Considerations for Debit Card and Cash Purchasing Mechanisms in the CLASS Plan

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This policy brief describes the benefits and challenges of using debit cards and cash in CLASS and how they could be implemented and integrated into a Financial Management Services structure.

Date Updated: 04/06/2011

Individuals receiving benefits through the CLASS Plan will have a Life Independence Account that will hold their authorized monthly benefit amount. This account can be accessed by the individual to purchase nonmedical goods and services that support the person’s independence at home or in another community-based residential setting. While specific rules and regulations have not decided how beneficiaries will have access to their Life Independence Account, the law states that they will have the option to use a debit card connected to their Life Independence Account.1 Using lessons from participant direction programs, CLASS Plan administrators can consider how debit cards and cash may influence participant use of their benefit and program fiscal accountability…


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