Special Needs Grant Program Update

On August 18, the new TOTS grant program received the final approval necessary from the legislative Interim Finance Committee. As a result, the Nevada State Treasurer will being enacting the program imminently, awarding $5,000 tax-free grants, with a wide range of allowable uses, to families for each eligible special-needs child. Program applications will open soon for families – the most recent agency estimate is that it will open to receive applications the week after Labor Day.

Grants will be made through the ABLE Savings program administered by the Nevada State Treasurer, so interested families should strongly consider opening an ABLE account right away.  The total program budget of $5 million will go quickly, and we don’t want families in need to don’t miss out.

All learners under 18 years of age with special needs are eligible, regardless of where they receive their schooling.  Funds will be available to families for a wide range of educational needs, including the costs of tutoring, microschooling and services available through diverse education providers, assistive technology, even transportation.

Families must apply in two parts – first to set up an ABLE account, second to apply for a TOTS grant.

Note: ABLE Account requirements state that in order to open an account, a family must have a letter from a licensed physician affirming that disability “is of a level of severity that meets the Social Security Act disability standard.” The letter is not required to be submitted, simply maintained in family records.

We will be running office hours and special events in Las Vegas and Reno in the coming weeks to help families enroll and to answer questions.  Contact us for information or questions at info@nevadaaction.org or 702-202-3573 for information.

Special thanks to Senator Scott Hammond for his championing this program down the stretch during the legislative session. “I was thankful that the leadership of the majority party was willing to work with me to create this valuable opportunity for our special needs learners during the final days of the session,” said Senator Hammond.  “The pandemic made it difficult for all families to keep their children’s learning on track, and especially for children with disabilities.  This special program of assistance will make a valuable difference for all of Nevada’s community of special needs learners, including those who homeschool or attend nonpublic schools.”

This article updated August 26, 2021.