Addiction, Recovery & Finances

POOLED SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST BEST PRACTICES

True Link is excited to announce the publication of our latest report, Pooled Special Needs Trust Best Practices, which sheds light on the processes, systems, and priorities of successful pooled trusts across the country.

While the field of pooled trusts is a young one, a result of enabling legislation passed in 1993, it is rapidly growing and continuously improving. Given the number of pooled trusts True Link supports and the close relationships we build with administrators, True Link is in a unique position to see differences and similarities across operational strategies, as well as challenges and successes across organizations. 

In collecting and sharing best practices – as conveyed to us by administrators – we hope to encourage the growth and stability of pooled trusts, and strengthen the broader field as a whole. 

Read the report to learn more about:

  • Effective beneficiary communication strategies
  • Technology used to simplify trust operations
  • Staff retention and how it can be affected by market cycles
  • Wealth management watch outs

To download and read True Link's Pooled Special Needs Trust Best Practices, please click on the link below.

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Click the image to download and read the full report on pooled trust best practices.

FINANCIAL WELLNESS IN ADDICTION AND RECOVERY

Addiction is not just one of the most daunting health crises facing America today – it’s a financial nightmare, too.

The relationship between money and SUDs is complex: not only can addiction destroy someone’s finances, the challenges inherent in rebuilding one’s finances after addiction make it even more difficult to recover.

True Link’s national survey, which is among the first to quantify the relationship between money and substance use disorder (SUD). In the study, people reported ways in which addiction destroys a person's finances, as well as how the challenge of rebuilding a financial life can impede recovery:

  • 82% of people who have a loved one with an SUD say that their family member experienced adverse financial effects due to their addiction, and
  • Eight in ten also said that regaining control of one’s finances is one of the biggest challenges for those in recovery.

True Link Financial conducted a nationally representative survey of 341 Americans aged 18 and older, 149 of whom (44%) report having a loved one with an SUD.2 For example:

  • 48% reported their loved one drained savings or retirement accounts
  • 42% said their loved one sold assets to gain access to cash and
  • 11% said their loved one filed for bankruptcy

Regaining a normal financial life: An essential part of recovery

Troubles with money often persist long after the drug use stops. Eight in ten adults who have a loved one with an SUD agree that regaining control of one’s finances is one of the biggest obstacles in recovery. Within our survey sample of adults with a loved one with an SUD:

  • 87% say that banks or credit card companies do not offer much to help people with substance use disorders as they try to regain control of their financial lives.
  • 77% say they wish there were tools that offered financial guardrails to help their loved one regain independence in recovery.
  • 77% say they feel that their loved one having access to cash could trigger relapse.

To read the full report, please click on the link bellow.

Click here for the full report >

DOWNLOAD REPORT

Click the image to download and read the full report on financial wellness in addiction and recovery.

Financial Management Survey of Adults with Disabilities

Most existing money management tools aren’t designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But how could financial products and services better support this population? To answer this question, we collected data on the needs and challenges these individuals face when dealing with money. 

In collaboration with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and Quality Trust, we developed and distributed a survey on the topic of financial management that focused on three main questions:

  1. How is your money managed?
  2. What challenges do you face when dealing with money?
  3. What type of service or tool could help you with these challenges?

The results clearly showed that current financial tools and services are missing the mark in supporting adults with disabilities. Over 75% of respondents report that their disability makes it difficult to manage their money, and only 36% reported that they are either “happy” or “very happy” with how their money is managed.

The survey also asked respondents to provide more detail regarding the most common challenges they face when dealing with money. Most individuals reported issues related to budgeting and spending management, including:

  • Creating a budget (49.4%)
  • Sticking to a budget (57.5%)
  • Keeping track of how much has been spent and/or how much money is left (51.7%)
  • Keeping track of bills and paying them on time (46.6%)
  • Impulse buying or shopping sprees (40.8%)

Our survey also sought to gain insight into what features should be included in financial tools or services better designed for adults with disabilities. In considering potential settings for a new financial tool, these options were considered desirable by respondents interested in a prepaid debit card product:

  • The ability to receive a text alert with important information about my spending (67%)
  • The ability to allow someone else to help me make decisions about money without giving them full control (52.8%)
  • The ability to limit how much money I can spend on different things (45.3%)
  • The ability to block certain types of purchases that I don’t want to make (35.8%)
Click here for survey results >Click here to learn more about self-determination >

Survey Results

Click the image to see our findings on the financial needs and challenges of adults with disabilities.

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