Governor Sisolak, Treasurer Conine launch first-in-the-nation grant program for children with disabilities

LAS VEGAS, NV — October 25, 2021

Today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine launched a first-in-nation grant program aimed at helping children with disabilities and their families as part of the State’s economic recovery.

The Transforming Opportunities for Toddlers and Students (TOTS) Grant Program is utilizing $5 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan to provide grants to children with disabilities through ABLE accounts.

This is the first statewide grant program that is being launched using American Rescue Plan Act funding, and is the largest investment into ABLE accounts in the United States.

Under this program, children with disabilities can receive grants of $5,000 to use for everyday expenses such as education, transportation, housing, healthcare, assistive technology, and other disability-related expenses.

Governor Sisolak launched the TOTS Grant at the Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation, where he personally awarded the first TOTS Grants awards to families in the disability community.

“Throughout the pandemic, Nevada’s children with disabilities were among the hardest hit due to the effects of distance learning and social isolation,” said Governor Sisolak. “I am incredibly proud to launch this first-in-the-nation program to provide our children with disabilities an opportunity to recover and rebuild from this pandemic stronger than ever before.”

“For too long, Nevadans with disabilities have been forced into poverty through no fault of their own,” said Treasurer Conine. “Through this historic investment in ABLE accounts, we can create pathways out of poverty for 1,000 Nevada families.”

These grants are intended to support children with disabilities who faced disparate impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and allow them to recover stronger.

To be eligible to receive a TOTS Grant, an individual must:

  • Be Nevada resident;
  • Be under the age of 18;
  • Have a qualifying disability to open an ABLE account; and
  • Have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic or its economic effects.

To ensure that no child suffers a loss in eligibility for benefit programs like Medicaid and Social Security, grant funds are being deposited directly into an ABLE account in the child’s name.

Children who already have an ABLE account are also eligible to receive funds under this program.

All grants awarded under this program, are not required to be paid back, and are intended to help Nevadans with disabilities save for a brighter future.

A one-pager explaining the TOTS Grant Program can be found attached to this press release.

Nevadans can apply for the TOTS Grant by visiting NevadaTreasurer.gov/TOTS

Photos from today’s event can be found here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/fDfQGtyO3F

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