The mission of the NSSTA membership is to promote the use of structured settlements as part of a comprehensive settlement plan. In doing so, we help provide financial security and long-term stability for injury victims and their families. It’s important for us to remember that financial planning is just one step in the process to help injury victims get back on their feet. There are numerous organizations that support and promote the needs of our claimants in other ways – through legislative initiatives, research funding and advocacy regarding specific illness and injury.
The 2017 NSSTA Annual Conference is scheduled for April 19-21, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, CA. We encourage all members available during those dates to attend – not only is this the largest NSSTA meeting of the year, but the meeting will include CE & CLE credit opportunities, the 7th Annual Bill Tocchi Memorial Golf Tournament, a reception honoring past presidents of NSSTA, committee meetings and Board of Director elections.
Last week, Donald Trump was inaugurated and began his term as the 45th President of the United States. Republicans hold the majority in both the House and Senate. Both President Trump and leaders in Congress have raised the possibility of major tax reform legislation. Even Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin brought up tax and IRS reform in his confirmation hearings last week.
In 2017, we encourage all of our members to resolve to be more involved with NSSTA. This year, and every year since 1985, our mission is to promote the establishment and preservation of structured settlements in order to provide long-term financial security to personal injury claimants and their families through periodic payment of compensation. We achieve these goals through public advocacy, legislative action, and educational programs. As a NSSTA member, we hope you will consider joining us – below are a few ways that members can help.
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.