Disabled Focus

In 2011, San Diego County had only two VITA sites that target people with disabilities, the Center for the Blind and the Veterans Association. However, in our annual survey of VITA clients, 14% reported that they or someone in their family had a disability. This is 1,273 of our current clients. While these individuals clearly know about the Earned Income Tax Credit and VITA sites, many others may not. In March 2011 when United Way hosted the Disability Working Group along with the National Disability Institute, we heard from various providers that they themselves were unclear as to the eligibility criteria around claiming EITC. They felt they were uninformed, and not able to fully assist their clients in filing taxes and claiming potential credits.

The Department of Labor/ Employment and Training Administration, states that the Disability Program Navigator Initiative goal is to increase the use of the Earned Income Tax Credit to expand economic opportunities to job seekers with disabilities. We are partnering with the San Diego Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities to identify agencies and service providers where we can offer our mobile tax preparation services to people with disabilities.

By bringing VITA services directly through avenues that people with disabilities currently access, we are able to address multiple barriers they could face accessing current VITA sites. By utilizing disability service agencies as the tax sites, the consumers will already be familiar with the environment which will reduce anxiety and/or fear. Providing services directly on site also helps to address San Diego’s poor public transportation system which creates additional barriers for people with disabilities.

The need for targeted tax services in San Diego is a key step to full integration of asset building services to the entire community of San Diego County. Through the EITC campaign, VITA programming is cornerstone to asset building programs, and often times the starting key. As we begin to incorporate people with disabilities into our local overall asset building initiatives, we will only strengthen our ability to serve a greater cross-section of San Diego’s diverse population.

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2012 Disability Tax Partners

Goodwill Industries
3663 Rosecrans Street
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 225-9483

Goodwill Industries
414 No. Coast Highway
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 722-8582

Towards Maximum Independence
4740 Murphy Canyon Rd., #300
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 467-0600

State Council on Developmental
Disabilities - Area Board XIII
8880 Rio San Diego Dr., # 250
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 688-3323

Being Alive
4070 Centre Street
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 291-1400