTA members participated in the 2016 National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Consumer Protection Seminar in Phoenix. Attendees included officials from the Offices of Attorney Generals in all 50 states as well as lawyers, lobbyists and consumer advocacy representatives.
NSSTA Board of Directors Member John Mcculloch participated in the meeting as part of a panel discussion titled “Factoring and Structured Settlements.”
With the presidential election only a few weeks away, candidates are spending a lot of time and money to educate the public on their political agenda. Whoever is elected to the highest office in the nation, we can expect changes to occur in all areas of government. For NSSTA, tax reform is always an urgent issue. This is especially true in these times of large scale changes in our governing bodies. Protecting the income tax-free status of structured settlements is a priority that we focus on 365 days a year.